The reason why I started reading this series is because of the title of the third book The Case of the Butter Chicken. Butter Chicken is one of our favourite mild curries in this house, and with a title like that I instantly thought of Weekend Cooking possibilities! I can't knowingly read a series out of order so I had to start at the beginning with this book! Having said that, there were plenty of times when I was reading this book when I found myself salivating at the sound of the Indian food that was being described.
Vish is a man of hearty appetite, with a taste for extremely hot chillis which he grows himself. At one point he acknowledges that "he had turned into a capsicum junkie and occasional dealer" in his quest for hotter and hotter chillis!
Anyway, here is the first glimpse that we get of Vish:
Vish Puri, founder and managing director of Most Private Investigators Ltd. sat alone in a room in a guesthouse in Defence Colony, south Delhi, devouring a dozen green chilli pakoras from a greasy takeaway box.Expect to hear more about Vish Puri in future Weekend Cooking posts.
Puri was supposed to be keeping off the fried foods and Indian desserts he so loved. Dr Mohan had 'intimated' to him at his last check-up that he could no longer afford to indulge himself with the usual Punjabi staples.
"Blood pressure is up, so chance of heart attack and diabetes is there. Don't do obesity," he'd advised.
Puri considered the doctor's stern warning as he sank his teeth into another hot, crispy pakora and his taste buds thrilled to the tang of salty batter, fiery chilli and the tangy, red chutney in which he had drowned the illicit snack. he derived a perverse sense of satisfaction from defying Dr. Mohan's orders.
Still, the fifty-one-year-old detective shuddered to think what his wife would say if she found out he was eating between meals - especially 'outside' food that had not been prepared by her own hands (or at least by one of the servants).
Keeping this in mind, he was careful not to get any incriminating grease spots on his clothes. And once he had finished his snack and disposed of the takeaway box, he washed the chutney off his hands and checked beneath his manicured nails and between his teeth for any tell-tale residue. Finally he popped some sonf into his mouth to freshen his breath.
All the while, Puri kept an eye on the house across the way and the street below.