Last night, we had some of my sister's friends over and a friend of mine stayed over for the night since she was leaving for home from Atlanta. It was a blast with some sinfully rich Biryani and Salan and Gulab Jamoons. I realized yesterday how demanding I was, as a teenager. I moved out to Hyderabad to study and every time I came home, I'd ask my mom to make me and my hostel mates (all 30 of them) GJs (they seem so cooler this way!) So, magically, the day I was leaving, there'd be 2 huge Horlicks bottles full of GJs. I never asked her when she made them, how she made them and why she never said no. Yesterday, while making GJs with my sis, I blew my fuse more than once and almost gave up at every step. The amount of sugar and oil that goes into this delicacy has blown off all the work in the gym for the last 2 months. But it wasn't all bad (though my GJs kinda sucked!) We had a blast with the food, friends, games and talking. I remembered this was exactly how it was back in college. Everyone brought food from home, talk about boys, girls, hot professors and eat through the night. No one worried about how eating Namkeen at 3 AM was probably the worst thing to do to your waistline. Or, how we finished 2 big bottles of GJs in 2 days flat. That reminded me of this draft lying around, begging me to post it :)
Apart from Biryani and Salan which are a Hyderabadi staple, Alu Bhindi holds fond memories of many a night in the Hostel Mess/Dining Hall. We were served Biryani every weekend, while Alu Bhindi made its apperance once a week for dinner. Our Mess wasn't the best. We had political and other issues to battle with, apart from some really bad food. But I'm sure all my batch mates would agree that nothing, not even our mothers' Alu Bhindi could meet our expectations. Our Hostel Mess Cook made the BEST Alu Bhindi ever. Hot, crunchy, greasy and served in a smaller quantity than other sabzis(curries), this was a favorite. We went early during the dinner hour, just so the Alu Bhindi doesn't get over! I don't make it often. A and I eat Indian food once or twice a week and it does not necessarily have Alu/Potato. (Its squash once a week in some sorta cuisine. eww. Just saying.) However, the first time I made this, I cried. Not because it was good. It cannot be. But because of the number of times I served this to others (I was a Mess Secretary!) and prayed to God that there should be some left for me. This, apparently, is the Andhra version of a North Indian sabzi. It contained peanuts. Atleast, that is what our Malayalee cook told me. Here is the recipe, with approximate measurements.