Life is good. Why, you ask? Well, don’t take this the wrong way, but life is good because I don’t cook much these days beyond the occasional egg, fruit salad, chai and coffee and…a peanut butter sandwich? That’s right. And that’s mostly thanks to the lovely Nanda.
Nanda comes Tuesday, Thursdays, and Saturdays and cooks. She buys the groceries, makes sure I’m stocked up and does the dishes before she leaves (that’s RIGHT!) She’s Bengali, who married a Maharashtrian but she can make everything from Punjabi to Chinese.
Generally, I stick to some tried and true favorites – some combination of baigan bhartha, paneer tikka, aloo palak, methi aloo, bhindi masala, some rajma/chole, some dals, rice, chapati, parathas. Sometimes, I’ll ask Nanda to make pulao, or pav bhaji, or Chinese. That’s about it. It’s good, it’s healthy, it’s cheap and it’s fast. And Nanda is a total sweetheart, so I am happy to give her a second job (she works for another family around the block).
So, I was talking with Nanda on Saturday while she cooked and casually mentioned how much I love chaats, Indian snacks. “Chaats?” she asked, “which ones?”
“Pani puri, sev puri, dahi puri, kachori, samosa…” I started listing my favorites.
“You should have told me! I can make you any of those right here!”
And so, tonight, the great chaat revolution has begun. I came home and took out of my fridge the tamarind water, the green chutney, the chickpea mixture (probably has a name but I’m an ignorant foreigner, sorry!) and the puris (of course.) And I had pani puri for dinner. In my house. As much as I want.
I am in heaven. Here’s a low-res BlackBerry photo of my pani puri set up. Delish. Oh and if you think it looks like goop (Mom) well you’re wrong. It’s NOT! 🙂