A culinary faux pas.

Accidents happen all the time. It is a sad reality, no doubt. But today, I am talking about the accidents that leave us red-faced, embarrassed and feeling guilty. The kind which, I wish, wouldn’t happen, but, do!

The kind that take place in the KITCHEN!

Some time ago, hubby’s friend was to visit  us as she wanted to invite us for her wedding. Hubby, the official menu-planner at home, suggested we prepare sheera, or sooji ka halwa,  the most common dessert in most Indian households.

You all must be familiar with the dish, and preparing it with much elan, too – most of you all love the dish so, don’t you?  Well, but not me. I am NOT AT ALL FOND OF it. The caps must make my emotions clear, don’t they? And, “not fond of” is just a mild way of putting it. Frankly, I find it nauseating!

So, coming back to my sheera story. I hadn’t prepared it before that day, but  I wondered how difficult that would be because I knew the recipe. I would make it in a jiffy! I mean, I can cook, okay!

So, into the kitchen I went to make the preparations. Alas, when the guest arrived, and my time to serve the dish approached, I realised my sheera making had been a complete disaster! For whatever I had prepared was miles away from even appearing as the said dish.

It had turned rock solid, wasn’t sweet at all and I knew I had made a complete mess of it! I had even served it in the bowls, but seeing what I had done, I quietly wrapped it in a polythene bag and dumped it in the trash can! Shivering with panic, hands cold and sweaty,  unable to make head or tail of what the hell I was supposed to do to get it right, I prayed for divine intervention.

Had I served that sheera, hubby would definitely have served me a divorce notice! Hehehe…

I brought out the sooji jar, and poured out some sooji to begin roasting it, all over again. Hubby called out to  ask when I will be serving the guest. I timidly replied, “Just a few minutes!”  I had tears in my eyes as I wondered what hubby would say.

This time, though, the sheera appeared much better, tasted okay-ish, and felt fine when I served it in the bowls. But, by the time we began eating it, it had dried up. You know what I mean? The ghee should have been more, as well as the sugar.  I gulped it down, so did hubby. But, our guest left it half-eaten and left. How I wished the earth would swallow me!

Hubby – as I had expected – gave me quite an earful. I felt guilty I had let him down. He being a brilliant cook would never blunder; of course he was expected to lose his cool!

I apologised in every way I could, but didn’t give any excuses. All I wanted to do that day, was to prepare a dish hubby had suggested, and make him happy. Instead, I had failed. Miserably.

This incident happened about a month ago, but I still remember it like it happened yesterday. Will always remember it, and, feel guilty. Just writing about that incident today makes my hands tremble!

Sheera is a dish my MIL prepared often – she loved it, and prepared it beautifully.  However, I wasn’t so fond of it, but would eat it so as to not offend her. Being taught to “eat whatever’s served”, that’s my conditioned response!  But, all that eating left a bad taste in my mouth… literally! And, after she passed away, I never prepared it myself.  I reasoned that,  I wasn’t fond of the dish,  so why prepare it?

Sigh. All I hope for is that hubby forgives and forgets the entire episode. I won’t, though! I can’t. Such memories stay forever, and haunt us each time we enter the kitchen to try on a new recipe!

How about you? Did you ever blunder in the kitchen? Do share your stories with me – it will do me a world of good knowing I am not alone!






Culinary adventures that leave us embarrassed.




Published by shilpagupte

Do you know the secret to living a happy life? Eat. Pray. Love. Or, watch what you eat, wish well for all and fill your heart with love! That's precisely what I try to do through my blogs: 'Metanoia', the wellness blogazine, and 'Fictionista', my blog for fiction and non-fiction. Welcome to my virtual homes!

38 thoughts on “A culinary faux pas.

  1. I am not a good cook and had a lot of disasters. When we don’t like something, it is difficult to cook well. I am a vegetarian and how much ever I try I cook nonveg only OKish. I realized that we should love and enjoy cooking and the recipe as well, then we can cook better.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. True, Mahathi.
      There are some recipes I love a lot and which turn out pretty well. But, there are also some recipes I prepare just for hubby (eggplant dishes) and they come out great, too! I guess, this sheera got me into trouble for its sweetness that can put me off!


  2. Sheera used to be one of my favorite breakfasts along with upma during college days in mangalore… There the combo would be known as chow chow bath.

    I need to write for this… Its silly that someone like me who pictures always involve food doesn’t have a post in this thread.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I love upma – the South Indian style – it’s soft and simple yet satiates my taste buds. But, sheera…now that’s something I may not be able to develop a taste for!

