Last Meal: Madhur Jaffrey


This week, we asked Madhur Jaffrey, cookbook author (with a new memoir, Climbing the Mango Trees), actress, and all-around doyenne of fabulousness, to imagine a scenario for her last meal on earth. To our delight, she had given this matter plenty of thought already. And here’s what she told us:

“Strangely enough, I have thought about this. My imagination has always driven me wildly in all directions. Here I am in jail, for a crime I did not commit. (Naturally.) How do I occupy my time? I embroider. Not just a little feminine piece but some vast, wild, tapestry-sized thread painting, some manic masterpiece. (Naturally.)

“Now it is time for me to do the Dead man Walking thing. A priest approaches. I tell him I can handle it. Now I am asked, what I want for my last meal. Noodles, I say, noodles/pasta in any form. Something that slithers down the throat easily. They want me to define it further. OK, Ok, I say, how about freshly steamed south Indian rice noodles, idi appam, with a slightly sweet dressing of fresh coconut milk flavored with cardamom. They stare blankly at me. All right, I say, how about Japanese udon noodles in a light dashi, with a poached egg shimmering at the top? The blank look continues. Ok, Ok, I say, how about a simple broth with some seme di melone (melon seed pasta) in it. Another blank stare. What pasta can you give me? I ask. Spaghetti with meatballs is the gruff reply. It will be heavy, I think, but what the … I’ll take it, I say.”