It’s a favourite story at our place.
There was a cooking contest at school – this was when my mother and my aunt were in school. My mother was too young to participate, but my aunt was not.
And while she had quite decided in her mind that she was going to participate, she was not quite sure what she was going to make. Until Appa suggested that she make sheera. And so on the morning of the competition my aunt reached school, ingredients neatly in tow. Followed her mother’s instructions carefully, made the sheera (with the obligatory pickle by the side), served it up very prettily, and won. And even today, nearly forty years down the line, the tale is still narrated with pride.
But the point is, piping hot sheera on cold winter mornings is a very nice deal. When the tiles are cold in the morning, and the water is near freezing while brushing, a plateful of sheera is just the thing. And when it is made in ghee (sajuk toopat), with raisins and kaju and badam and crushed pieces of bananana, it takes on a different aura altogether. With maybe a dash of saffron, if you’re really going to make a fist of it.
With the mandatory pickle by the side, of course.
A breakfast fit for kings, I say.
Achcha aai… aik na…