Monday, December 13, 2010

On foods of comfort and comfort in foods ...

Procrastinating on the procrastinator of all times - Shakespeare's Hamlet - in two recent posts (Missing the mark and History, Text and Imagination), I re-opened my will-do list of the past month. There are quite a few things that are left undone. I start off right now to tick them off with this post. Somdatta, a friend and a fellow blogger, had inquired about the comfort food/s that "give[/s] one the warm and fuzzy feeling of a blanket on a winter night" as she so rightly put it. 

The list of comfort foods have been distilling in my mind for the past fortnight. And I realise, I can not generalise on the idea of having a comfort food. Though she had accepted the possibility of her readers having more than one comfort food item, in my gastronomical set of choices, it is a wee bit more complex, and hence, confusing.

the dusk's comfort food
If it is the dusk of a weekend, when the filling lunch is still munching in my stomach, there is only one and one thing that I desire. Nothing but that can give me comfort. (For the past two years, I am suffering from the lack of it.) It is a typical Indian snack, called shingara. And I desire, nothing but the bengali shingara stuffed with potatoes, cauliflower, nuts and a free drizzle of chillies and corriander. Ah!!! What a bliss to sit with a mug of coffee and the sizzling hot shingaras!! And it has no pleasure if cooked at home. I need to buy it, the warm shingaras in the paper packet itching the fingers and producing an unimaginable amount of saliva in the mouth!

the can-be healthy snack
If it is the late evening, and I need to munch on something before I have my dinner in another hour or so, there is nothing but Masala muri. It is a mixture of puffed rice (muri), thinly sliced cucumber, tomatoes and onions, with ample chillies and a wide variety of spices (masala) that only the street-masala-muri-maker can add. The 'healthy' masala muri at home will always lack that special zing.    

heaven wrapped up!
If the dinner menu is grim, the only food that can give comfort to the grieving stomach is the blessed egg-chicken-roll. The thick but soft paratha fried in egg, filled with thinly sliced onions, cucumber and carrots, fried chicken pieces, sprinkled with chillies and with a generous spread of hot tomato sauce - heaven wrapped in one!  

This is just the tip of the iceberg that is my list of comfort foods. Sigh! only if each of these were available at any part of the world ! Deep sigh!!! Deeper sighs continue ....

"the dusk's comfort food" from

"the can-be healthy snack" from

"heaven wrapped up!" from


Bee Zee said...

you've hit upon exactly the stuff that i sorely miss in Mumbai :( somehow even the shingara filling is sooo much better in Kolkata!
i'd like to add gorom raastar alur chop to the list!!! :)

Susmita said...

@Bee Zee: I am more hungry than ever with the mention of alur chop :( to clarify to some ... alor chop is another typical kolkata snack ... potato pakora is the closest translation i can think of .... sigh sigh sigh sigh SIGH SIGH SIGH ....

sup said...

ha ha :) "heaven wrapped up" - like that caption a lot.. Slurrrrp on the singara :) Muri - even as masala muri in rainy day with hot tea, is however not my favourite. During my residential school days - "BoNde and Muri" was our almost mandatory, almost everyday snack and thats the reason I am not much fond of Muri even now.

Susmita said...

@Sup: :) condolences for the lack of love for muri though :P