Category Archives: India

Day 21 – Paranthas and Memories

I have a lot of good memories connected to Paranthas. Yummy plain triangle parantha with a bowlful of delicious subzi. Or stuffed Paranthas with a generous dollop of butter. I really love them all.

I remember going and staying at my maternal grandparents house during all my school breaks. One week was always reserved for staying over there. Even though we lived in the same city, overnight stays were rare during regular school year. So my grandparents had made it mandatory for us to choose one week and stay there.

My mum is the youngest amongst her 3 siblings. She has an elder brother and sister. My maasi (aunt) has 2 daughters (R &S) who are both older to me and my mama (uncle) has a daughter(M) who is younger than me.The 4 of us have always been pretty close. While R was a little older to us, S and me were the closest in age and we were thick as thieves. So we would choose a week which all of us could spare and go for the stay together. The more the merrier !!

You know growing up in India, how each season has a special bond with a particular food/vegetable/fruit. It was not the time of the big supermarket chains. So we all waited for winter when the seasonal vegetables were many and in abundance. I still remember going to the vegetable market with my dadu(grandpa) and during winters there was a special energy and happiness around. Of course my innocence would associate the happiness with Christmas and Santa but with age I have realized that winter was the time the vegetables were fresh and cheap. Anyway I think I have digressed enough to make you forget what I was saying. Did I even start yet ?? Yes it’s about memories and Paranthas !!!

During these breaks, our grand parents would indulge us with a lot of delicacies. I remember we would have a lot of different types of pickles in the afternoon lazing in the warm sun. Of course lunch would be typical dal, chaawal, subzi and some fish. These never got our attention as much as our grandma would like but it was the dinner that would have us drooling since evening.

Everyday would be a different kind of parantha. Somedays it was stuffed. You name it and we would have it – alu, gobi, muli, methi, palak, paneer, keema to name a few. Of course she would also make plain triangle, square parantha somedays with her special subzi. It’s amazing how just a bite of parantha takes me to those cold winter nights when we would sit in a circle on the floor and dida(grandma) would serve us those delicious goodness. I can almost still smell them. Hear the laughter and the conversation. Feel the slight chill. It’s really magical how a little smell, taste can take you to a different era of your life.

While I’am not the ‘those-good-old-days’ type of a person but sometimes I miss our simple childhood pleasures. So during Daughter’s winter break I decided to make paneer parantha for a Saturday brunch. And even though it wasn’t anything like the ones I remember from childhood but I know dida would be proud. While the taste was a wee bit different, happiness was the same. While the effort was a little too much for a weekend morning but still there was a satisfaction in serving Daughter with something wholesome. As for the memories, we decided to make some new ones when Daughter helped me make the paranthas 🙂 .

2015/01/img_1665.png The paneer balls for the stuffing.

2015/01/img_1666-0.pngIt’s easier to evenly spread the mixture if you put the ball in the centre and then make a ball and gently flatten it.

2015/01/img_1667-0.png Put a generous amount of stuffing so that there is filling in each bite.

2015/01/img_1668-0.png Please excuse the poor shape !!

2015/01/img_1669-0.pngYummy !!!

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Leaving for India

The bags are packed. The refrigerator sits empty. The brain is working overtime trying to think if anything is missed. Most of the lists are checked. Yes you guessed it right. We are leaving for India tomorrow. Actually we are flying on Friday but tomorrow we are leaving for New Jersey. We will be flying from JFK this time. God the fares between Pittsburgh and JFK vary greatly. So this time we had decided we will drive to NJ a day before and stay the night at a good-friend-of-ours place. We will keep our car there and go to JFK the next morning.

It is going to be exactly 3 years since we have been to India. We all our so excited, especially Daughter. Have bought her 3 new Mercy Watson books for the journey. Keeping her away from them has been difficult but I have assured her that she will be thankful once she gets the new books during the long travel. Apart from books, the iPad and dvd player should take care of the nonstop 14 hour flight. How I hate flights are a thing that I don’t want to get in today. I am too excited to spoil my mood.

Yesterday was Daughter’s kindergarten registration. We went to the school and got all the formalities done. She was super excited, more so because she found out one of her daycare friend would go to the same school. The greatest part for me was the activities that they have lined up for the kindergarteners are on dates after we get back. So that was a huge relief. It was a big day for us yesterday. I still can’t believe my baby is growing up so fast and is ready to start full day school from this fall. Anyway I have enough time to get used to that idea. I think her grandparents will also be surprised at how much she has grown up since the last time they saw her.

I intend to give updates in between about the vacation but am not exactly sure. Let’s see how it goes. If not, then I will see you guys in the last week of March. Till then take care.