Today I baked a carrot cake,inspired by all the variations of carrot cake I had eaten at various cafes during my last visit to Northern Ireland, three months back. I think,in a span of a fortnight, I ate carrot cake in four different cafes. Each had a distinct flavour, and yet all of them were carrot cakes. Add a dollop of fresh cream, and one is in food heaven.
I woke this morning to a dark, broody and rumbling sky. It was raining heavily. As I lazed in bed, it came to me that it was perfect weather for a carrot cake. The cinnamon which goes into it, makes for a perfect combination with a cuppa on a rainy day like this. Today I combined this cake and tea with some good old Hindi film songs, and my Sunday was made!
Chai Pe Charchaa…a small, sunny café tucked away in one of the many by lanes in my area. Though small, its quirky decor strikes a note and one is immediately tempted to sit in its cozy interior and chat. Two days ago they sent out a flyer announcing a ‘Bhajia’ (fritters) festival to mark the advent of monsoons in Mumbai. Monsoons in this city are synonymous with hot masala tea and fritters. Preferably,with an engrossing book or some raucous company of old friends.
Two of my friends and I made a breakfast date to go and sample the variety of fritters advertised in the flyer. The weather obliged us this morning by raining and making an ideal backdrop to our fritter binge. And binge we did. The array of bhajias made it difficult for us to make our final choice and finally we opted for the ever popular onion bhajia and a portion of spinach bhajia. We got a bit greedy and also ordered a portion aloo paratha (flat bread stuffed with seasoned and mashed potatoes) accompanied by fresh curds. A meal like this is best complemented with a cup of hot tea. We couldn’t have asked for a more fulfilling meal as we feasted on a favourite snack, to the background music of raindrops on the awning.