      You must write for this bloghop, Roshan! I too wondered why you haven’t as you keep posting pictures of food on Instagram! 🙂


  3. Awwww hugs Shilpa!! I can feel your misery at letting him down! But pls dont be so hard on yourself. Try it again and make it to surprise him with it – am sure all will be forgiven soon!
    If you dread something and cook it, it often turns into a disaster. My fail safe for all recipe is to chekc it online on Sanjeev Kapoor website- his recipes are so perfect and easy to make!! Give it a try!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Sanjeev Kapoor is my go-to man! 😛
      I always do that before trying out a new recipe. I don’t know what happened that day! Sigh.
      But, I too felt I should prepare the sheera once again, and this time really well, and make it up to hubby!



  4. Yes, plenty of blunders even now!! Sheera is my favourite and there its the prasad for Satyanarayan Pooja. Ofcourse, there is a specific proportion when made as prasad and the taste is divine! Joining this bloghop and adding my link in a bit!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Archana, the Satyanarayan ka prasad is what I too love – when it’s made by someone who knows how to work their magic. That sheera is indeed special and never can put you off. But the usual kind of sheera is something I can’t push down my throat!
      Thank you for joining our table! Looking forward to reading your foodie post!


  5. I start trembling everyday, the moment I am about to enter kitchen. So for me disastrous dishes are a normal! And every one in house is now used to it.
    And yes, initially into marriage I was scrutinized for my cooking abilities. And my only answer was, cooking as a subject was never taught to me at any level…under grad, grad or post grad! But they taught me how to make money to buy food or get it done! Sounds arrogant, but thats what reality was.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Hehe! My achilles heel is Bhakri ( a flat bread made of jowar or bajra) After hearing tons of stories of how bhakri is the simplest thing to make, I assumed I would get it as I am a fairly good cook. But that is one thing I haven’t been able to make after trying a lot of times. Now I have just stopped trying 😛

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Neha, the first time I prepared bhakri, my MIL taunted how tiny ones I had made, that too using the rolling pin instead of patting with the hand! But, that one taunt helped me work on my bhakri making skills and now I can make good ones with hand, without using the rolling pin. At times, though, I do become lazy and just use the rolling pin to get the bhakri of the required size! 😛

      Psst…add a little bit of wheat flour to the bhakri flour so it gets some gluten that will help bind it well and you will be able to roll it out easily! I did that and my bhakris came out superb! 😛


  7. I’m not too fond of sheera either so Hi Five to that. But you must try the one made in gurudwaras – that’s just delicious. I have no clue how they make it but it’s absolutely yum.
    Did you know back home in UP sheera means sugar syrup. So when I moved to Bombay and everyone would say let’s have sheera for breakfast I’d wonder what was wrong with them! I like the salty upma way better.
    Oh and stop feeling bad about yourself – if the hubby is better cook let him make the sheera next time.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. You know what caught my attention? That your guests left the dish half eaten. Aren’t they taught to eat whatever that is served? How come only we have such strict parents? But of course, we are lucky to have been disciplined. I am sure your dish was eatable.
    Every time there is a scene in a movie or a TV serial where the characters walk away from the table, I pay attention to what they say next or they just walk away or they take their plate with them. I feel it tells a lot about the director or the writer. It is disappointing that most of the time they just walk away. 😦

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You know, D, that’s the first thing that came to my mind! That if you are visiting someone and they offer you something, then eat it, don’t leave it half eaten. It is so insulting to the hosts! I am happy my parents taught me to eat whatever was served. I know how much peaceful the atmosphere at home can be if there aren’t any issues around food! Secretly, I wondered how that girl is going to adjust herself in her new home. The in-laws are non veg eaters, and she can’t tolerate non veg, she informed. Had I been like her, I wouldn’t have survived here (in-laws are non veg eaters and I was a pure veg!)
      I guess, today’s generation does what they wish to and don’t bother about manners and etiquette.
      Thank you so much for thinking just like me! I am glad I have someone on my side! 😉❤❤

      Liked by 1 person

      1. hahaha.. don’t blame it on generation though 😀 😀 I believe I am from today’s generation ;). I think it depends on a family. What we are taught and what we carry forward. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  9. The only sheera I am fond of is the one we make as prasad for Satyanarayana puja. I learned most of my cooking by being a helper in the kitchen from a young age. So far, no disasters, or at least none that I didn’t manage to turn around. I think it is okay to mess up. You did it with love and good intention.

    What a wonderful idea for a blog hop!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I too cover up any mishaps pretty well, Vidya, but this time, I goofed up and couldn’t rectify my mistake! 😦
      I too like the Satyanarayan sheera! It’s special, isn’t it? 🙂
      It is a fun bloghop and I would love to have you here some day! ❤


  10. Breathe easy, dear. Sheera can be tricky to make even if you know the recipe well. It takes patience and experience. Don’t beat yourself up over it.
    I’ve had many a faux pas. I remember making something like an apple pie and NOBODY ate it, including myself. It was bland. My husband graciously said ‘not all experiments work out well’ and left it at that. Thankfully.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Coming from a fabulous cook like you, Varsh, I feel relieved that every body commits faux pas!
      Mostly, I eat my mistakes, and I never throw them away! But, this time, even I did not want to eat any of it!


