Dhokla is my favourite Indian snack, well, now that pani puri is off the menu. At least four nights a week, my husband buys a small box from Haldiram’s on his way home from his office. Some of you may be asking, what on Earth is a dhokla? Well, the best way I can describe a dhokla is as a juicy, spicy, spongy cake, topped with mustard seeds and coriander. This might sound strange but trust me, it’s delicious. Dhokla is native to the northern state of Gujarat, but luckily the juicy snack has found it’s way down to Maharashtra!
One evening my husband brought home a huge amount of dhokla, more than we could eat in one sitting. The prospect of having some for breakfast the next morning was really exciting (yes, extremely exciting, dhokla is exciting). I went to bed that night thinking of how fabulous it will be to have dhokla for breakfast. The next morning, my stash of dhokla crossed my mind before I had even sat up!
I waited until my husband had left for work and our maid had finished her work before delving into the fridge, I didn’t want to have to share it with them. I know, it was selfish and greedy, but I had looked forward to this moment for more than twelve hours. I opened the box and to my dismay, only a very small single piece sat alone in the box. I had built up ten tonnes of anticipation over this lavish dhokla breakfast I had planned, I didn’t even enjoy what I did have because I was feeling deflated. I sent a message to my husband, “why did you eat my breakfast dhokla, I made you a nice breakfast”. He responded with, “I didn’t eat any dhokla“. Then it dawned on me, my cheeky maid had taken it.
I love the lady who comes to clean our floors and wash our clothes, she also works at my in-laws house so I have known her for nearly two years. She speaks enough English so we can have a joke together and she works very hard. She is sassy, funny and loves Alfonso (which is important because he loves her). I first met our maid on my first day in India when she burst into my bedroom and started sweeping, it gave me a huge fright and I was a little scared of her for several months, but now I feel very comfortable around her and enjoy her company.
When it happened a second time, dhokla went missing, I was about to offer her some until I saw she had already helped herself. A couple weeks later, we went for lunch at my in-laws place and our maid was there helping my mother-in-law. We had brought dhokla as a side dish. My mother-in-law, knowing that the maid couldn’t resist, gave her a big plate of it saying “she loves dhokla.” We all laughed, the dhokla thief included.
I cannot really begrudge our maid some snacks and since she has started taking dhokla, I have offered her food more often. I guess it’s not just me who get’s excited over dhokla!
UPDATE: What happened next…