More soul food for the monsoon

Monsoons are supposed to end with the Ganapati puja. You still expect a few showers till October, but not a 150 mm of rain in a day. And if that comes down right when the tide is high, Mumbai is flooded. Soul food takes particularly simple forms on such days, scrounged from the staples which you always had a supply of. An aromatic khichri perhaps, but not today. What hits the spot is an egg curry, redolent of green elaichi (cardamom) and garam masala, with a fresh pav from The Family’s favourite bakery, the dough sour, as it is meant to be. No egg curry is quite right without the potatoes. And this one was perfect.

Soul Food for The Family

The Family visited the part of town where she grew up and was immediately full of memories. The old bakery was not baking any longer, it just sold biscuits and bread delivered to them. The corner laundry had shut down long ago. But there was the old sandwich man. His sandwiches are still the best in town. I found them good: a spicy chutney, and fully loaded with slices of onion, beet, potato, and cucumber, all wrapped up in newspaper over a clean white sheet of paper. Wonderful indeed. “Papa used to give me money to buy these,” she remembered. I said later that the old man now making the sandwiches may have been just a little older than her then. “The sandwiches are good anyway,” she said. I agreed.