While growing up, that’s the mode we used when traveling long distances on vacation or postings with parents. Or when going on college trips with friends.
As we grew older and air travel became more economically viable, train journeys became obsolete.
But I miss them. Sometimes. Well some parts of it atleast.
Going to the toilets was always a problem. So, I don’t miss that. Indian Railways’ toilets are awful and something that should NEVER be discussed on a food blog. So I will just end that topic here.
I also don’t miss the oggling, desperate and mostly frustrated men that would travel in trains, staring at girls traveling alone. That was scary and one reason why I hated traveling alone besides the fact that I could never get sleep at night as I had to be extra cautious about my luggage.
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Today, me and my heating pad are inseparable.
Today, cooking is the last thing on my mind.
But today, is also Tuesday. One of the two days of the week that V does not eat non-vegetarian food.
Staying where we do, to-go options are slim, and vegetarian to-go options are next to none. The only things that count are pizza and really cheesy mexican food. V is not fond of really cheesy things and I did not care for pizza.
So, I had to think of something easy that I could make that would fill and satisfy V and my stomachs.
Jeera aloo came to the rescue.
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Aloo Paranthas, where I come from, are comfort food at its best.
Parantha is nothing but a flat bread. Its an unleavened dough made from whole wheat flour and cooked on a tawa/skillet. Paranthas can be made plain or stuffed and aloo (potato) is most popular when it comes to stuffing paranthas. Paranthas can be eaten just like that, on their own, but a really good way to eat is to pair the paranthas with yogurt/curd and your favorite pickle. Aloo paratha is a great one-dish meal for the family that can be served anytime of the day!
The best paranthas that you will ever find are served in small shops on the roadsides, called dhabas. Some of the best ones I have had, were outside the GE call center (BPO) in Gurgaon, India. The first time I had a parantha there, was when I was an undergrad and my cousin and his then girlfriend (now wife :)) took me and my brother out partying. After a fun night, my cousin took us to this dhaba for paranthas. Even at 2am the place was crowded with people. My cousin ordered aloo paranthas for us and after a brief wait, a small boy came with our plates of paranthas with a cube of melting butter on top. The parantha was huge and I was sure I would end up wasting it- but one bite and I could not stop myself. I had to really restrain myself to not order another. I did take a few more bites from my brother’s second parantha! Well, I could afford it then!
The second best I have had were when my senior sneaked us out from our hostel during my first year in undergrad and took us to a dhaba next to the IGI airport, Delhi. You should all know Delhi is not a safe place for woman, even during the day and at night time it gets worse. So there we were- just us girls out at 2 at night in a place that was full of scary truck drivers, waiting for our paranthas. And boy, were they worth it. I would still not recommend any girl to go their alone- it did not look like a safe place. But, if you have bodyguards with you, do pay this place a visit!
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