Nostalgia For Naashta.

Posted on June 10, 2012


naashta – commonly used term for breakfast in the Indian sub-continent.

doodh patti chaai – a sweet and strong brew of milky tea made in homes and served at roadside corner cafes all over Pakistan.

roti/chappati – flat bread cooked with ground wholemeal flour and cooked on a flat griddle or even an open fire. Served with curries, yogurt and pickles.

bazaar – local market usually lined with hawker stalls selling food, spices, clothing, accessories.

30 years ago, the joint family system was rampant in Pakistan. It still exists but with a great flux in values, traditions, lifestyle, parenting, the trend is moving fast towards being a nuclear family. Those families that are still part of a joint system set-up must display a great degree of patience and respect for each other if they are to keep harmony and balance within the system. It is not easy and certainly not everyone’s cup of tea but it is doable.

The best part about growing up in a joint family for the first 6-7 years of my life was that I spent a lot of time with my Mamma (that is what I call my paternal grandmother). She would buy me little cooking utensils from the local market near our house and I would play in the kitchen while mamma and mummy(my mum) would bustle in and out cooking, cleaning and bantering. I have faint memories of a little belan and patla (rolling pin and a mini rolling table used to roll rotis and parathas) she had once bought me. On Saturday mornings, Mamma would go out to do the week’s groceries. There were many hawker stalls down the street from where we lived but sometimes she would venture further to the more popular Soldier Bazaar or Machli Bazaar for better variety and prices.

She would return home bearing all sorts of fruits, vegetables, lentils,spices and meats for the week ahead. Mamma was(and is) a tea addict. On those Saturday mornings, exhausted after her long shopping spree, Mamma would refresh herself with a strong cup of steaming hot tea. For naashta(breakfast), she would deep fry day-old chappatis till they were crisp and then dip a piece or luqma into the steaming hot, milky sweet tea. I, only 4 or 5 at the time shared this delicious naashta with Mamma often. You don’t often remember much from when you were 4 but this is one of my strongest and fondest childhood memories.

Today, I felt nostalgic and decided to make a breakfast exactly like the one I have shared with my Mamma many times over. And so here it is, a steaming hot cup of doodh patti chaai and a crispy fried chappati. Simple goodness and timeless memories.

nostalgia for naashta

Do you have a favourite childhood memory of times shared with grandparents?

Posted in: Breakfast, Food, Musings