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June 26, 1974 : Melbourne

Kurma: Today Prabhupada would show Dipak a special rich vegetable dish. He directed Dipak to cut eggplants into very large cubes - almost five centimeters square. Panir cheese was cut into similarly sized chunks. The potatoes were cut only slightly smaller. All were deep-fried in small batches in the pan of fresh hot ghee. Prabhupada stressed that the panir cheese had to be cooked until very dark brown. When the vegetables and panir cubes were all fried, Srila Prabhupada heated some ghee in a saucepan and deftly sprinkled in cumin seeds and crushed red chilies. As the spices darkened, he added a sprinkle of asafoetida and turmeric, and a small amount of finely cut fresh tomato. The pan sizzled, especially when Prabhupada poured in a few cups of fresh whey, the liquid residue from the panir cheese. He slid the potatoes and panir cubes into the pan, followed by the eggplant and salt, and simmered them slowly.

Next he heated another small pan, added some ghee and spices and the cooked potatoes and cauliflower from the steamer, and briefly sauteed them, pouring in a little water to form a gravy which thickened and stuck to form a sizzling crust. Ghee was heated in a third little pan, and cumin, chili and whole coriander seeds were heated, browned, and thrown crackling into the smooth, yellow dal soup. Srila Prabhupada finally spooned off the whole spice seeds from the simmering dal, then left for his massage and bath. After bathing, he re-entered the kitchen and cooked the first few chapatis which all obediently ballooned, emitting little puffs of steam as they reached bursting point.

Everything was done in exactly one and a half hours, including the massage and bathing. Srila Prabhupada finally sat down, the cooking class completed, and prepared to take his lunch. Pointing to the large, rich, dark chunks of fried panir cheese, now puffed and juicy from slow simmering in seasoned gravy, he smiled and looked up at Dipak. "You should cook this for the meat-eaters. They will very much appreciate. It is a 'meat-eater's delight'." For the cooks at the Melbourne branch of Srila Prabhupada's International Society for Krishna Consciousness, this was an historic culinary moment.

Reference: The Great Transcendental Adventure - Kurma Dasa