‘Would you like to sit with that couple over there?’, a waiter asked me as all tables at the pizzeria were taken. I said yes,hesitating a bit. I thought,I am being a disturbance in their good time. Thats why I never liked going alone in restaurants. For me,going to any food place is an experience and I want my friends & family to be part of that to double the joy of eating. But the couple was welcoming. The girl offered me a chair saying,’We are almost done’. They waved me bye with smile on their faces. Not bad!! Still I prefer to go out with someone.
But when you are new in another city away from your home and yet to make friends,you have to roam alone,eat alone. And that’s when I realised the joy of eating alone is something else. 20 steps from where I used to live as a paying guest I had found my breakfast, lunch & dinner place. In one of the posh localities of Pune, surrounded by bungalows which was transformed into student hostel thanks to the College behind,hill in the back to limit the territory of society,there was this small place not very fancy but clean and organized;full of laughter, continuous loud talking and clinking tea glasses in-between run by a middle-age man with a young boy.
Most of the times I was served by the young fellow. I think the middle aged man was working somewhere a full time job. I assumed they were father-son or uncle-nephew,never asked about it. Rather did not want to interfere in his little teaching sessions. He used to make wonderful parathas with different kinds of stuffing. Looking at his fast moving hands creating perfectly round shape and not wasting any of the stuffing inside it even if it is packed fully, my face questioned him with my wide open eyes,every time he make one of those parathas. He used to just smile looking at me like it’s not a big deal!! Putting finely chopped cabbage over the cooked potato stuffing and sprinkling chat masala to give it a finishing touch, is one of the things I learned from him and loved the most.
I am incorporating this stuffing technique with “Bolani”. Bolani is an Afghan flatbread recipe traditionally made with the filling of chives,potato,leeks,lentils. It’s like stuffed parathas. Crispy covering leading to the perfectly spiced mashed potatoes through the crunch of the cabbage is genuinely good combination. Some recipes asks for yeast and some just use the combination of flour,salt,oil and water. I have made it without using yeast. You can bake it or fry it.
- 3/4 cup – whole wheat flour
- 1/4 cup – all purpose flour
- 1/4 cup – water
- 1 tsp – salt
- 4 no – small size potato cooked & mashed
- 1/2 cup – chopped cabbage
- 3 no – green chillies
- 1/2 tsp – cumin powder
- 1/2 tsp – coriander powder
- 1/2 tbsp – chat masala(optional)
- oil – for frying
- Mix whole wheat flour,all purpose flour,1/2 tsp salt and water. If needed,add extra water and knead it until it become smooth.
- Add finely chopped green chillies,cumin powder,coriander powder,salt into the mashed potatoes and mix well.
- Cut the dough into 7 balls. Make 7 portions of the stuffing and the finely chopped cabbage.
- Roll a ball into a circle,stuff the potato stuffing in it and add cabbage each one portion,sprinkle a pinch of chat masala over it.
- Close it in a shape as shown in picture below.
- Shallow fry it in a pan using oil.