MONOLOGUE: The Restaurateur

by Les Hunter

Setting:
A kitchen in an Indian restaurant in Jackson Heights, Queen, NYC

Time:
Now

Character:
THE RESTAURATEUR, a young Indian man; a chef

(THE RESTAURATEUR is at work in his Jackson Heights eatery. He prepares a dosa.)

THE RESTAURATEUR

How to make, and serve, a Jackson Heights Dosa.

Step one: Be born. The importance of this step cannot be overlooked. New Jersey or Puducherry, a small town or large city; It makes no difference. But the best dosa comes from the south. So, say, be born in Ernakulam.

Step two: Grease the pan with cooking oil. Turn the heat on to a nice medium. That is the only time you will say the word “medium” at this restaurant. “Hot,” “Spicy,” yes; “Medium,” no.

Step three: Throw yourself completely into something imaginative as a child. Turn a tree into a far away castle. Become consumed with drawing butterflies. In certain cases, this can arise from some kind of trouble. For example: Have your parents die at a young age. Move in with your aunt in the country, who’s very kind and old fashioned. She’s a wonderful cook. You watch her in the kitchen. You watch her make step four of a dosa.

Step four: Pour half a cup of dosa batter into the pan like a pancake. Spread into pan. Do not be alarmed if the dosa develops tiny holes as you spread the batter. This is normal.

Step five: Fall in love. Feel rejection. Fall out of love.

Step six: Baste the dosa with oil. When the upper surface begins to look cooked, flip the dosa. By this time, ideally, the surface that was underneath should be light golden in color. Like me. Allow to cook for one minute after flipping the dosa. Become tired of dosas. Allow your mind to wander. Meandering, your mind guides you to…  Continue reading

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