by Martha B

Drawing of tea cups

I was exposed to Punjabi hospitality when I travelled to India for the first time in 1966 on the occasion of my marriage.

Little did I expect that I would be awakened at 5:00am in the morning by a knock on the door alerting me that the sun had risen and offering me “Bed tea”.  Bed tea is chai in its most perfect form—hot, spicy, heavy with milk. In Punjab, they often call this tea “hundred-mile-tea” since it is so rich in caffeine that truck drivers can drive for several hours on back roads without stopping.

Following tea in my room, I was instructed to go to the kitchen where my husband’s sister-in-law was preparing garum-garum (hot-hot) parathas.  These are whole wheat breads, stuffed with potatoes, and cooked on a griddle (tava).  Eaten with fresh plain yogurt, this is clearly the right way to start the day!

I will warn you that making parathas takes practice but, should you like to try, here is the link to a website that gives a recipe and provides step-by-step directions: