Sunday, January 6, 2008


I just returned from a short trip to Pune. It had been a long three and a half years since my last visit. No matter where your life takes you, it’s always nice to come back home, even if it’s for a short visit. Of course, having to pass through Mumbai traffic makes you question your return immediately. This time, however, I was shocked and disappointed to come home. Pune has changed beyond recognition and is no longer the city where I grew up. Huge buildings have replaced the small bungalows. And a lot of the infrastructure is in a state of disrepair. The air is intolerable, the noise unbearable and the traffic situation — let’s just not go there. And what is up with the ringtones people? Isn’t there a phone that rings like one? I guess we can’t go back after half a decade and expect things to be the same. But it would be nice, wouldn’t it? In spite of all the change I tried to visit all my favourite spots — at least the ones that are still standing. But no matter how much it changes, Punyanagri will always be home.

Of course, the one thing that hasn’t changed in Pune is the taste of my mother’s chaklis. She made me a huge container of chaklis for the auspicious occasion of my arrival. And although, I consumed the entire tin with some fresh dahi and a couple of bottles of Gelusil, it was worth every second of heartburn.


1 cup Besan (Chick Pea Flour)
1 cup Jowar Flour (Sorghum)
1 cup Rice flour
1 cup All Purpose Flour
3/4 cup Butter liquefied (Reduce to 1/2 cup if needed)
2 tsp red chili powder
2 tsp Coriander powder
1 tsp Turmeric powder
1/2 tsp Asafoetida (hing)
2 tbsp Ajwain seeds
2 tbsp Sesame seeds
Salt to taste
Oil for deep frying

Mix ingredients except oil and knead into a thick, smooth dough adding water
Cover and place aside for an hour
Using a chakli mould create raw chaklis on butter paper
Heat the oil and deep fry the chaklis 2 –3 at a time
Drain on paper

Serve with fresh yoghurt