I’m yet to come across recipes for high-tea/evening snack recipes as varied or elaborate as those in Pathare Prabhu households.
The reason for this meal being so important to us is quite simple… Right from the times of the British Raj our ancestors were working professionals.
This usually involved an early morning commute from their residence to the business district and the family had very little time for an elaborate breakfast.
The first meal of the day was part of lunch – some rice with dal/sabji and a fish prep on the side (this was prevalent even in my home where mom-dad had dal-rice and fish before the 9.14 local from Andheri to Churchgate).
The entire family got back together only in the evening – parents back from office, kids from school and grandparents from their evening stroll. They needed these snacks to keepthem going till dinner time…
This is one such calorie laden recipe which is now the occasional Sunday treat at our home..
Like most traditional recipes, each family has their own favourite version. I’ve tweaked my Aai and Aaji’s recipe slightly and am quite happy with the results.
The recipe is very simple but not a quick fix… The batter needs to rest for 2-3 hours or overnight in the fridge before it can be fried.
2 cups wholewheat flour (Atta / कणीक)
1/2 cup small prawns or karandi (my favourite) or large prawns chopped in bits
1 small grated unpeeled (raw) potato
1/2 tsp methi seeds – toast on a tawa and crush
1/2 tsp jeera – toasted and crushed
6-8 peppercorns – toasted and crushed
1 green chilli – finely chopped
1/2 tsp haldi
Salt to taste
They ought to be golden coloured, crunchy on the outside and well cooked spongy all the way to the centre.
Serve hot with some chutney / ketchup accompanying some chilled beer on a hot summer afternoon!