And to those who find the above sentence a gross exaggeration, and cynical, I don’t blame you. For you are an alien to this experience.
To the first group, know you are a Delhiite and more specifically went to DU as a student. And you don’t even need to be explained what DU stands for. But for the latter, btw, it stands for Delhi University .
What fish n chips is to London, or hamburger is to Mc Donalds, this luscious snack is to Delhi. This is the finger food we all relished ( I wonder if they still do) in cramped Delhi University cafetarias, without realising its awesomeness.
Being away from Delhi now for over two decades, the gold test for me to check whoever claims “I am from Delhi.” is the mention of the clue word “Bread Pakora”. If instead of a wide eyed expression screaming ‘wierdo’, the return expression is an instant wholesome grin, you know the claim is authentic. You don’t even need to double check them.
To give you another evidence of my cynical attachment to a bread pakora, it was only for the ‘Bread pakore ki kasam’ tag line, that got me watch, Band Baja Baraat twice.
In the good old simple days of limited pocket money, and even more limited options in the DU cafes, this large sized, yummy snack with a hot cup of chai came in handy and filling in the lunch hour, for an affordable Rs 5/-
Just as in some other part of the world, mustard compliments hotdogs, our austere bread pakora came proudly partnered to even more austere yet yummy Kaddu Ketchup (Pumpkin ketchup). And the two stayed married to each other, no matter how much the arrogant branded ketchups belittled it , on TV ads of our days:
“Thora ketcup try karo?”
“Ketchup hota kaddoo bhara”
“Is mein kaddoo nahin zara,
Raseele tamataron se tayyar,
( If I still remember it correctly) .
Whenever I get into my “Ayy mere pyaare watan, tujh pe dil qurban” mode, all I do is take two slices of bread, spread one with hot chilli sauce, other with green mint coriander chutney, sandwich them with mashed potatoes, or even cottage cheese, cut them in two triangles, coat each of them in a chick pea batter, and fry them. And with a steaming cup of tea, I transport myself back to the DU student days.
Find it weird? No worries, most of my family too, quietly radiates that subtle expression of “Whats so great about bread pakora?”.
But I have learnt to not take notice of them, and not even take any offense.
They know not what they are missing !
Believe it or not, I find it the awesomest finger food, for it carries with it a flavour of my past memories too.
Bread pakorey ki kasam !