Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Some memories and a mixed up Paratha

A decade ago, when I was young and innocent (I hear you tittering..) well, more innocent than I am now and when the world was Bombay / Mumbai and Hindi, the National Language, was (and still is , I believe) , " aneka, janeka, khaneka , pineyka, bOmb (as in shout out loud) nai marneka.." See what I mean here. I met a strange girl. Short and skinny. Haughty to the last drop and with a fringe on her forehead into which her eyebrows would disappear when she disapproved or was surprised, which was often. She was a Delhiite, no doubt about it!

Then one day something happened to melt that reserve..
Yep, that is the reason!! His name is Pittu Kulkarni !! He is 16 years old and SUPER cute! Occasionally Pittu would accompany me to college, he loves a ride in the car and when in the mood would perch on my shoulder and come with me. On these days my Mom came with me to bring him back home and the driver would tag along to drive them back.

As usual, a flock of gawking admirers would collect about him and he would , basking in the admiration, showoff , make noises, call me, yell for my Mom, ask for food, wave and say good-night and good morning, and his favourite, go off into a hysterical cackle!!! One day that girl also joined the throng outside the college and stared... eyes wide with wonder and eyebrows that had long disappeared into that fringe. Slowly she walked up, curious , wondering if the bird was real or a stuffed one, and was it the bird talking or was it the girl mimicking? Pittu on looking at her showed off some more and she smiled. After that we (Lisa is her name) became friends and later BESTEST friends.

She always  raised her eyebrows at my Bambaiyya Hindi.. Perhaps a  "aarey yaar, tereko  maloom hoyenga na woh rasta??  or " chal apan na uus baju se jate hain"  was  murder of the language, if you call it a language!! 

Someone sent me an email a few days ago, reading it I felt all Bambaiyya and remembered all those incidents 

You know you are from Mumbai when.....

Stock market quotes are the only other thing besides cricket which you follow passionately.

You take fashion seriously.

You spend more time travelling than you send at home. 9:47 fast, means something to you.

You think that Delhi copied INDIA GATE from Mumbai's GATEWAY OF INDIA...

You're suspicious of strangers who are actually nice to you.

You consider eye contact an act of overt aggression.

Amitabh Bachan's house is a landmark

When there's no place to breathe in the trains but there's place to play cards and sing bhajans!

You refer to the city as Mumbai and not Bombay .

You say that Pani Puri is waaaaaaay better than Gol Gappa's even when they're the same thing

Every three months you look at your street and say 'Why're the digging the road again?'

You actually pay for your rickshaws by the meter.

You know what the term 'video coach' stands for in the local trains...

'Gheun Tak' is your life ideology.

You aren't surprised when somebody throws a water balloon at you while you're walking on the streets during March.

You can only smile forgivingly about the size of any other city in the world.

Every time you speak Hindi in front of a Delhitite they have the WTF expression on their face.

When while giving directions you say 'Right MARO aur wahan pe ek bridge GIREGA'

You have hung on to dear life at the local door.

When you think everyone who lives to the south(Mumbai) of you is a snob and to the north of you sucks

When u see movie names like 'shootout at Lokhandwala' & 'Ek chalis ki last local' & don't have to ask what the name means

You consider the local train 'empty' when you find a spot for your two feet to stand on.

When 'chalta hai' is the most commonly used word

Everything to the north of Mumbai is UP-Bihar and everything below is Madras

If someone calls u 'aap'-- u start laughing on their faces...

When you call the BEST bus, BST, even though BEST is painted on every single public transport bus operational in Bombay

It takes longer to get off from your house to the station than from one end of Mumbai to another by train.

Being truly alone makes you nervous. Crorepati, Lakhpati, Hazarpati, Chillarpati all travel in local Trains daily-together!

You have learnt how to stand in a queue u treat Mumbai as a country itself when you actually see random people coming to help you

When u have a problem u want to get into the train already that is already in motion & u have 5 hands taking u in..

You are back to work next day after the city is bombed - Truly the spirit of Mumbai

When you allow complete strangers to spend the night in your house because its raining outside and half the city is submerged...

And now coming to the recipe!!! I was always a fan of Parathas and  fell deeply in love with them after my first visit to Lisa's home in Delhi! One one occasion I rolled out 'nice fulka like paper-thin parathas(??)' which was something I always remember with a chuckle!! 

At times I  take shortcuts as I did with this one and  also used up leftovers !! 

I tried these Wraps and had some tofu and beans and spinach left over. 

I am copy pasting the  recipe for the  Tofu marinade and the  Beans - Spinach vegetable, but for the original recipe, step by step instructions and spectacular pictures to make the wraps please  visit Suganya's blog – 1 cup


Coconut milk – 1 cup
Grated ginger – 1 tsp
Grated garlic – 1 tsp
Green chillies – 2, minced
Coriander powder – 1 tsp
Cumin powder – 1 tsp
Garam masala – 2 tsp
Sugar – ½ tsp

Tofu – 1 lb, cut into 6 pieces ( I used medium- firm)
Juice of a lemon

Sautéed Greens

Any greens like chard, spinach, or kale – 1 cup, chopped (I used Spinach)
Onion – 1 small, diced
Tomato – 1 small, diced
Cooked beans like black, pinto, or black-eyed peas – ½ cup (optional) (I used Pinto)
Red chilli powder – 1 tsp

Mix all the ingredients for the marinade and pour over tofu pieces. Let stand for at least 1 hour or overnight. Line a broiler-safe dish with foil. Drain tofu from the marinade and lay them in a single row. Reserve the marinade. Broil until the top of tofu develops brown spots and becomes blistered. Flip and broil the other side until brown spots appear. Let tofu rest for 5 minutes and cut into cubes. Coat the cubes in lemon juice and set aside.

