So, as I cross the very prominently attention seeking Abhishek Zaveri Dance school everyday, with its thick red typeface staring boldly at passers by under the orange lights in the middle of a glum and otherwise quiet residential little lane, I imagine people trying to dance like Kareena Kapoor. Pelvic thrusts, pouts and lightning fast hip movements.
Its also that time of the day (night) when my stomach is growling for something slightly better than sandwiches, pizzas, subs, egg bhurji..and I hope you get the drift. That’s the time when I desperately wait for a miracle from some very enterprising women who have transformed the way a Kitchen functions.
Bombay and the people of Bombay (viz. the maid, my aunt, canteen walas, roadside vendors) have ensured that my palate of tastes expand to include some of the following delicacies, which I obviously would not have discovered in any other part of the world.
Non Veggies of the world, its not really THAT sad that all of what you’ll notice below will be vegetarian. Veggies – Rejoice
First up on my list is Dal Pakwaan: If you have a Sindhi friend, which most people in Bombay seem to have, you’d have probably tasted this dish. I first tasted this at the insistence of my cousin in Pune, more so because I had never tasted anything ‘Sindhi’. Deep fried crispy savory ‘Pakwaan’ is served with regular ‘chana ki dal’ cooked with tomatoes, onions and spices. Some spicy green coriander chutney is served as a topping for the Dal and your’re set for a lazy Sunday brunch at home. That’s Dal Pakwan for you – and as my new found Sindhi friend puts it – its the yummiest Sunday meal.
So as much as a love hate relationship I share with her, I must say that maids, when they want and if encouraged enough, can rustle up yummy stuff.
Jowari Roti and Besan Bakdi (stuff I didn’t even know names of) are latest additions to my favourite meals. Jowar roti is self explanatory. Besan bakdi is a sort of gooey besan preparation tempered with veggies and spices, served hot with the roti. Sheer Yum.
Not a big fan of Maharashtran cuisine, I’d definitely make an exception for Puran Poli and Amti. The former is a form of sweet paratha, with a filling of jaggery and sugar if I’m not mistaken. The latter is like tangy dal. (If you people are looking for references/recipes/images, kindly utilise God’s Own Google)
Makes for superb hot dinner.
Last on my list would be, Dal Khichdi. Every small restaurant in Bombay will offer this basic hot meal. A combination of hot dal and khichdi, with some ghee, you can’t fill yourself with something yummier and healthy if you’re eating out on a daily basis.
Ofcourse there’s always wada pav, and my favourite thing in the world – Pani Puri.
Though, has anyone ever wondered why women like chaat so much more than men?