They say ''Some things never change''. I can say the same about my darling city of joy Kolkata. No matter how many posh malls are built, how much money spent or the change in the political scenario...I can only say that ''Kolkata Robe Shei Kolkatatei''. Like these blue buses, each a vintage vehicle responsible for many accidents. I really don't miss travelling in one but I wanted to give it one last shot the last time I visited Kolkata. Sadly enough, I couldn't gather the courage to get on one.
I did manage to get on the yellow taxis....a lot! Infact they are the best ways to digest all those Biryanis, Phuchkas and Kati rolls as they will shake you to the bones, Thanks to their almost ''falling apart'' state and the huge potholes on the roads! I still love them nonetheless, coz they are dead cheap! Infact that's still the best thing about my city. Everything is so cheap here. Amra shobai raja amader ei rajat rajotye (we are all Kings in this Kingdom of ours!!!) :)
''Dada duto Vegetable Chop din toh''....
Memories come flooding back as soon as I smell these little balls frying in deep oil. But
of course in those memories the oil is a darkish coloured oil which many health freaks
used to refer to as ‘’Baaje Tel…khash na Jaundice hobe’’!!! (unhealthy oil…don’t eat it
you’ll get Hepatitis). Unfortunately for us and fortunately for the chop seller the heavenly
taste of these fried variety and the others made the possibility of Jaundice seem alien.
And to be honest even if we did end up with a bad tummy we couldn’t care less! I still
remember those summer vacations spent at my Mama Bari (maternal uncle’s house). A
family reputed for having lots of branches on its tree, hence we never had any shortage of
brotherly or sisterly love or hatred for that matter. The only way my Mami (Aunt) could
get us all behave was by enticing us with Telebhaja (fritters). On the evening when there
were power cuts we used to sit around in a large circle with a lantern in between and a
huge bowl of spiced Muri (puffed rice) being passed around. Accompanying the muri, of
course, was a variety of fritters as we all had our personal favourites. Mine was vegetable
chop and sometimes alur chop (spicy potato fritters).
Those days seem far away and might not come back to me. But at least I can still smell
and let the memories flooding back.
Beet Root – 4 small
Carrots – 2 large
Green Peas – 1 cup
Potatoes – 4 medium
Onions – 2 medium (optional) sliced
Ginger – ½ tsp grated
Coconut – ½ cup grated
Peanuts – 2 tbsp roasted
Coriander Leaves – 1 cup chopped
Cumin powder – 1 ½ tsp or to taste
Salt – to taste
Red Chilli Powder – 1 tsp
Gramflour - 1 cup
Breadcrumbs – 2 cups (more if required)
Oil to fry (I use sunflower oil)
Cook the beet, carrots, peas and potato in a pressure cooker. Mash it together. In a pan
heat 2tbsp of oil and fry the onions. Add the ginger and the mashed vegetables and all
the spices. Mix well. Take the pan off heat and let it cool. In the meantime make a runny batter with gramflour and water. Add the peanuts and coriander
leaves to the mixture and mix again. Make equal sized rolls. Make them flat shaped or roll shaped according to your wish with your palms.
Pour a cup of breadcrumbs on a plate. Dip each roll in the batter and roll each roll on the plate of breadcrumbs until they are evenly covered. The rolls can be frozen upto a month. You can also make the
rolls in a day in advance before using.
Heat oil in a pan. Deep fry the rolls. Serve it with Muri or a choice of sauces and thinly
sliced cucumber and onion salad.
Here are some more pictures that I took....one fine winter morning :). Have fun.