I grew up in a neighborhood that had some of the best Punjabi and Sindhi food in Bombay. Every Sunday, after mass and all its associated rituals had concluded, we piled up in our white Ambassador and headed to this Sindhi restaurant where we ordered plates of steaming hot ragda pattice and chole bhature. We stood there as the pattice turned golden brown on the large tavas and the chole was dished out in small round leaf bowls. We rarely ate there, the company of truck drivers and assorted men not deemed good enough company. Those were the days before #WhyLoiter and while eating the food piping hot might have been an experience in itself, dealing with staring men was something we happily forfeited.
Just writing about that food makes my mouth water. And all these years later, I have not found a place that replicates that peculiar tangy taste of the chole, with its dark gravy tantalizing the corners of my mouth.
For my last meal, whether I have my teeth intact or not, I’d want a Punjabi menu – chole bhature, rajma chawal. There’s a slice of heaven right there.