Playing glutton in the land of milk and ghee -Amritsar

I was told by friends that often the locals prefer to send out for food rather than cook in their kitchens, now I know why:) The food is not only hot and tasty, its also fresh and clean. Despite my fears of the water they served to drink and the watery chutney and the not so fresh looking diced onions given as accompaniment with the kulchas not once did I suffer any tummy problems.

I have never eaten kulchas like this ever before in my life! Crunchy, tasty, mouth watering, so yummy that I could not desist from having more than I should have had! The Amritsari kulcha I devoured with relish, its for those who may not know much about a kuclcha- a flaky crisp white flour bread stuffed with potatoes, spiced onions chilly and pepper, jeera and anardana on the inside and roasted in generous dollops of butter to give that crunch. This kinda kulcha cannot be found anywhere beyond Amritsar I swear to you . A tiny ramshackle place in a side street off the main road dished up this tasty meal which I ate with tasty chole (albeit a bit watery) and green chutney which I washed down with a brass tumbler full of cool lassi. It was no over exaggeration that the best bread is available on the streets of Amritsar

This journey of food exploration from the streets of Amritsar certainly made me believe all I had heard thus far about how tasty food is in this city! Amritsaris do indeed dish up the most flavoursome and fragrant of food at the humblest of prices At dinner time I ordered straightforward simple food and given how ravenous I was, I downed most of it but must acknowledge that Lonely Planet probably is not the best judge of good north Indian food

At first glance Amritsar belies of prosperity, wealth and a certain influx of internationalism. The more I looked around and observed the more I detected a certain humbleness, a quality that many who were selling would not compromise on, a certain respect allowed to the women despite the hot bloodedness of the males from these parts of north India or the over crowded streets where congestion word was probably discovered.

My observations - chaos is not a bad thing, am sure there is definite method to any madness. However does chaos have to mean mess? Chaotic traffic? Dilapidated buildings? Guess the Govt doesn’t care but do we stop caring? Our cities look equally bad so not once am I passing any judgment here- all I am seeking is some of us need to wake up and stop accepting this degeneration quietly . We live in a sorry state and we shouldn’t be. We need to change things – we need to reflect care for things, we need to demand better things for ourselves from ourselves. And not allow it to get from bad to worse. And this observation is true for most of pilgrim cities I have visited in India

All too soon, it was time to head back home, while I was keen to get back to Pooch I also wished I had some extra time in hand to stop and buy Amritsari papads and Pinni’s and gur halwa for family and friends. I sat a tad wistful in the plane that it was all over too soon, but promised myself I would come back here with family and take in the sounds and smells and everything Amritsari slowly and joyfully and savour it. I remember seeing this little kulfi shop, the name of which I cannot recollect. I wanted to stop and sample its wares but could not, I know their malai kulfi is to die for! I wanted to have the Paneer pakoras and the kachauris and the desi ghee jalebis and the phirni and the bhaturas and the ma ki dal and the aam papar - all of this the next trip for sure! I know the patiala suits are gorgeous and awaiting me for the next trip. This is the land of senses alright- creamy yet textured, I promise to get back to this wonderful land soon


lilram said...

I was on an adventure holiday with my teen-aged sons this summer- Manali and all that. We topped it off with a visit to Wagah border and Amritsar. At Amrtisar I dragged them to what is supposed to be the most authentic place in town for food- Bhrawan da dhaba. They order lacchedar parathe di thalis and these came dripping with ghee. One bite and the kids had had enough. They just couldn't stick the food! I myself am not a foodie, but I can sort of appreciate that different people like different foods. I remonstrated with them (telling them they should try and enjoy the variety) but all to no avail- they found it too greasy for their liking! So to each his/ her own I guess.

mathatheist said...

Yummmm. Hungry now. :)

Anon said...

Seems you recently been to Amitsar. I agree the food there is amazing.

Punjabi culture is different in its own way. And I mean in a heart warming way:)


Neelu said...

Mee, it's mid-morning, I've just eaten papaya and figured that this dieting and the constant awareness of every morsel I put in my mouth, has ruined my true enjoyment of food. Your bliss was sublime and I'm tempted !

Anon said...

Loved the description of the Amritsari Kulcha! In future do add names of good dhabas where you get these.

Ajoy V

sumit said...

hey u were there when???????????

In fact i was there very recently last week with my school friend(now,he is a doc in US).
This guy was 90+ and crashed down to 65 in 3 months on a strict regime of 1000cal per day.He has been infectious &am following his regime fr past 5 days but at Amr. I feasted myself with amazing puri channa and Lassi. I am salviating again............

sumit said...

BTW i hav termed the amritsari kulchas (one u get in front of famous Prakash mutton shop) as
Amritsari Pizza. It looks hard as some afghani chappati but it justs melllllllllts in your mouth.

I'll dream abt food tonite.
if u r still closeby to my village, pls do call me.

Anon said...

This is SOOOOO YUMMY! I love it!
Whichever side of the border...Or Whatever part of the world, Punjabi's love their food :)

Well written. I WANT SOME of the lovely malai kulfi and desi ghee jalebis. PLllllEeeAaaaSsssssEeeee ask the immigration people to let me in :) hee hee hee!

FM ;)

Raj said...

Slurp..... lickin my chops.

kay said...

Wow! you took me back in time when i was in Jullundur visiting my aunt.All the paranthas, kulchas and cholas all sound so good and mouthwatering while im sitting here in la, wondering when ill be able to go there reading your blogs , you really bring things to life.

Mee said...

@lilram- lucky you'll. These calories are such a burden on the heart!:)

@mathatheist - hehehehe

@Anubhav - Yep:)

@Neelu- we gotta let go at times, no?:)

@Ajoy- I wouldve done that, but I simply couldnt remember any- guess the food delight way way too much:)

@Sumit- good intentions do fly away with the wind thr for sure:)

@Sumit- u r incorrigible:)

@Fm- darling- use ur wit and charm and the immigration guys have to allow you to come thru!:) they will one day soon I promise:)

@raj- hehehehe

@kay - I wish we could courier some stuff over to you like Dr spock could:)