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Why is that man angry at my Pratha?

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One of the funniest things that happened to us took place in Amritsar, after an amazing morning seeing the Golden Temple (more on that later)

Ryan’s dad had given us some advice on where to eat, but all we had was a name and a vague location. Or at least Ryan and the driver had that, we were just along for the ride.

Our destination was a place called  Kesar da Dhaba. If Ryan was not with us, we would never have tried it. It looks like nothing from the outside and is impossible to find as it is located down some narrow alley, left, right, past the burning trash pile, around the corner and blink and you miss it. I just found this video on the net, and it’s perfect! Notice the guys sitting with their bare feet and making the food! so funny. Near the end you see him slap the pratha into the tandoor for cooking.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vE19PTPhOPQ

Being in a car, we were on our way, and no sooner had Ryan said “You’re about to discover we take cars into roads you would never think to use in America” and plop, we find ourselves in the center of a traffice jam with us as nucleus. We turned to go down a road at a sort of ‘Y” shaped intercetions. Our path was blocked by a richshaw, which caused traffic behind us to back up, then the rickshaw could not move forward becuase traffic was pilled up behind us, then traffic began building behind the rickshww so it could not go back, and in the meantime carts, bikes, scooters, continued to try and squeeze thru. In what felt like forever, with the mass around us getting denser and denser, I had no idea how we would untangle this mess. But, somehow it happened, a nice guy came by and yelled at a few people to back up so we could pull forward, and slowly, inch by inch we crawled thru this intersection.

We quickly parked and walked the rest of the way.

Down the alley we went and luckily we found it.

They served prathas (layerd round whole wheat breads, sometimes stuffed, sometimes not) that come with assorted sides that you break off the bread and scoop up to eat. The other thing we discovered was the onion salad. Just raw slices of onion served in a bowl as a side dish, often as part of the meal. I think they put a little lemon on them, but not much else. Some places will serve whole pearl red onions as a side. We ordered our meals and they soon arrived.

Our server spoke a few words of English, but Ryan did most of the ordering in Hindi, so the guy did not say much. He was big and burly, with he Sikh turban, and as we were sitting on lower stools anyway, he seemed an imposing figure.

He brings out our dishes, they are served on round meatal platters with raisded edges, like a serving tray, and without really saying anyhting to us, suddely reaches down to Ryan’s pratha and CRUSHES it with his bare hands!!! Just grabs it with both hands and mashes it together! He then looks at mine and does the same, and then Paul’s as well. Never saying a word. We were in shock, we had no idea what the hell just happened. I think he then gave  faint smile, gestured for us to enjoy and left…..

It seems this is part of the service, and it breaks the pratha down so you  can see the layers, but man, that was really unexpcted.

Still, on top of that adventure the food was delish! What a find and an experience, something even as adventurous as Paul and I try to be, never would have done if Ryan S. had not been there.

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3 responses »

  1. I assume there were no gloves on those hands…

    Reply
  2. Wow – what an adventure. I love reading your posts and seeing all your beautiful pictures.

    Reply

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