Come an emergency, all good boy scouts must know how to: start a fire, tie a reef knot, send messages in morse code, and frankly, knowing how to make puris and pakoras comes in handy in a spot of trouble too.
The other night our whole family was invited to Mali’s scout group to show them how to cook up a full Indian meal: rice, pakoras, puris, chutney, matar panir and halava. The scout leader had been to the temple and wanted the boys to get the full experience!
It was so much fun. Hyperactive boys + hot oil + messy ingredients is always a recipe for excitement, and these boys didn’t disappoint. My team was making puris, and within minutes they were beating up the dough to within an inch of its life, and rolling the puris into hearts, faces, and quite a few unmentionables too (much to their delight when they puffed up).
At the end of the evening, they all lined up for the tasting, jostling and elbowing to go first. My dad said a prayer, and we served until the pots were empty. One boy came up for four helpings of halava, and said he wished he could eat it everyday. Give him a few years – he’ll probably end up living in the temple.