In India, fresh wholewheat roti with veggies, wholewheat paratha with butter, thepla, batata poha, upma, idli would be preferred over a slice of bread. We never had a big loaf of bread stored in the refrigerator. It was always bought fresh and never allowed to last for more than a day or two. Few extra slices of bread were toasted on an Indian tawa/griddle. This was even before we had an electric toaster at home. Just like paratha was pan-fried with ghee, mummy would pan-fry few extra slices of bread on griddle with some homemade ghee. You can make an Indian eat non Indian food but he/she will surely try to find the comfort zone. Mummy would also fry few chopped green chilies and sprinkle some salt over it. This was an accompaniment with ghee toasted bread and would just taste amazing. Being here in Mumbai with my parents, I am relishing all my childhood food. Although my mom has an electric toaster, a conventional microwave oven and many new gadgets in her kitchen, the traditional cooking style still imparts flavor and love to the food.
This post is not a recipe, this post is to remember Indian food and cooking style. I remember more than 20 years back our trip to Delhi and Haridwar. We stopped at a rustic roadside restaurant or dhabba for breakfast. The image of this dark restaurant with a huge pan of hot oil and large burning tandoor is permenantly stuck in my mind. We were a group of more than 100 people from our community who stopped by at this place before continuing our trip to Haridwar. The breakfast for such a big group at a small dhabba is something I cannot forget. In the month of December and the climate of Delhi something that could keep a big group of Mumbai travelers warm and comfortable were delicious deep fried samosas, a cup of garma garam hot chai, and to my amusement toasted bread butter. My love for food and cooking style has been since childhood so I still remember that toasted bread butter. Two slices of bread glued together with butter were put onto long kabab skewers. The skewers were then lowered into hot tandoor for bread to toast. I just want you to imagine tandoori bread butter, the flavor was just amazing!! Samosa, chai, and tandoori bread butter was some comforting breakfast for us. I was just 13 at that time and will never forget the delicious rustic Indian cooking. This December I plan to make tandoori style bread butter in my backyard tandoor. :)
This simple slice of bread has so many uses in Indian food. It is sometimes used just like an Indian flat bread and enjoyed with homemade butter and sugar. Stuffed with Indian spices bread is deep fried to make delicious bread rolls and pakoras. Bread is soaked in water or milk to make a dough and mixed with veggies to make cutlets and kababs. Even sweet dishes and desserts are made with this humble slice of bread! :)
Here are the pictures of my simple ghee toasted bread!
Few slices of bread toasted on griddles with some ghee on the bottom and top of the bread.
Flip the bread slices till they are nicely toasted and golden brown.
Fry some green chilies in some ghee and sprinkle some salt over it.