Travels reveal the truth about various aspects of our lives. Travels also reveal how ignorant we are of the truth despite of long spells of formal education. Some of the revelations are really amusing. Here are two anecdotes.
At Alpine Hut in Rangdum, Kargil, I met two canteen boys who did not know what plain paratha and stuffed paratha were. These two cooks hail from Kargil district. The truth was amusing for me because of their ignorance about a common Indian breakfast item. But the ignorance brought a smile on my face. When I defined a paratha, they snapped that was puri.
But after some time I visited Hazratbal on the bank of Dal Lake, in Srinagar, I found the truth about myself. The truth was that I was too ignorant about 1-kg paratha that caught my attention while browsing through the eateries near the famous mosque. This truth also amused me and made me smile at myself.
So, I asked questions to the young boy who was managing a traditional Indian sweet shop. This conversation with the boy revealed a few things about 1-kg paratha. This is also called paratha although it is deep fried like puris. According to my knowledge, a paratha is shallow fried on iron griddle (tawa), whereas, a puri is deep fried in a deep bottom frying pan (kadahi). These shallow fried parathas are very small and light.
A 1-kg paratha, made from white refined flour (maida), weighs 1,000 grams. This deep fried bread is sold on weight basis (INR 100 per kilogram) instead of on piece basis that is used for the shallow fried small parathas.
The 1-kg paratha, a plain paratha, is served with suji ka halwa (semolina sweet).
I bought a quarter kilo of the big paratha with halwa for INR 30 for breakfast. The bread was rubbery probably because it was cooked yesterday. But the oily bread tasted good.
Given the size of the bread, utensils – the frying pan and the rolling board, are equally big. Let’s take a look at this big bread loaded with calories.