Hot Pakoras and Chai is all you need in rains!
I lived most of my life in Bombay (Mumbai). It rains nonstop for days there. It is finally pouring in Bengaluru where I currently live. Along with the thunders and the dark clouds, I am walking down memory lane.
My mind takes me to the 10-year-old ME! I see myself in two ponytails wearing a cotton knee length dress! I am peeping out of the window to see the dark clouds gather. And I know, it’s going to rain! Somehow telepathy worked well when we were kids! With no phones and intercoms, all of us would gather in the building staircase at the exact same time. As heaven unleashes the sheets of water, we would dance carefree! There is nothing that comes close to this feeling.
The rains meant so much more… Jumping in puddles with a bunch of your friends! Tearing down your books, to make dozens of paper boats. Only to leave them in little winding rivers and make a little tournament out of it! The raincoats and boots shopping…so much excitement!
A favourite memory, of course, is around Food! When the rains would tear down, especially over the weekend it was a fiesta time! My mom would fry potato and onion pakoras (fritters)! I watched her carefully, as she served up these golden lovelies! Neighbours walking with pots of ginger tea! Each family would get something! Biscuits, chiwda and all sorts of finger foods.
Everyone in the building was invited. The house was so tiny, still, there was room for each one of us! One pakora party every Monsoon! Giggling and laughing we kids would dunk pakoras in tomato ketchup and just gobble them up! Memories of laughter and happiness are what surrounds pakoras and rains for me!
As a grown-up, I still feel the same joy! As the raindrops hit the hot parched earth letting out a soothing aroma, making my heart smile. I may not make paper boats or jump in puddles anymore. But I still enjoy the rain very much!
If at home and it’s raining my husband would give me a look. And I know it’s “Pokora Time”! I would make a dash to the kitchen and get busy slicing up potatoes and onions. The warm yellow besan batter gives pakoras their unique flavour and crispiness! Then all I do is cuddle up on my sofa with a favourite book, a hot cup of ginger tea, just munching away!
No matter how young or old you are, when it’s pouring cats and dogs, all you want is your plate of piping hot pakoras! It is something that every Mumbaikar relates too!
So, what is your favourite food during monsoon? What is it that you remember eating as a kid, as the incessant rains kept slashing on your window panes!