Samosa, ladies and gentlemen, happens to be the best thing that has happened to mankind, since the discovery of fire. For the uninitiated, two things. One, if you dont know what a Samosa is and if you havent had one, you have wasted your life. Its divine. The crunchyness of the thick crisp shell, the smooth thick and hot potato paste, the tinge of chillies on your tongue as you bite in, the texture of the chutney inside your mouth, all of it is an experience par definition. Its actually a sin to try and capture it in words. I should be castrated for the sin. No kidding.
So, typically you buy a samosa from any of those million nukkad shops selling all kinds of savories and sweets. Invariably, the shop would be called Agarwal Sweets or Agarwal Corner. Or any other combination of words Agarwal and sweets. It looks like that all those Agarwals descended from some other planet and create a base on all the busy intersections and markets and now they have monopoly over them. I challenge that you goto any habituated locality in India and you would find at least one Agarwal doling out sweets and samosas by dozens.
Coming back to samosas, my love affair with samosas goes all the way back to my childhood. Ever since I can remember, I dint really have a sweet tooth (I could face a court-martial and can be charged with conduct unbecoming of a true Baniya, and disowned by my family, if my dad was to read this. Sweets and Baniya are like dagger and clock, like Batman and Robin, like Sherlock Holmes and Watson, like Razor and blade, unthinkable without each other). I liked things a little salty, a little tangy. And no wonder when all my friends were clamoring for that jalebi, I was happy with my samosas.
To put things in context, I dont really have the luxury of statistics here but I bet, India sells more samosas that America sells hot dogs. Per capita. A samosa infact has as much impact on the fabric of our country as much as a chai ka cup or a golgappa has had. Samosa transcends generations, genders, race, age, location, political inclinations, castes and all other such frivolous word that divide our society. Everyone loves samosa. There is no bias. Its like alcohol. If Harivansh Rai Bachchan was alive today, and if he was asked to pen a piece on samosas, the outcome would have been a more convincing case in favour samosa than his seminal Madhushala made for alcohol and bars. I am sure an entire generation would have converted into alcoholics after they would have read Madhushala.
Samosa, typically is made with potato but then there are people who innovate. They put in everything from peas to minced meat to eggs to even ice cream. Yes, ice cream. Apparently, the shell is that hard that the ice cream does not melt when the samosa is deep fried. To be honest, I havent had the icecream variety but I do not doubt for a single instant that the ice cream samosa exists, and is as good as its other, more famous and common cousins. I detest cooking to the extent of actually going without dinner, if there are no options, otherwise I would have tried making the ice cream one for sure.
Anyways the samosa rant has been stretched to the extent of becoming intolerable and its not even half funny. I wanted to write 500+ words and with this line, I am sure I have met the deadline.
But, next time you happen to be close to an Agarwal something, please do order a samosa and dig in. And do share your thoughts on what I think should be our national savory. Wait, do we even have a national savory?
This is day 02 in a series of 31 daily blogposts. Other posts are here.