  11. I am not a good cook, and my whole family knows that 😉 In the beginning I was very happily compared with the elder one, that made me push hard and try out to learn things out of the way. End results were always – disasters. But slowly and steadily, I learned an edible meal making process which I enjoy.

    That’s when daughter and better half started liking my cooked meals. Though I am still very lazy at it. Sheera, well I never got the consistency right. And whenever have to cook it – I either get a migraine or tummy cramps.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. I have made many a disaster when it comes to cooking. Take it easy. It’s just a mistake. You didn’t do it intentionally, and these blunders are bound to happen. I’m okay when it comes to the blunders. I guess years of cooking disasters will result in growing a thick skin to critiques. I am a self taught cook, so my blunders were epic, still are. 😀 I don’t throw away even if the dish comes out distasteful. It’s not kind, is it? My husband, on the other hand, who started to cook because he had to during my pregnancies, gets upset and refuses to eat if the dish isn’t as tasty as he thought (when he cooks that is, if he throws tantrums at my dishes the result would be completely disastrous that we never know who throws what or who out 😀). I always tell him, we will learn from this episode and make it better next time, but we should not discard it if it is edible. I don’t like it when people complains about less salt or more spicy about the food prepared by someone else. That’s rude.
    I am thinking of joining #flavoursometuesdays this time. Let me see if it works out.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You know, Vini, I too never throw away food. I always eat my mistakes. But that one time, the sheera was like a white rock… And I had no option but to throw it away. I am a foodie but I can eat any kind of food – less salt, too spicy.. If I have to. Or if I am at someone’s house. It’s what I learnt from my dad. He used to eat anything served as he was alone in Mumbai in his youth. It’s he who taught me to never do any ‘nakhra ‘ when it came to food and to eat whatever was served. So those teachings helped me when I got married and entered this family of non veg eaters.
      Well, the sheera episode was one in a million coz I generally cook well. But insure learnt a lesson from that one episode. If you don’t know something just say it, and let the expert (hubby) take over. 😅😅😅
      Thank you my dear for sharing your experiences. And do join us at #ft. It will be lovely reading your foodie post.


  13. You reminded me of a my first ever lunch I had hosted. My guests were very special and I was too tensed. I ended up burning some curries, setting the table haphazardly and making a mess of my kitchen- years have passed but that feeling of helplessness on that particular day keeps revisiting me

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Hey, it’s okay, really. Happens to everyone. Once, I was hosting a lot of my husband’s colleagues in the Netherlands. We were there on a project and they wanted to have Indian food so I prepared so many things. I wanted to make strawberry kheer that I had never prepared. But I messed it up and the milk split. I had to throw it all away. But that was okay. We got some ice cream instead. The husband was very grateful that with such few resources I put up quite a spread. 🙂

    I think your husband would have understood as well. I like the rava halwa and the aata halwa too. My younger son loves it and keeps asking me to prepare it more often. Otherwise we are not too fond of sweets and mostly end up making them for festivals or poojas.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, Rachna. I guess he understood after I told him all that happened in the kitchen that day – in the kitchen and in my mind.

      I know, such things happen, and you laugh it off in the days to come, but when it actually happens, you wish the earth would gobble you up! 😛


  15. Awwww!! poor girl..it made me sad 😦
    Well, I also make horrible sheera, my Mom made it nicely, so does my MIL. My husband loves to eat Sheera but he knows I suck at making it, so doesn’t ask me to make it.
    To make your hubby happy make sheera one day again with lots of ghee, sugar, saffron and raisins..he will fall in love with you all over again..hugs and love

    Liked by 1 person

  16. I have renamed my kitchen disasters as ‘Adventures’ they sound much more fun that way.
    Your humorous take reminded me of my own attempt at making sheera, where the result was just the same:))
    I liked how you shared your entire episode with us. Fun read, this!

    Liked by 1 person

  17. Since my mom was a great cook, hanging around with her in the kitchen from a young age has helped me not have any disasters so far. Touch wood!

    I experiment a lot with flavors and textures, but somehow it turns out to be good. It also helps that I know many ways of redeeming a weird dish 😛

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hehehe….so do I, Soumya. It’s just that that particular day, for the first time in my 20 years as a wife, I messed up things and couldn’t rectify my mistake!
      Ouch! Still hurts!


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