September 27, 2011

The old monk who sold his rum.

So the story goes, there was once an old monk who lived in one of those lands that are always so far far away. He was a travelling monk. He had denounced all worldly pleasures and used to roam around the land. He was given food by kind people. He was dressed sparsely, a simple saffron robe protecting him from the elements of nature. He never spoke much and only uttered a few chants to bless the people who gave him food. But he could always be seen muttering something under his breath, maybe prayers.

He walked most of the time, head bent low and arms swinging on his sides. He only carried with him a saffron-coloured cloth bag, in which he kept all the things he owned in this world- a string of prayer beads, a notebook, a pencil carved out of wood and a bottle of rum. The rum kept him warm during the harsh winter days and nights. He made it himself. His forefathers had taught him how to.

One day, when he was out on one of his walks, he passed by an inn. He was stopped short by the heavenly fragrance of something delicious being cooked. He generally didn’t give in to temptations like this. He was a monk, after all. But this time, he couldn’t resist. He walked into the inn and up to the manager.

“What is that heavenly scent wafting from your kitchens, oh good man?”

“That is the scent of a new dish that we’ve discovered, oh monk.”

“What new dish?”

“It is made of rice and chicken mixed together, with spices and other things. It’s called Chicken Biryani.”

“Would you be so kind as to let me savour it, good man?”

“But of course! I cannot refuse a pious man like you! Please have a seat.”

As the inn-keeper walked out of the kitchen with a plateful of Biryani, his wife, who had overheard the whole conversation, flew into a rage and hissed at her husband. “What do you think you’re doing?! The rice and chicken, and especially the spices, are very expensive. We spent a lot of money on buying the stuff. How can you just give it away for free??!!"

“But dear woman, he is a monk. I cannot take anything from him. Plus, I don’t think he carries any money with him.”

“I don’t care. I cannot give it away for free.”

The inn-keeper reluctantly walked up to the monk with the heaped plate and told him shame-facedly “Oh good monk, please pardon me. But my wife is unwilling to give this dish away for free, as it cost us a lot to prepare. We would require payment for this.”

“But I do not have any money.”

“I understand, oh monk. Is there anything else you can give in exchange?”

The monk rummaged in his bag and pulled out the only thing he could bear parting with- his bottle of rum. He handed it over to the inn-keeper, who accepted it gratefully.

“Thank you, good old man. I hope you enjoy your meal.”

The monk took a bite. He closed his eyes and let the taste of the dish sink in. He seemed to be at peace. “This is delicious. Would you mind pouring me a bit of that rum too, dear inn-keeper?”

And that’s how the monk sold his rum. He passed on the recipe to the inn-keeper,who perfected the art of making it and named it after the person who has sold it to him. Old Monk Rum.

And that’s why, to this day, Chicken Biryani tastes best with a bit of Old Monk Rum.

P.S:- No offence to monks, sages, any community, religion, or class of people. I request you to take this with a pinch of salt and a plateful of yummy Biryani.

*To know the actual story, kindly go Google it up. And send me a link if you find it.*

Dedicated to a certain somebody for introducing me to the Old Monk.

*Images courtesy Google.


  1. 60 ml of Old monk, an equal mix of coke and water and a dash of lemon is what it takes to believe in God.

  2. I'm an eggitarian, and i don't drink (yet)

    So i cannot but apprehend the depth of this post, oh mallu woman!.

    but nicely written haan.

  3. Lol that was indeed a hilarious brainwork by you young lady!!
    How i hate rum and brandy be it JDF.!
    How i hate rum and brandy be it J

  4. hahahahaha..i must say..your imagination has a taken a delightful flight of fancy..:-):-):-):-) though i am yet to savour the flavour of the old monk :p
    nice read girl..!

  5. Old Monk does wonders to your imagination :D
    And I have yet to try it with Chicken Biryani, maybe now I will.

  6. @Arun: Amen.

    @kalpak: Dhanyawaad, oh Kalpak guruji. :P

    @Red Handed: Thanks! :) Give Old Monk a try some day. :P

    @The guy in the mirror: Thanks! :) I just hope the original creators don't read this! :/

    @meoww: Thanks! :) Do try it. It took time for me to accept it. But now it's kinda grown on me. Plus it's so much cheaper than vodka!

    @Purba: Ah yes, you should give it a try. But then, I'll have chicken biryani with just about anything, so don't just take my word for it. :)
    Thanks for dropping by! :) I get absolutely thrilled when I see a comment from you.

  7. what a delightful fable - and the truth be said - Old Monk ( best had in the form clearly mentioned in the first comment in the initial few pegs; after that it really doesn't matter!) and biryani is man's / woman's (too) answer to all unanswered questions of the universe .... the answer is out there!!! Just loved it!!