Sauté onions, tomato, and greens until the greens are wilted. Add cooked beans, season with red chilli powder and salt.

While I enjoyed the wraps, I was not too keen on eating them the next day, so all I did was:

Used the mashed marinated Tofu
Mashed the beans and spinach mixture
Added salt, a hefty pinch Turmeric, 1/2 tsp (approx) red chile pwd. ,
1/2 tsp each cumin and coriander powder and a dash of lime juice.
To this mixture I added Wheat Flour and made a soft Dough.
Cover and let the dough rest for 20-30 mins.
Heat a tawah ,roll Parathas. Shallow fry with a bit of ghee /oil.
Serve hot with ketchup or pickle!
*the Wheat flour was  not measured, I used my judgement and  added only as much  as needed to yield a soft pliable dough.

These make a good quick meal, ideal for lunch boxes and are very healthy too!  The Tofu- Beans  combinaton  (I guess) make the parathas soft.
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  1. never been to mumbai but i had so much fun reading your post :)

  2. love the post.....brought back so many nice memories..I am from Delhi and went to architecture college in nashik..:) couldn't help but smile at the Delhi girl image..:)..I can relate to everything u have written !!!..

    needless to stay great recipe..I love parathas n always am looking for ways to use leftovers creatively.. this is for the keeps!! :)

  3. :D what a mazedaar post!
    as a dilli walli who lived in bombay for a couple of years, mostly hanging out with bambaiyyas, i can so so relate to what you wrote

    par iska matlab nahi samajh aya:
    treat Mumbai as a country itself when you actually see random people coming to help you

    really enjoyed it

  4. :)

    You are such a charmer, Manasi! Loved this post and the recipe.

    Hugs to you and the lil' one,

  5. Beautiful bird there, must be fun to have a pet like that! :))

    Mumbai sounds fun and scary as well. Only visited when it was Bombay once for a week of vacation in my life time. After I watched "Slumdog M" movie, I don't know what to think of that city unfortunately.

    Love the paratha. Enjoy your baby, my baby is almost ready for college! :D

  6. mansi, post mast ch aahe.

    Nice paratha

  7. I am from Mumbai/Bombay myself and I enjoyed your post so much, I laughed a lot when I got to your "Right MARON and wahan pe ek bridge Girega" LOL, such a typical remark I have heard so many times....brought back memories...

  8. I enjoyed reading ur blog and remembered my good old days in Mumbai....i love the city.Lovely paratha!

  9. nice post...such mumbai spirit! :) loved the parathas too

  10. Ha ha. That made me miss Bombay. It's been so long since I visited.

  11. That e-mail says it all! Having been a Bombayite my entire life, I can so relate to everything in your post.:D

  12. Apun toh bus aise eetch hai Manasi.Aapki ae post padke itnaa mazaa aaya,itnaa mazaa aaya ki pucho math.:D

  13. What a hilarious post Manasi.I can totally relate. Reminds me of a funny incident - we had guests over for dinner who are from the "north" & I kept urging my daughter "ghaas kha" (eat a morsel). They kept wondering why I was asking her to eat grass (ghaas in Hindi)!

  14. That was hilarious....and I knew exactly what it meant. I still remember my very good Tamil friend from Delhi used to make fun of bumbyya hindi of our whole group in college..."Kitna baja? " - what in the whole world it means? he would say!!:-D

  15. I'm laughing at the bridge girega :-)

    You should hear my mom and MIL communicate - both THINK they are speaking in Hindi :-) Amma in Bambaiya and my my MIL authentic Hyderabadi

  16. Hi Manasi,

    Although I don't of course, know all the ins and outs of Mumbai-isms, I know the feeling behind the post :) Loved the photo of Pittu, what a dear! And mashed marinated tofu in parathas is something to try, for sure.

    Wishing you a very Happy, if belated, New Year :)

  17. Manasi, Meera told me about your Medhu vada maker and I came here to check it out. Looks lot sturdier and all steel, will look for it in the web to buy. Mine is very delicate and will probably break after few uses! :D

  18. lovely post Manasi. and pittu too:)
    so sweet. seems you are real busy cooking!! hugs!

  19. first time here......liked what i saw n this post was hilllllarious........i am a dilliwali right now n enjoyed it.........the wrap n the paratha both are perfect.

  20. Hi,

    there is difference between Golgappa and Panipuri. They are not same.

    While Golgappa is traditionally served with chilled water and Panipuri with water at room temprature.

    Second difference is the filling. Golgappa is filled with a mixture of potato/ black chana and panipuri with lukewarm matra.

    Over the years i have started loving panipuri more


    Manish Grover


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