Every punjabi is fond of food be it Kapurs, Khannas, Malhotras or Seths just to name a few.Not only Punjabis, there are food lovers all over the world. Food is something which unites all. And when it comes to food I have to mention my family. Who else could love food more than us Kapurs . Every Kapur would agree on this. We are born with exotic taste buds. And we are very proud of it. We all are big foodies.
In my house it's a sin to serve paratha( Indian bread) without loads of butter on it. My mother must have toasted parathas more than the chandni chowk' s famous paranthe wali gali(street famous for serving flat Indian bread) in Delhi. The parathas have to be perfect in shape, thickness, flavour and have to be toasted over medium flame in clarified butter. We all love parathas so much that we can happily have it for our breakfast, lunch and dinner. After all, there are so many varieties of parathas. We can never get bored of it. My father would always stand beside my mother in the kitchen whenever parathas were being toasted. He would minutely observe the amount of desi ghee( clarified butter) being poured in his favourite paratha. A badly done paratha was enough to arouse his wrath. My mother, being a caring wife, always warned him and begged him to be a little more health conscious. But he would calmly reply" I shall walk an extra mile, do not worry. " He always purchased the finest and most expensive brand of clarified butter. He never compromised on the quality of ingredients.
Every weekend he would take us out for a lavish dinner in some fancy restaurant.
Even though we never needed a reason to binge on sweets, I always prepared his all time favourite gajar ka halwa( Indian sweet dessert made with carrots and milk) for his birthdays. He loved eating and I always enjoyed cooking for him. He always praised my cooking skills. During the covid lockdown I pampered him with all his favourite dishes. After his death I did not enter the kitchen for weeks. He was like a little child. Good food was enough to make him happy. He would get angry if we promised to prepare his favourite dish and forgot about it. My nani( maternal grandmother) would get panic attacks whenever she invited us over for a meal. She would start preparations a day before. She dared not to offend her dear son in law. Whenever we went to my youngest bhua's( paternal aunt) house she would treat us with our favourite ice cream. A 900 ml ice cream brick would just be divided between two people. Call it madness and this is no joke.
My father had always been a good host too. He always made sure that whenever he invited his guests there was a well laid table for them. It was he who decided the menu. And my poor mother had to obey his orders like an obedient wife. Food had always been a prestige issue for him.
Next comes my brother who is fond of street food so much that whenever we got tikkis and samosas ( Indian snacks) he would settle for no less than three. I wonder why he always asked for three. He would gorge on dozens of gulab jamuns at a stretch and would yearn for more without being guilty. A mere mention of Sitaram' famous chole bhature (chickpea curry served with fried Indian flatbread) would bring water in his mouth. One could easily notice a sparkle in his eyes. My sister in law had a hard time in the kitchen. The expectations were too high. The poor girl struggled hard to please her dear husband with her cooking. Food is a serious matter. And we Kapurs have very high standards.
Then in line comes my dear son who I have to bribe with his favourite burgers and pizzas if ever I need to get work done from him. Our pantry and refrigerator are always stocked with his favourite snacks, cookies, ice cream and fudge for his midnight cravings.
My four year old nephew is no exception. Every morning without fail he would get up and wear his sneakers and go shopping with my brother to his favourite supermart near our house. He would pick his own favorite brand of chips and candies. It has become an everyday ritual for the past two years.
I could write pages or maybe even a book on our love for food. Maybe someday I shall write part 2 of this article. But as of now I would like to sign off as being a kapur myself, I am feeling very hungry and can't resist the aroma of my favourite vegetable pulav being cooked in the kitchen. 😋