  8. Ha...Like pizza and wine..Kappa and Kallu..Chicken Biriyani and Rum...It was a "gyaan" post.I'll try it with veg biriyani.

    P:S:Love the new look of the blog,especially the header.Super cool.Hate you for reading my mind about adding a new page to my blog.

  9. @Nirvana: :D Thanks! Join the club!

    @Blue Lotus: Eeeeeeeee!!!! Thanks! :) I've been wasting my entire afternoon in redoing the template. So glad you liked it! :)
    I made the header all by myself. Yay! :) For someone as technologically-challenged as I am, that's a big deal, you know.

  10. Lovely piece of creativity, uniqueness and interest :)

  11. now tell us who invented raita? :P


    do visit mine

  12. I love this tale!!! SO AWESOME!! :)

    The story made me miss hyderabadi chicken biryani terribly :( :( :( :( :( :( Picture made it worse :(

    I love old monk by the way ;) awesome it is :D

    Superb post.

  13. I have never tried the two together! Will do soon! Thanks for the tip! :D

  14. LOL...A monk who sold his rum and the recipe...:)


  15. Wow! What a back story to Biryani and Old Monk Rum.. Smart, creative and funny. Loved it!

  16. Wow! First time I am getting to hear a girl loving dark rum. For the Nov-Dec chill in Hyderabad, rum is good. But an even better choice would be skotch whisky. A 90ml of skotch whiskey neat (no water.. a little cold water, if u insist).. the molten gold with the good ol hyderabadi biryani would be perfect. This was my welcome meal in HiTech city last week.. superb it was..try it this winter if you can

  17. What a lovely tale of monk, biriyani and rum! Now tell me the truth, weren't you high on Old Monk when you wrote this? What else explains the magical 'Monkiness' to the post? :D

    Super read!

  18. *Same pinch*

    I thought I was the only one savoring chicken biryani with Rum. Though I started consuming it on purely economic basis, I'm now hooked to it. And how much do take..??
    I need atleast a "Quater" for Lord Vishnu to come say cheers to me.
    And have u tasted it with Lemon pickle..?? If not, go try it.
    Nothing tastes better with alcohol than a packet of 1Re lemon pickel.

    P.S: I know the spelling of Quarter.
    A Quarter is 1/4th of a Full &
    a Quater is 180ml of alcohol...;p

  19. @The life-a-holic: Thanks! :)

    @CRD: Ah, well. Let me do some 'research'. :P

    @Srinidhi: Thanks. :) The biryani is one of the main reasons I can't bring myself to leave Hyderabad. I've put on so much of weight because of it, you know!

    @Loony: Do try and let me know. :)

    @Saru: It was the inn-keeper who sold the recipe. To another travelling monk in exchange for vodka. But that's another story. :P

    @Vineeth: Thanks! :)

    @Musings: I don't like whiskey at all. And biryani is an all-seasons dish. Even in the terrible heat of winter, I have relished it with o qualms whatsoever.

    @Destiny's Child: I wish I was high when I wrote it. It would've been a more elaborate fable then. :P But no, I wrote this in office. To be honest, this title had been running around in my head for many days. So I thought why not build a story around the title. :)

    @Kanthu: Same pinch. Even I switched to it for economic reasons. And then started liking it. Not hooked to it yet, though. :) I haven't tasted it with lime pickle yet. WIll try it soon.
    'Quater' sounds so much more fun than 'quarter'. :D

  20. i love creative and nice title too.

  21. That is a one well woven story whether true or not. Old monk rum n biryani, now have to try that combination soon. I am soon headed for Biryani land so shall happen soon ...

  22. @Rituparna: Oh do try it out. Thanks! :)

  23. sigh :( me drinks but not eat non-veg :(

    but, cheers to the monk ;)


  24. @Chintan: Cheers! ;)

    @The mind behind the mindless lampoons (whew!!) : Thank you. :)

  25. Hi Just followed your blog :) :) This one was absolutely hilarious :) :) Keep it on :) :)i won't drink or eat non veg !! but loved the narration of the post :) :) Old monk rum owners will make this as promotional strategy :P :P

  26. @RAVISHANKAR: Hey thanks! :) And I'm sure Old Monk owners know better than to pick up a screw-loose's story. :p

  27. Rum is always a Malayalis fav drink. No Samshayams. And I HAVE tried this combo. But the thing is 2 ennam veeshiyal thannae njan nalla formil aavum. After that eatng the Biriyani is more like a gobbling contest than a gourmet dinner for me.

  28. I got around to reading this only now. Hats off. My favorite combo as well. :)

  29. Got around to reading this only now. Awesome. :)

    My favorite combo as well. :D

  30. Listen to the new old monk anthem:


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