Inter-state and inter-caste marriages are gradually becoming common more acceptable in India, a country where once it was blasphemous to think of getting married outside one’s caste (in fact it still exists in certain communities and pockets & states of the country). Perhaps the major reason one can attribute to this trend is an augmentation in the rate of female education; there by creating opportunity for them to step out of their homes to build an independent career. Better job opportunities in metro cities has lead to people pouring in from all corners of the country in search of better jobs and careers. This migration has lead to more interaction between people from different backgrounds and communities.
Bars of caste and state mean little to the modern & young generation of Indians and more so to those in love!! I was one of those who moved from a non-descript town of north India to Delhi when I was offered a corporate job there. While there, I met my husband. Thanks to our up-bringing, it didn’t make much difference to us what backgrounds we were coming from and what community we belonged to and it goes without saying that our parents readily agreed to our match.
Such marriages have their own boons and banes. Major boons being the chance that you get to marry the person of your choice! (Even today majority of marriages in India are arranged) and you get to imbibe the best of another culture but there are certain flips too! Though, blissfully married for more than a decade, I must admit that the transition didn’t take place without its share of cultural shocks and adjustments. I know some would argue that each marriage requires adjustments/compromises but it gets even tougher when you need to understand and adjust with your spouse and also to a household where everything is different – customs, traditions, beliefs, mind-set, ways of living, food habits.
Although I have got accustomed to most stuff, food is one thing I still tend to miss at times especially on certain special occasions. At my brother-in-law’s marriage, which took place just recently, I missed the traditional sweets that are made especially for the occasion. Although, the give-away box of sweets was loaded with goodies yet I missed what I would have loved to be in there had it been a wedding at my side of the family – shakkar paré, namake paré, gud paré, plain mathi (which tastes great with masala pickle…yummm), and other goodies. I used to gorge on these, especially the shakkar paré, and namake paré.
Today I decided to make one of these goodies that is also my favourite snack and is often made at Punjabi weddings. They are basically savoury crackers which are usually cut in diamond shape but I kept them thin and long coz I personally prefer them crispier and flakier. They taste fabulous with a cup of coffee or tea and you will find them so addictive!
1 ¾ cup/ 180 grams Maida (all purpose flour)
30 grams Oil or Ghee (clarified butter)
¼ tsp or less Ajwain (carom seeds)
Salt to taste
¼ cup (+/-) Water to make the dough
Oil for frying
Sift the flour and salt. Add carom seeds and ghee.
Rub the flour together to assimilate it well with the ghee.
Using water, make a medium stiff dough.
Keep the dough aside for an hour covered with moist cloth
Divide the dough in four equal sized ball.
Roll one ball at a time like a chapatti.
I made a little more than ½ mm broad vertical cuts and 2½ to 3 inch horizontal cuts. (you can choose the size for yourself)
Heat sufficient oil in a wok and reduce the heat to medium low.
Slowly add the cut out dough and fry till they turn a deep golden.
Drain the oil and transfer them on a tissue or kitchen towel.
Proceed in the same manner with the rest of the dough and finish the whole batch.
Store in an air tight container and enjoy them with the beverage of your choice.
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