I started breaking my rules first thing in the morning. The one about eating a wholesome breakfast did not have a chance. I ate every delicious sinful thing I was offered and then reached for seconds.
Here are some of the morning meals I ate during my month in India; each of them can proudly claim to be the
- Batata vada at home. These homemade batata vadas had an irresistible spicy filling and a crisp golden shell.
- Batata vadas (again) and sabudana vadas (as big as grapefruits!) at the beloved Hotel Prakash in Shivaji Park, Dadar. I found a great description of this eatery in this post, complete with a look at the menu and a picture of their celebrated sabudana vada.
- Jalebi, ganthia and patra, bought fresh by an aunt. But who would be crazy enough to eat a lurid orange deep fried syrupy sweet at 8 AM?? Everybody, as it turns out. My aunt patiently explained to me that if you don't rush to this particular famous vendor as soon as you wake up, there will be no jalebis left for you.
- The classic redolent-with-ghee venn pongal and crisp-as-can-be medu vada combo, made by V's mom.
- Puri-chhole made by a dear aunt, followed by the most divine dessert, angoor rabdi. And after this breakfast, do you want to know what I had for lunch? Biryani. Seriously.
As I look at this list, I can see favorites from many regions of India- the first two are Maharashtrian classics, the third is a Gujarati favorite, the fourth is a taste of Tamilian festival food and the last is more North Indian.
What follows is another breakfast that my mother rustled up one morning. I took some pictures as she was making them and thought I would share this easy "recipe", if you can call it that. Eating samosas for breakfast feels pretty darn decadent but these are not half bad- in fact, you are using up leftover whole wheat rotis and pan-frying these little treats instead of deep-frying them. So this one is a good compromise between indulgence and nutrition.
All you need is some rotis. Whole wheat tortillas would be a perfect substitute. Choose any filling that you like- my mother made a quick one with onions, peas, potatoes and some spices. Leftover subzis would work just as well. To hold the samosas together, my mother uses a thick paste of chickpea flour (besan) in water, as a glue.
1. Cut chapatis (or whole wheat tortillas) into half. Place the filling in the center triangle of each half.
2. Fold in one side. Dab with the paste. You need less paste than is shown in the picture, actually.
3. Fold the other side and press down firmly.
4. Heat a pan with a drizzle of oil. Place samosas neatly around the pan. Cook on low-medium heat on each side until golden and crispy.
5. Eat ASAP!
The summer solstice is only a couple of days away, and I'm kicking off my not-so-light summer reading...
What are you reading these days?