Sunday, 5 April 2015

Of Samosas, Patties and microwaves.

This post is an objection and a loud cry against the injustice that reigns in  the food outlets of India today.The situation is actually a human rights violation to the rights of mankind, who love the crispy crunchy flaky outer layer of two awesome food article named 'Samosa and Patties.'

Now before I raise a hue and cry about the case, I need to take you a bit down the memory lane. So it all started when I was young and was bred on the street foods of Delhi. Now Delhi street foods are quite chatpata spicy but they are a curious combination of Punjabi, Hariyanvi and Mumbai street food. So my youth was surrounded by papri-chat, golgappas, bhelpuris, and masala chukandar , fruit chats, bhel papri and most of all aloo tikkis and samosas. 
Delhi street food- origin - Indian Peninsula.(only veg. Non veg was an addition in late 90's
And then came Samosas- well crispy flaky coating of flour with succulent aloo and matar(green peas) with loads of spices filled in. Served with khatta-mitha chutney . But deep fried and crispy crunchy. It wasn't till much later when I was transported to Kolkata that I learned that Samosas can have lots of fillings,other than the omnipotent aloo and can taste much better.

Well, in Kolkata they are known as Shingara. The recipe is the same, but the only difference was the artistic variety to the fillings that are added here. Like: Aloo Motor(greenpeas),fullcopie'-r(Caulifower)
Mangshor(mutton keema) and even Misti Kheerer Shingara(Condensed milk) and of course the regenerated version of Shingara i.e.Gujia( filled with suji-coconut and nuts-all grated and stirred with sugar)
Shingara as they should look -like this
The issue here is not the variety, its just an introduction to how this eternal food was maligned and maltreated with vigor by the food outlets of Kolkata and India. The teleybhaja (deep fried vegetables) shops and any sweet shops have a wooden box with one side glass cover and with a bulb inside where it would keep all the Kochooris and Shingaras and telebhajas warm and crispy. The operational word here being 'crispy'.

But now they look like this.:(

Another victim of the same violation of crispy rights is the Patties or as we so lovingly call it the Paatiees. The crispy and flaky baked confectionery item filled with veg and non-veg fillings, which crackle when you bite and melts in your mouth as you chew. A successful way of eating patties is only complete when you have to dust the flakes off your clothes and litter the floor. You can surreptitiously eat them off your clothes too,if no one is looking.

Gone are those good old days when you never ate these food items during any social occasions and even if you did you felt quite embarrassed with the flaky residues. Now with smart age gadgets we have Microwaves and limp,no flakes, no crisp and no taste- Samosa-Shingara-Pattiees.

You dare order for one of these in any food outlet and they would dish out one, out of the microwave with 30 sec warming time and lo and behold you will have the Samosa/Shingara/ Pattiees in front of you, piping hot but sans the crisp and flakes. I mean, instead of biting into them, you need to tear them out like a chapati and treat the filling like a portion of  curry and eat them!!

They would taste exactly like 1 hour old 'Luchi Tarkari' or 'Rooti Tarkari with a coating of butter'. Gone are the flakes and the crisp and the rustle and the murmur of those delicious delicacies. I have often tried to counsel the shop owners/ waiters/ servers, that  Samosas/ Shingaras/Patties should be either warmed with bulbs (check out the wooden boxes. The heating device is fine) or Ovens( Not micro or macro, just simple oven) or non stick frying pans on low heat( they might have blisters on their outer layer but it will be crispy). But my prayers,advice has absolutely fallen into deaf ears. The menace of microwave has brought an end to the crispy and flaky era of the great heritage of Samosas/Shingaras and Patties. You can cry, shout slogans or plead for mercy but all in vain. The food will go into the micro-ovens and they will come out 30 yrs older with a sad demeanor. 

The only saving grace is that magical 1hour time (4-5pm),when all the sweet shops serve piping hot 'Kochuri and Shingaras' . But as for the crispy oven fresh hot patties, they are a breed which has gone into archives only to be replaced by the micro-oven-ed version. Flury's, Monginis, Kathleen, Sugar & Spice, Cakes, My Cake Shop, Great Eastern , Grand, and many many many more have conspired to let the patties die a lumpy-limpy  death. Is it really time to bid a final adieu to the era of crispy flakes?



  1. This is a cause we should all respond to.

    1. Yes Ovshake, the bane of eating limp samosas and patties:(

    2. Yes Ovshake, the bane of eating limp samosas and patties:(

  2. #Hok Crispy

    Ei juddhey amra sobai songey achhi.

    1. Dhonnyobad Tanmoy. Believe me the suffering had been long and arduous.

    2. Dhonnyobad Tanmoy. Believe me the suffering had been long and arduous.