Sometime last month, AK & I took a trip to Nainital with my MIL for some business. She had acquired some land and we needed to register it. So we made a weekend of it, travelled by train and stayed at a small hotel.
For the registration process, we spent about 2 hours at the court-house, or rather the District Magistrate’s office. The process included checking various papers, signing them, tons of fingerprints, frantic hunts for a clean loo and endless cups (erm, glasses) of chai.
Cake & Past(r)y out of a tin travel trunk, if you please! And the vendor carried it atop his head, set up shop for 15 minutes, sold half his stash for 10 bucks a-piece, and carried it away atop his head again!
As most of you know, this stuff is not really of Indian culinary descent! It’s a part of the massive colonial hangover! Although bakeries, coffee shops and restaurants across the country have the authentic western sweet down pat, the stuff available in college canteens and street vendors is a whole different ball game!
At a typically government office, I would expect pakoras (savoury fritters), patties (Indian version of puff pastry), biscuits, but definitely not this!
At 10 bucks a pop, I don’t even want to think of the adulteration and unhygeinic quality of the snack, but I have to admit the sponge cake was extremely soft and moist. The icing wasn’t the best in terms of flavour, but the consistency was terrific. AK wolfed down two of them and was a very happy man.
(Nobody wants to face a hungry AK and that tin trunk, with its delicious contents might well have saved my MIL & I much of his hungry wrath!)
So yaayy for cake-pasty out of tin travel trunks!