Oh! I do like to be beside the seaside

I do like to be beside the sea!

I do like to stroll upon the Prom, Prom, Prom!

Where the brass bands play

While you’re singing that, go grab a bucket and spade. We’re going to the beach. You really have no choice. The sun’s out, so beach you must. (I know, I completely verbed my noun there. And some day, I’ll tell you why that doesn’t bother me.)
So here’s Chotto-ma at the railway station, with some goslings who we assumed were waiting for the fast train to visit cousins up north.

And here we are, an hour-and-a-bit later, at the beach. And that’s all I’m going to say about it, really. I’ll leave you to feel the sand between your toes, and hear the seagulls squawk, and smell the fish and chips.

And while we sat with our fish-and-chips, we talked about what we usually talk about. Other food. We do that a lot, D and I. We talk about what we’re not eating, when we’re eating something which isn’t as good as it could be. We talk about the could-haves. We also talk about food while walking hand-in-hand under the stars – but that just makes us gluttons, so we won’t go there.

Anyway, so there we were, eating fried fish and fried potato, and imagining the very British beach filled with Indian street stalls selling fried Indian food. Alu-r Chop (fried potato cakes), Beguni (batter-dipped fried aubergine), Shingara (samosas, but not the flat trianlgles you find here; these are triangles that have fat bottoms to sit on). And Nimki (the gorgeous things you will see below)

I made Nimki today. Suddenly, and on a whim. Just before tea-time. That’s how it is with Nimki – fried without a plan. And served with a cup of tea, in Kolkata. Very far from the prom-prom-prom were Dickens strolled.

Nimki – or, fried little diamonds of dough

(there’s not a single thing wrong with them, nor a single thing healthy)
1 1/2 cup plain white flour (for the dough)
1/2 tsp kalo jeere/kalonji (known as nigella seeds)
5 tbs oil (for kneading the dough)
Water (about 1/2 cup for kneading the dough)
1 tsp sugar (flattened, not heaped)
Oil (for deep frying)

Take the flour in a large, round bowl. Sprinkle in the kalo jeere, sugar, salt and oil. Get your hands in, and mix well till the flour starts looking like crumbs. Add water, a little at a time, and knead it into a tight dough. Knead for another 2-3 minutes (It’s good for the dough, and relaxing too.)
Divide the dough into 4 balls. Using a rolling pin, roll out the balls to circles. Now, the circles should not be too thin, nor too thick. About the thickness of the average dinner plate, if that helps.
Now, take a sharp knife and do what you see me do in the photographs – cut criss-cross lines to make doughy diamonds.
Heat oil in wok/pan.
Add the Nimki to the oil and fry them on low heat.
Your Nimki is done when they’re golden brown in colour. Fish them out of the oil, and drain on a paper towel.
Make yourself a cup of tea.

16 thoughts on “Tiddely-om-pom-pom!

  1. HOORAY… The sun's out!! Beautiful pictures of a lovely day Pia. Do you know, I have actually tried nimki as well, at a school international food day, I ate loads of them!! πŸ™‚

  2. I can hardly believe my eyes, Emma! The sun, the sun! πŸ™‚ woo-hoo!! And I can't believe you've tried nimki! πŸ™‚ how lovely. yes, i'd eat loads of them too – i don't blame you!

  3. Love the header first πŸ™‚ You were at the beach ? Why did I think you were going to Kolkata from the suitcase post I don't know πŸ™‚ But this one is as good and I am sure CM had a blast.

  4. I can't believe. Summer. At last. Train trip to the beach. My kids could have died and came back alive from happiness. And the photo of you and D speaks happy happy

  5. yes, just the beach, sandeepa. how i wish it was kolkata though! eto din jai ni je aamar ekhon withdrawal symptoms hochhe! πŸ™‚

  6. Hi Pia,
    A friend and I admired your stall in Cambridge market this afternoon and picked up your card. Coming home I've found your blog and just wanted to say how delightful is. (I'm the lady who asked where you bought your box frames!)

  7. Hi Gina! How lovely of you to drop by my blog! Thanks for leaving such a nice comment πŸ™‚ I'm guessing you asked my friend Gabriela about the boxframe – I'd gone to grab a cup of coffee then. Today was our last day at the stall in Cambridge, but maybe I'll see you around my blog again? I can normally be found rambling here, or on the peppercorns facebook page πŸ™‚

  8. Namak ke pare.. yum yum. Reminds me of my hostel days when my mum sent me those for late night snacking. Gorgeous weather still it seems. The photos spread so much joy.

  9. is that what you call it – namak ke pare? πŸ™‚ i've never had hostel days, anita, but if i did, i'd want namak ke pare too for late night hunger pangs!
    the gorgeous weather is almost on it's way out i think 😦

  10. kotodin por h***ant'ke dekhlam πŸ™‚ and when u come to india this time, u shall come to my place and make me a large jar of nimkis (amongst a host of other things) before u leave…

  11. haha – i like the covert spelling πŸ™‚
    and why nimki, which any cook in kolkata can make – and better than me! in fact, making the nimki reminded me of your house, and sujata πŸ™‚

Leave a Reply to Dalia Cancel reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s