During our stay in Jamshedpur recently- we were there for three weeks till we got to Mumbai this last weekend – I had the most amazing aloo kulchas at Gunchu Didi’s home, which she’d bought from the canteen in her school where they make these to order. In fact I liked them so much that when she and Usha Masi and Vijay Bhaiya cam home for dinner, I asked her to buy some for that evening too.
I can’t remember the last time an Indian bread made such an impression on me; not, I think, since the delicious, wonderfully soft and thin Maharashtrian polis that Vasanti made for us when we visited her in Pune once.
So this is going to be one of the first new recipes I am going to try my hand at once I get back to my kitchen in France.
Aditi went book-shopping the day before we came here to Colaba to spend a couple of days with her and Vasanti. A couple of the books that she bought sound like they’d be fun to read, so those are the one’s I am starting this list with.
- Cloud 9 minus one by Sangeeta Mall
- Keep the Change by Nirupama Subramanian
William Dalrymple’s “City of Djinns”, a history of Delhi, was fascinating to read.
I am now reading “Nine Lives” by the same author. It narrates the stories of followers of different religious traditions in India and thus offers a wonderful insight to faiths and customs such as Jainism and the theyyam dance form of Kerala that I knew very little about.
During the last 3 weeks in Jamshedpur, I also read several books from Ma’s collection of books in Hindi, some of them for the third or fourth time. But those old classics by Sharat Chandra or Premchand still make for engaging reading and the stories of authors like Malati Joshi and Mannu Bhandari have contemporary themes – many of them are women-centric – which resonate with me.