An ode to Sattu. And several other things.

Every winter in the last whole decade, I have tried to get a little bit of Patna on my plate. A mooli paratha here, a gajar-mutter there. But what I really, and still miss, is everything sattu. And gud. My Bihari cook, a young boy of 22, who left Darbhanga a few years back, is now too Bangalored and commercial, to have the kind of patience that makes litti what it is worth.

I may have the adrak ki chai, but what I really miss is my customary two weekly sattu parathas with baigan ka bharta.

And litti. The real one. Made on real fire. Not steamed and fried and definitely not sattu momos. I miss that real litti that my fufaji would make on a coal lit iron vessel. On chilly winter evenings. Served with gallons of ghee (that once Ma and I avoided like plague) and. Yes. you guessed it. Baigan ka bharta.

And I miss that kilo of laktho that made for the best afternoon dessert ever. All of December and January.

And I miss ma’s one stop solution to sniffling and coughing all winters. Gud adrak. And anarsa. And Ramdana ka ladoo.

One December I will go to Patna, I will sit in the heated living room of my Patliputra apartment. I will have chai with my neighbours. And I will eat all this and throw in some noodles from Banjara for variety. And I will ring in Christmas in the Notre Dame chapel, and eat all the brilliant pastries and cookies and donuts that the Sisters make. And I will ring in the new year in Golf Club. Dancing to unbelievable music. Or sitting around a bonfire. I wonder how I never thought any of this was fun while I was living it. Distance does make the heart grow fonder.

I miss Patna. The most in December.

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12 Responses to An ode to Sattu. And several other things.

  1. reddevil says:

    well done di, good job. i so miss all those foods be it home cooked meal or a quick trip to banjara fast food or may be just eat phucka in maurya lok. still remember those new year merchant navy gathering. never thought at that time that i'll miss it. sahi me di bachpan yaad dila diya aapne. :P


  2. litti. one winter in cal. a trip back after years, and the brother in law has a new camera. so we loaf and loaf, till we land at the shamshan ghat. and there outside, near the ghat, there's a tea stall. with warm hard littis baking on a mud chula. the man puts one on a little plate made with dried leaves. hot litti, with ghee poured over it and a dollop of spicy green chutney. i have it, and can never ever forget the taste.


  3. Rajlakshmi says:

    you are making me miss my home… feeding on instant food … the freshly cooked food seems to be distant dream until i go home…


  4. Ricercar says:

    LOVED reading this :-)


  5. Preeti says:

    I LOVE litti! I friend from Bihar would get it to school in winters! Totally drool-worthy dish! Glad you reminded me of it. Now 'll go pester my Mum to make it! *insert evil grin here*


  6. Scarlett says:

    Hey home girl, so yeah, I've taught my maid to make sattu parathas & baingan bharta Patna style. Adrak ki chai is an everyday feature in my life even now. But after reading this post, I too want to sit in my heated Boring Road living room and have adrak ki chai with mom & dad (no neighbors). And sattu parathas with baingan bharta for dinner…and the donuts & pastries made by Notre Dame Sisters :(

    And to think I found all this quite boring while growing up. Ah well, such is life.


  7. Anna says:

    i loved this one! So nostalgic it made me feel even without knowing what sattu was :)
    keep writing…


  8. Tamanna says:

    @Reddevil, Rishabh? Thank u :) And I know what you mean about those merchant navy parties :P

    @AGG, you painted a beautiful picture there :)

    @Rajlakshmi, food is NEVER the same – even when you start cooking. Take it from me!

    @Rice, thank you hai! :D

    @Preeti, that's the thing about litti.. Everyone loves it :D

    @Scarlett, call me home for lunch. We will talk Notre Dame and Patna and eat sattu ka paratha :D

    @Anna, welcome :D And I'll ping you when I manage to get some sattu from Patna/ Ranchi. We'll party :D


  9. Scarlett says:

    There's only one small problem. I live in Calcutta :)


  10. Ramya says:

    They look and sound so yumm. And I've never had Bihari food. Sigh! You should call me over to your place someday when you have some Bihari food :p


  11. Sur says:

    Sigh!!! litti, baingan ka bharta, sattu ka paratha…how i wish! :(


  12. piyu says:

    Awesome post this one was. I have never been to Patna, but reading this I could so visualise all of what you were saying :) ( No idea about the actual places that you mentioned, but I assumed they are places that serve awesome stuff :D )


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