Monday, July 6, 2015

Five tastes of paradise

To start with, I do not live to eat. I prefer eating what I like to see or smell. I have sampled everything that has found it sway to my plate and as a rule, I hardly ever waste food. I respect food but I don't live in it. There have been only five occasions when I have not had just enough of a sampling. I don't mind going back, every now and then, for another taste of these.

The full, tall glass of Punjab seems more a threat to the uninitiated. It is actually a great reference for the attitude of the people of Punjab. Large-hearted, loud laughter and a large appetite. I dare you to down a full glass at one go. If you do, the next glass is on me!

This harmless-looking eatery at the heart of old Amritsar was where I sampled, much more than fair share of, the stuffed soya kulchas. Needless to say, I avoided the joint for the rest of my visit but I have found myself itching for a sample every now and then.

Having fasted an entire day during the holy month of Ramzan, during my visit to Hyderabad a few years ago, I was led to this little place next to a Parsi bakery (another mouth-watering memory sans images) and opposite the Hyderabad Biryani House. I found this preparation rather odd and was informed that it was "Haleem". Halal meat is used for this preparation and the meat is cooked overnight on a slow flame and then tempered through the morning hours. It is only by later afternoon, a few hours before the fast is to break that the meal is finally ready. This is not a dish to be taken at face value, loaded with spices and fat, even a small amount is quite filling.

During my visit to the Konaseema in Andhra Pradesh this year, I discovered pure joy for my sweet tooth. Prepared of rice flour roasted as paper thin sheets and stuffed with jaggery and nuts, this unique sweet dish a speciality of the region and is quite the taste for me. A hint of saltiness followed by a burst of sweetness and the crumpling texture of the rice flour sheets. Sigh!

My friendly neighbourhood fix. On the way to the Banke Bihari Temple in Vrindavan, I always stop by this gentleman's shop for amazing pedhas. Prepared from condensed milk and jaggery, this sweet is mainly taken as an offering to the God, who in turn is merciful to me and forgives, unlike my waist, the extra packet I carry just for myself.

No comments:

Post a Comment