It started with helping out a friend, and now thanks to the good samaritan in me, I am craving. This friend -- the same one who wrote to me from New York saying she loves ghooghni -- is doing a thesis on favourite foods. She has also started a VERY cool website called My Food Valentine. The idea being we all write a love letter to our favourite food.
My love letter was to gol gappas. May I please request you to log in to her site and write a love letter to your favourite food as well?
So now I am seriously craving for gol gappas. Some educated folks have been calling them 'water balls', but that's an insult. A literal translation of gol gappa would mean 'round cheeks' because that's what happens when you eat it. In some parts of India, it is called pani puri and Bengalis call it puchka.
For those who don't know, gol gappas are round, flour pastries, filled with a mixture of boiled potatoes, chickpeas, a sweet 'n' sour tamarind sauce and a very tasty concoction of cumin-fennel-pepper water. It is one of India's most popular street foods. It is meant for the brave. It is also a great equaliser and a test of humility. Why? Because everyone looks ridiculous eating it. There is no gentle, lady-like biting involved, you are supposed to shove the entire ball into your mouth and chomp. I've nearly choked on it and yet, I totally love it.Almost everyone I know has a gol gappa anecdote. It is stuff of legends.
There are love stories that evolved around gol gappas: Guy takes girl out for date and feeds her etc. Most such girls will think they look very cute while eating a gol gappa (while the juice trickles down the sides of their mouths). Almost every neighbourhood aunty will complain at least once that the pani does not taste as good as it used to. Every second person will complain about the rising price of a plate. Every foreigner I have met is scared of eating a gol gappa as they usually think cholera. Contrarily, no Indian has been known to fall ill due to eating one. Most gol gappa loving Indians in fact ask for a plate of pani.
There are also fastest gol gappa eating contests amongst friends. If you ever see how fast some
What is your favourite Indian food/ street food? Please do write a love letter to your favourite food on My Food Valentine.
PS: Since I've not written a word on the novel during the Easter break, am off to the city today. To sit at some cafe, people-watch and finish a chapter.