Generally feature writers believe that there is no topic under the Sun which has not been written about, only the angle he/she approaches the topic differs. Nevertheless they do have their favourites, be they people, places or dishes and according to me the last comes first as I believe we live to eat and not the other way round. I am sure there are many like me who are fond of the moon shaped, deep fried in oil wheat preparation the puri which constitutes an important item on the menu, whether in restaurants, parties or get togethers.
My earliest memory of eating puris was at the age of four or five and I still fondly remember the way my mother used to make them which were the favourite of us children. She would take a small portion of the dough, roll it out into a five inch diameter, press it hard with a stainless steal lid which had a knob , remove the extra dough surrounding it and then fry it in steaming oil. With the result all puris looked symmetrical and she would serve the puffed puris nice and hot along with potato curry. She had a knack of draining all the oil from them even as they were being removed from the fry pan (kitchen paper was not known at that time).
Now after the passing of several decades and probably eating countless number of puris which fulfilled all the requirements to qualify for an ISO certificate, I was quite taken aback at the deterioration in quality my favourite puri has undergone lately. I am referring to a hotel in Bangalore called Woodys which served puris in the meal our friends had ordered. The twins were half brown, undone at the edges and were dripping with oil. When they pointed this to the bearer, it appeared he only stared at them for full two minutes and left without a word. (They expected he would replace them with better ones )The second experience, a first hand one at a star hotel on RK salai back home was still worse. The puris were not only a quarter of an inch thick but were dark brown and over fried, unfit to eat. Infact the other items were also a good match to this poor puri. I could only sympathise with our hosts who too probably didn’t expect the deterioration in standard of this standard hotel.
Now I decided to give my favourite puri a break!
n.meera raghavendra rao