rums has put me in a tight spot.i have many favourite foods.to select 10 of them becomes a wee bit difficult.it has taken me some time to put down my favourites.because I have been asking myself, "do i really like this more than that" and so on and so forth.
almost 25% of my life was spent in kolkata.15% in bangalore and the balance 60% in mumbai.logically,gujju and maharashtrian food should be on top of the list.but it isn't.it does feature,no doubt.
the top ten are:
1)luchi and aalu dum:-staple breakfast of most bengalis.luchi is puri made out of maida.aalu dum is big chunks of potatoes in thick gravy with terrific spices that gives you a good morning kick.
2)begun bhaja:now excuse me for my bong leanings.but,i just love the way nicely sliccd brinjals are fried and served.i had the temerity to ask for it in a turkey restaurant in dusseldorf and even got it.that is their version.
3)methi parantha: normally served at home during dinner time and our cook gb does a great job of it.i love the aroma of methi when it is being cooked even more than the parantha.
4)makki di roti,sarson da sag: when we lived in hill park most of our neighbours were sardars coincidentally.bindi and mikki and dilli.that is when i got introduced to this terrific combination.you get moth makki and sarson in koliwada,a sardar dominated area,but then the taste is never as good as when you eat in the house of my terrorist friends.
4)chana bathura: i simply love it.in the earlier days it used to be kailash parbat from where we used to get it,then s started making it at home and when i worked for shri kkb,i used to visit delhi very often and our resident director would take me for lunch to the delhi gym where i would order for chana bathura.
5)samosas: i can live on them.i can have them for b'fast,lunch and dinner and i don't tire out.i used to be very fond of singara.in fact i still am but good punjabi samosa which you get in kailash parbat takes the cake.
6)paavbhaaji:bal thackeray would throw me out of mumbai if i do not add paavbhaji or vadapav to my list.between the two paavbhaji any day.at taj you get excellent paavbhaji.gb has become an expert of sorts as s also likes it and atleast once a week it pops up on the breakfast table.
7)adai: now that is a toughie and a surprise.joker among the pack of cards.it is hard to make.the taste is also like a few others which i am going to list a bit acquired.a combination of tuvar,udad and chana dals soaked overnight in water and with boiled rice like for idli or dosa,allowed to ferment for 48 hours and then the dough to be put on a pan and fried like dosa.eaten with jaggery it is a very filling b'fast.if you want to skip lunch,two of these will see you through the day comfortably.
8)morkali: now this is an unusual tamil nadu rural breakfast.rice flour with buttermilk made into a dough and heated over a small flame like you prepare upma.add salt,asfoetida,red mirchi and udaddal kadka.
9)pongal: most of the days in the month of margazhi(mid dec-mid jan),i prepare it myself and offer it for worship before partaking of it.andal's thirty verses,thiruppavai,are chante every day during this month.if cooked well,with the right constituents,it is heavenly.
10)rajbhog/sandesh: i began with a bong item and i have ended with one.i truly love rajbhog.not rosagolla but rajbhog.and sandesh too.rosagolla is supposed to be for the masses and sandesh for the classy.rajbhog is at a higher plane.rums,correct me if i am wrong.
i have left out busi bhele hulianna, dhoklas,undhiyu,kadi,panipuri,bhel,jhalmuri etc.i like them too.for instance,when iam in kolkatta every evening around 6 in my office,my peon will get me jhalmuri without my asking for it.he knows my weakness for muri.and the same applies in mumbai when bhel will arrive on my table automatically! . no chinese or italian or greek food for me. hum hain asli desi.
do we eat to live or live to eat? if one reads this blog one would think here is a gourmand!