Har ek Friend Zaroori Hota Hain

The new Airtel advertisement had an amazing effect on me.

It reminded me of all the friends I’ve made over the years. Friends from three schools in three different cities – Mumbai, Chennai, and Kolkata, colony friends from Chennai with whom I played late into the evening, college friends from Kolkata some of who are like family now – with whom I can share my deepest feelings and I know will always be around, work friends from Bangalore who have become an integral part of my life, Mahesh’s colleague and his wife with whom we watched movies almost every single weekend in Bangalore and travelled from Koramangala to Malleshwaram at 7am to eat benne masala at CTR, from Koramangala to JP Nagar to eat pakoras and chai, and Mahesh’s B-School friend in Delhi who is as addicted to movies and books as me. The first person I met at college is a dear friend now and is married to another friend.  She was my flat mate in hostel and 11 years later is now my neighbour. It is nice to be able to do certain things we did in college – like taking walks, eating bhuttas and drinking daabs, watching movies, and of course indulging in endless amount of chatting!

Benne Masala @ CTR, Malleshwaram

A few years ago I felt as though I could not make any more new friends. I am glad that I was wrong. It is amazing how one can connect with people and create new memories. In the last three years, I have realized that age does not matter. Some of my best friends today are a decade or two older to me. They are absolutely non-judgmental, loads of fun, and are responsible for kindling the love of food in me. Together, we celebrated food and laughed most of our worries away. Believe it or not, at any given day at work we would have 12 dishes between the four of us. Unsurprisingly, these ladies are Bengalis!

I will be cooking for friends this week. Baked a caramel brownie (Ghirardelli Mix) for a college friend’s birthday, will bake the devil’s food cake for our Delhi friend who will soon be leaving for Pune -incidentally, she is joining Ferrero Rocher (Note the food connection J) and will give a second shot at a Zebra Cake for my mother’s birthday. More on that later.

For now, here is a quick recipe for Masala Vadas.


1 cup channa dal

1 finely chopped onion

1 tsp finely chopped ginger

2 finely chopped chillies

1 tsp finely chopped coriander

I tsp fennel seeds (saunf)


Channa Dal


1. Soak the channa dal for 1-2 hours.

2. Grind 3 tbsps of the soaked dal with 1 tsp of water into a fine paste. Remove and then grind coarselt the remaining dal without adding any water. The dals should be visible and the batter should not be very smooth.  This gives the masala vada its distinctive look.

3. Add all the other ingredients and shape into vadas and deep fry.

4. Serve hot with peanut chutney or any other chutney.

Saturday morning breakfast - masala vadas



Filed under Vegetarian

14 responses to “Har ek Friend Zaroori Hota Hain

  1. triveni

    Its so good to read your blog…there is always an element of freshness…and your recipes are very jat pat and tasty..not those complicated ones where you spend hours in the kitchen. Also for someone like me who has juts started cooking, it really helps:) thanks swags…special mention of ur food pics..looks very yummy

  2. Juieen

    swagella you rock! i love the add… brought a smile to my face…

  3. swagataraha

    🙂 Has the same effect on me.

  4. Meera

    Love love love your blog! I so wish you were in Blore! Am definitely going to try put some of your recipes.
    About the ad…yeah its really warm and does bring back memories of school and college.

    PS: Did you bake those brownies in your header pic? Please bring for me the next time you visit blore ( what are friends for, i say!! 🙂

  5. swagataraha

    Thanks, Meera! That’s totally chocolate chocolate chip cookies in the header. You need to come to Delhi soon for soem treats!

  6. Hello!
    Dint know you even blogged! Glad you do and that too about food. And Masala vada also has a variant we tam-brams make called the Aama Vadai. We use a mix of chana dal and Tour dal as base. No onion, but green chillies, ginger, Asafoetida and curry leaves. The rest of it is the same.

    As for cakes – I think I better stick to just eating them! :D..The Oven and me dont like each other 😦

  7. sonal

    🙂 Looks yummy..what region is it from?

  8. Hey Swagata, thanks for introducing me to the airtel ad which I had not seen and for inspiring me to try something new in the kitchen next time. Someone who’s reading my reply has suddenly become optimistic about mom’s culinary interests 🙂

  9. swagataraha

    🙂 That’s really sweet. I will look forward to sabudana khichdi the next time I am in Bangalore.

  10. Pingback: MTR’s Sambhar, Saravana Bhawan Chutneys, and CTR’s benne masala | Foodie's World

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