Apart from travelling one of my major passions is-any guesses?- FOOD! I am an absolute foodie. I like food so much that it loves me back (oh yes, I collect flabs like nobody’s business).I think this love for food was passed down to me from my parents. My Dad can never resist the deadly combo of soft fluffy appams and spicy beef varuthadu, and he’ll eat puttu at any time of the day. My mom on the other hand loves experimenting with new cuisines. So growing up in a household where food plays such a significant role, It was but natural that I follow suit.
My father’s job had us moving from place to place every three years. So apart from making a lot of friends, and seeing a lot of places, I also got to experience a wide range of culinary delights. One of the earliest food stuff I remember slurping over is- Momo
I first tasted these delectable Indian ‘dim-sums’ in Bagdogra (West Bengal). Spicy hot momos on a cold day with the special sauce that they give-Ah,an ideal snack! Another memorable dish that West Bengal gave me was ‘Mishti Doi’. A favourite among Bengalis and non-bengalis alike, Mishti Doi is a yogurt based sweet. Ideal on a hot summer day.
After Bagdogra came Pune. The Maharshtrian snacks had me fall in love all over again. Vada Pav was a favourite in our family. We used to have trips to eat these yummy Batata(potato) stuffed pavs(Bread) almost every week.
It was also in Pune that I developed my love for Chaat- pani puri, masala puri you name it, and I’ve had it.
Another weekend soul-food was Pav-Bhaaji. I can’t even begin to describe the joy that I feel while dipping a crisp golden brown pav into the delicious bhaaji with butter melting on it. *sigh*
Bangalore offered to me Bissi Bele Baath(roughly translated as hot lentil Rice)- have it when you have the flu, I guarantee you nothing will make you feel better, not even chicken soup.
It was here (at New Sree Krishna Sagar fast food hotel ) that I began to enjoy Idlis(steamed rice cake) and Dosas(A thinner and crispier version of pancakes). Till then I had ‘experienced’ just what my mother made at home (Umma, I am joking...Seriously)
I remember those ‘dosa and hot filter coffee’ breakfasts after our long weekend family walks( the length of which we kids spend grumbling and whining. Bilal: ‘I am going back now’. Me: ‘I am tired! How much more are we gonna walk now?’ and shereef: ‘Uppa, can we stop at the next restaurant please? They have really good food there I heard.’
Growing up in a Muslim household I’ve got to taste quite a lot of Muslim delicacies. Especially during Eids and trips to grandma’s place. I know the first thing that would have popped into your mouth..oops..Head would be ‘Biriyani’. But, funnily, I never really like it much. I think the biriyani-craze is clichéd. Unless you are talking about Hyderbadi-biriyani which is just fabulous.
My favourite ‘grandma’s recipe’ dish would be Pathiri and Koyi curry with thenga pal. Didn’t get a word did you? Well it is flattened bread made of rice dough, chicken curry and coconut milk, In that order. This combo is just too good. The coconut milk takes the dish to whole new high. Ah my taste buds are going to revolt if I describe it more without any supply.
I have had such good times having pathiri-eating races with my brothers. Shereef always the wins, obviously. That guy has a pit for a stomach. And a body which refuses to convert it into flabs. *Sniff* Life is not fair.
Then there also some dishes which my mom learnt by virtue of being a defence-wife. One of the best things she could have learnt is Aloo Parantha.
I could kiss the feet of whoever invented this dish. My family loves it so much that when mom’s cooking this we argue over the order in which we are going to eat. So the parantha lands straight from the tawa into our salivating mouths. Breaking the order is a serious offence and could result in fights which may get physical. (Umm..I don’t..um…fight…I am not lying!)
There are many more dishes that I crave, now that I am away from home, but if I write another word about it my brain will go into overdrive and my taste buds will fuse.
My stomach is grumbling now, I guess all this talk about food has made it (ok me) hungry.
So good bye for now!
Oh, forgot to mention, the most authentic Indian food is what you get at Dhaabas and thattukadas. Seriously, nothing can beat their food!