Thursday, November 5, 2009

Food Wrapped in Memories

A tag, after a really really long time. And one that I am doing, because it seems like fun. Food is a such a HUGE passion in my life. D, tagged me for this one, and has herself done an amazingly good job with the tag, which says, I must write about -
"Five memorable meals ever eaten: It could be anything that makes the meal memorable - the food, the place, the place you were in your life when you ate, the company, the weather, the ambiance - heck, the guy who served the food!"
The first thought that came to my mind, when I read the tag, was the poori-sabzi at Itarsi railway station. When I lived in the hostel, Itarsi was a station on my way home. Itarsi would be reached somewhere in the middle of the night, but never once did I or my friends, miss eating the steaming hot dish. It tasted especially delicious on winter nights. The fact that the sabzi, was plain curry, and rarely did one find any pieces of aloo in it or that the pooris were shaped like nothing defined in geometry was never of any consequence. I miss the poori-sabzi of Itarsi, in fact so much, that the one and only time, after college, that I passed through the station, i made the GP, who was not yet a papa then, get us a few plates.

The next memory, is again from my hostel days, and its plain and simple Masala Maggi. Back home, I had never had Maggi, the way it is meant to be eaten. My mother prepared a yummy and nutritious dish, which resembled noodles more than Maggi, with chopped vegetables, and scrambled eggs, the packets of masala were never ever opened. It was in the hostel that I was first introduced to the true taste of Maggi. Midnight Maggi during exams, or late night gossip session, Maggi when the mess was closed, Maggi when we wanted a change of taste, hot steaming Maggi Masala. I have been hooked ever since. And the memories attached to it, will remain for a lifetime.

The next one is a dish, not so much a meal. It was a special sweet my naani (maternal grandmother) used to make for me. I don't know the recipe, and i don't even want to give it a try, for the fear of spoiling the memory I have of it, but I do indeed loved those sweets. It took her hours of patiently sitting on the chulha(used for its slow heat) to stir and prepare the batter. Once done it would be put on the intricate moulds, which too had been made by her. The sweet needs to be tasted to be appreciated. She made them for me every chance she got, when i visited her, when she visited us, when I was leaving after a vacation, if anyone she knew was going to come to our town, or if my father visited her during one of his business trips, a box of those sweets were assured for me. Chocolate Mishti is what I called them.

Samosas at the small canteen in college, is another one of my absolute favourites. I am an absolute samosa fan. Anywhere, anytime and I am game for them. But the ones in that particular canteen of college, my mouth waters at the very mention of them, besides the many warm memories, of sitting around with friends, chomping on the hot steaming things, and then emptying out pockets to pay for them. I wonder though if those samosas would taste half as good, if I just went there and had it today.

A valentine dinner at Kamling, with the GP, back in the days when we were completely broke, and it was our first valentine after marriage. Kamling is a reasonably priced Chinese restaurant in South Bombay, and I really wanted to dine there. However, the prices were a bit too steep for us back then, and we ordered by looking more at the prices, than the dishes. But it was an amazing feeling just sitting there, in the dim light, after a tiring day at work, just the DH and me, our first valentine post marriage. We had both surprised each other with roses, picked up on the way to the restaurant. the meal was followed by a nice walk along the Marine Drive. I have been to Kamling, many times ever since, but never enjoyed as much. the food though is amazing, and a must do for all Chinese lovers.

Most people I know have already done this tag, so I am passing it on to anyone who wants to take it up.


Anonymous said...

home-made food - The best.
But I remember Naani used to prepare makhane wali daal - awesome.

Sraboney said...

I don't many memories of good meals as such, but I do remember the food served at my boarding school because it was abs. fantastic!

Shruti SriHarsha said...


hitch writer said...

Suddenly you reminded me of more memorable meals... !!!! the Sabudana vada of my college every thursday.. !! and the poori bhaaji on Surat Station !!!!! yum !!!

and there is one station on way to Delhi.. Bayana where they serve Kachori's with Aloo ki Subzi... ! oohh la la.. !!!!

this is a real killer tag !!!!!!!

I can so imagine ur scene at Kamling... I have had such a moment... !!!! sigh...

Anonymous said...

Maggi Masala is my favourite too! :-) Nice yummy post! :-D

Solilo said...

GM, I am laughing out loud here. What a coincidence!

you know why? Because Itarsi station's Poori-Aloo was one of my fav. travel food as a kid. As soon as we boarded train, I waited for Itarsi station to come. Can't forget those days ever. Who knows may be we crossed path back then. :)

D said...

A tag well done, thank you :)

Smitha said...

Such wonderful memories GM! There are some tastes that can never be replicated, no matter how much we try! And you have made me drool with all those descriptions! I have to go bake a samosa to satisfy my craving now :)

Passionate Goof said...

Hobo - Yumm indeed!

Bones - Really? A boarding school with good food, that's something new.

Shruti - I know. ;)

Hitchy - So go ahead, and do a sequel!

T3 - Total comfort food wouldn't you say. If only there was no MSG in it!

Sols - I know, maybe we did. For me it was a love affair that began in college, uff, how yummy it is!!

D - :)

Smitha - He he he. I know what you mean, hope you enjoyed the samosas!

Shalom said...

I haven't done this & being a foodie, cannot pass this up. Will post on this soon!!!

Pixie said...

Hoemmade food - mom's and grandmom's cooking is always the bestest of the lot!

The samosas sound delicious!! Yum!

We used to always order dishes by looking at the prices back in college or when we started working first and salaries were really low! But, that had its own fun and those memories are precious! :)

Enjoyed reading thru this

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Manan said...

Nice to know there are fellow fans of Itarsi station's puri aloo. It was almost like a religious duty late in nights when I was studying in Bangalore and used to travel to Delhi on Karnataka Express.. Nostalgia!!