Last year when I was in Peshawar, I needed printouts of my ID, and some other stuff. The ink in my disused printer had dried, and buying ink for it was a costly affair. It was cheaper getting my papers photostatted from a local shop. I asked my driver to drive me to the nearby market. I had barely stepped out of the car, when a little boy asked for some money. “What are you going to buy?” I asked him.
“I would like to eat pakoras.”
I laughed at that, and told him to wait. I didn’t have any small notes to give him, plus I didn’t know the selling cost of pakoras. There were two men ahead of me in line. They were having a great number of printouts, and my turn wasn’t coming any sooner.
The little fellow was fed up with waiting, and came again to ask me. I felt sorry but told him to wait. I couldn’t get out of the line, otherwise I would have lost my turn, as few others had turned up, and were waiting for their turn.
As soon as I was done, I called the little boy, and asked him how much he wanted? Another boy who was older than my young friend sidled up, and told me he wanted to eat pakoras too. I asked them, “Is there someone else with you people who would like to eat?” Two others came at a run. I paid for their treat.
Before leaving I laughingly asked my driver, “Would you like to eat some too?” He smiled and said no, and so we left for running my errands.
The family was going out for Pot Luck to a local mosque. We had to take a dish. On Eid day my daughter Nola had made Chick Peas Chat for the Eid get together at a park. Nola being busy with her studies it was left to me to make something.
I slogged over the hot stove to make Pakoras. It has been a while that I would cook for parties, or get togethers. Back in home country when my late husband was alive, we used to invite our guests to a local restaurant, or to Peshawar Club. It was the easy way out.
Making things in bulk is not my thing. I filled a large bowl with the huge mixture. Mixing it with a wooden spoon was hard enough for me. My wrists started aching. Nola forgets to buy an electric Mixer when she goes for grocery. I am used to my electric gadgets. Without them I am lost.
Hot oil splattered on my left arm while I was making Pakoras. It is an angry burn. I am careful, but still mishaps happen. I ran cold water on it when it happened.
Finally both trays were ready. The only person who wasn’t ready was me. Perspiring, I wanted to cool down before taking a bath, and change clothes. There wasn’t time. I decided to stay back, and enjoy my solitude.
Write a new post in response to today’s one-word prompt.
Do you love hot and spicy foods, or do you avoid them for fear of what tomorrow might bring?
My stomach doesn’t like spicy food
But the tongue disagrees with that
Occasionally for a change it wants
Hot and spicy food to begat
Chana chat, kabobs and haleem
Fiery pakoras, samosas and all that
I avoid spicy food like the plague. I don’t go near it. The food I cook is bland and mild to taste. For aroma and taste, I add two or three whole green peppers at the end of cooking. I use a pinch of white cumin too. This adds to the flavor and makes the food more palatable to eat.
My stomach easily gets upset, so I keep myself in check. At parties when I find the food too spicy, I eat the salad, and binge on the dessert. (I agree it’s not a good thing)
At one party, I found the food too spicy. Thankfully, I had put a very small portion on my plate. I pecked at it, and the moment my hostess got engaged elsewhere, I dumped the food in the bin. A lady sitting next to me was innovative. She would take a spoon of the hot and fiery food, and at the same time would shove in her mouth, a table spoon full of the dessert too. She got through the food by alternatively eating food and dessert.
Down the Ring of Fire
We started our fasting yesterday that’s July 10th, the first day of Ramadan. I am prone to kidney infections. To keep my kidneys giving up on me I need to drink a lot of water. Our fast begins after the morning Azan, the call to prayer. Yesterday it was 5.15 am. We get up a little earlier. Have our breakfast plus a lot of water. That’s me, of course filling my stomach with water. (As if I can retain all that water rest of the day)
We break our fast in the evening with the Azan for the evening prayers. Eating dates and something from the Iftari spread which consists of Pakoras, Chana Chat, Samosas, Fruit Chat and Dahi Balay. This varies from day to day. Two things are always there plus lots of Shorbet and me needing my water. We say our evening prayers and then return for dinner. At that moment you don’t feel like eating anything because you are all ready stuffed to the brim with what you ate earlier. The boys and my son depart for their Taraweeh. Taraweeh are special prayers added to the Isha (night prayers) prayers in the month of Ramadan.
For those who don’t know, we have five prayers daily. Morning prayer called Fajr prayer, before the sun rises is the first one. The second prayer is called Zuhr. It’s about 1.30 pm at noon. The third prayer is Asar which is about 5.00 pm. The fourth prayer is the evening prayer called Maghreb and it is after sun down at about say 8.30 pm. The last prayer is the Isha. You can call it the night prayer.
My son after returning from office, the first thing he did was to check up on me, to see how I was faring in my fasting. I assured him that I was feeling as right as rain. Masha Allah. (Thanks to God) So he went off to get his much needed rest. Lately he hasn’t been okay and I am worried about his health.
Last year I didn’t fast because of my operation. In lieu of that I gave money to the poor. If my kidneys started paining I will have to stop fasting. I am hoping it won’t happen. Wish me luck.😐
In the mosques free food is available. So here is a cartoon based on that.
Cartoon courtesy of Web.