There is a common phrase teachers from India use when a student does not understand something – “Why can’t you understand me? Am I talking in Greek or Latin?”
And then throughout the school life, every Indian comes across a lot of words derived from Greek and about ancient Greek mathematicians, scientists and philosophers. This is how a lot of Indians are familiar to Greece. Being a foodie, I have tried Greek Salad in India but I have no idea how authentic it is.
Enter Nassia Rizaki! Nassia is my first friend from Greece. She is my friend Pratiksha, Priya, Usman Bhai and Hasnain Bhai’s WG mates. And it does not matter which country who is from, one of the things I say is, “Tell me more about food from your country” because I believe that the best way to try authentic food is either by visiting the country itself or asking someone from that respective country to make it for you.
One day I just happened to go to Pratiksha’s place and I saw Nassia dining with her mother and two other friends. They were all really courteous to ask me and Pratiksha to join them for lunch. I saw Gemista – baked capsicums with rice like kind of item filled inside it. Being a shameless person when it comes to food, I said an instant yes when she called me and took a bite of it. It was hot, it was spicier than all the German food I had been having, and hence, it tasted really good to me. They were all friendly and we had a lovely time engaging in some nice conversation about Indian and Greek culture.
Today, on the day of writing this, I got invited over for dinner. This time it was her father who had come to visit her. He is a nice man with sweet words for each and everyone who were present there. The two friends of Nassia whom I had met earlier greeted me with New Year wishes. They also made mushroom pie called Manitaropita. I have a lot of friends back in India who love mushrooms like me. I am sure they would have finished the entire tray themselves. It was that good! Nassia had made Spanakopita – a spinach pie. I have hardly had spinach after coming to Munich. I used to have it often back home in India. I cannot express in words how happy I am. I had two pieces of both, Spanakopita as well as Manitaropita. I feel like Popeye again. Nassia’s Hungarian WG mate Kimbu had made Choco-Banana Cake which was at its lip smacking best. Hasnain Bhai’s Chhole and Kheer, and Pratiksha and Priya’s Shahi Paneer were impeccable just like any other dish they make. Thanks a lot all of you!
And special thanks to Nassia, her family and her friends for having me invited on multiple occasions. They are lovely people to spend time with and get introduced to new things. I am looking forward to many more delicious Greek food from Nassia and visiting Greece in the near future.