Before my grandparents moved to Mohali they were living in Jalandhar, a city in the northern indian state of Punjab. About ten minutes from our house in Jalandhar was this Gurudwara (the holy place where Sikhs worship) that my grandparents would go to regularly. Every afternoon, just a few feet away from the Gurudwara, a guy would come with his mobile cart and sell these amazingly thin, crispy yet soft Amritsari Kulchas. He would only come in the afternoon with the dough and filling prepared at home and would stuff and bake the kulchas in front of us, serving them in plates with his famous spicy chickpea curry. Our summer vacations were full of foodie adventures and my grandparents loved feeding us. These amritsari kulchas were a must on each of our visits.
Every afternoon, people would come during their lunch break and line up for a plate of this guy’s delicious Kulchas. He always came alone and stuffed the dough in front of you and baked it in his mobile tandoor to serve the dozens of people waiting next to his cart. Since he baked then and there, we would get piping hot kulchas laden with oodles of butter that would immediately start melting once placed on the kulcha. Not only were his kulchas to die for, but he made a delicious spicy chickpea curry and gave homemade pickle on the side. Eating them fresh out of his tandoor was the best option but generally we would get them packed for the whole family and eat at home. And stuff ourselves crazy. No wonder my brother and I would gain 5-6 kilos easily during the months of May and June.
I had been eyeing this recipe for sweet buns on allrecipes.com for a while now. It had great reviews and I am always looking for new bread recipes to try. Plus it seemed easy to put together. And with such great reviews I was sure I will not be disappointed. And I was right, after about two hours of kneading, resting and baking, I had light and fluffy (and absolutely delicious) dinner rolls. I also got an absolutely drool worthy cinnamon swirl bread. And with my love for all things cinnamon I honestly cherished the cinnamon swirl bread more than the rolls. And that actually says a lot about the bread since the rolls were amazing without any additions!
The recipe makes 16 dinner rolls. I used half the dough to make 8 dinner rolls and the other half I used to make the cinnamon swirl bread. I do not have a recipe, but I followed the same instructions I do when I make cinnamon rolls. Rolled out the dough to a rectangle (keeping it 9 inch long, and as wide as I could with a thickness of about 1/4th inch) and spread softened butter on the rolled out dough, followed by a generous sprinkle of cinnamon sugar on top. I rolled the dough up and let it rise in my bread pan. To achieve the shape I have in the pictures, I cut the rolled up dough like you do for cinnamon rolls (but slightly thinner in thickness) and put each cut part side by side in the bread pan. I wish I had pictures because I feel I might not be explaining this too well. If that’s the case, sorry!
I am not sure why but today I just wished that I received an envelope with a postal stamp on it, the back of which I would tear open to find a hand written letter from someone I care about or someone who cares about me.
Probably the thought of receiving a letter came when I was thinking whether I am too late to write a letter to my brother for rakhi this year. Rakhi or Rakshabandhan is a festival in India which celebrates the relationship between brothers and sisters. Sisters tie a rakhi ( a sacred thread) on their brothers’ wrists and in return the brother vows to protect her. In modern times, the brother is supposed to give a gift in kind or in cash as well, which kind of works out pretty well for the sister :).
The first year after marriage I remember I sent my brother a letter with a hand made rakhi since I could not find any actual rakhi where I stayed. After that I got lazy and the last two rakhshabandhans I have sent him a rakhi using those online rakhi delivery services, only because they are so convenient and staying abroad I never remember in time to post a letter with a rakhi in it. So instead of a letter, its just a small message on a tiny card (that too typed by the online service, not handwritten) for my brother. In return he gives me a nice gift when I meet him in India, mostly chosen by my sister-in-law.