Of course, this is midnight to me. Midnight is because I rarely stay awake past six in the morning, and like a good little girl go to sleep by preferably five.

But then, it is out there.

The Chinese Breakfast.

Okay, so I was hungry. Thanks to the gastronomical disaster, which was my cousin’s five-year anniversary lunch yesterday, I was terribly heartsick about any “bangalibarir dupurer nemontonno”{non-bongs, read luncheon to celebrate aforementioned anniversary} and decided to not eat anything, just to get rid of the taste of stale Fish Tandoori from my mouth.

So. The night passed away with me playing Forsaken World (Thank you PWE, and in another world, Panu’s a Gamer) and the morning came to consciousness with a severe jolt of hunger. And the need to drink something hot and sweet, something I have rarely felt recently.

What to do?

So I decided to hop on a cab that took me straight to Teritty Bazaar. Now I can of course go to other fabulous breakfast joints around Kolkata, but no, the stomach called for a Bao. A proper, plum sauce and pork filled Bao. With a dollop of Hot Chili Sauce on the side, made by either Sing Cheung Company or Pou Chong Brothers, two of Kolkata’s favorite hot sauce makers.

My first stop was the sauce shops. Because I had ran out of the following:

1. Cooking Rice Wine.
2. Fungus.
3. Light Soy Sauce.
4. Black Bean Sauce.
5. Mung Bean Vermicelli (or bean thread noodles, or glass noodles) for my soup.

 First stop was the EPIC Sing Cheung. However, they were closed. And a man was standing there doing something to the place, so I assumed they won’t be open anytime soon.

Aww.

However, as I was about to hang my head and walk away, I suddenly remembered to look across the street.

I looked.

And I found.

Seek, and ye shall find.

So, from the helpful man there who insisted that I go to the SBI ATM to pick up cash (because, in my hurry I forgot I was cashless) to the perfectly packed fungus, it was just one word.

Perfect.

After this, I walked across the street that smelled heavily of pee and garbage, and marauded into Teritty, or Tiretty Bazaar, one of the oldest places to shop in Kolkata. The reason?

Hunger.

Remember, my Bao Craving? Well, here was the solution: pale, tufts of white rice flour pillows containing beautiful little chunks of anise-y sausages in a rich, carmine red plum sauce. And okay, the THING to have with it is hot tea, served very readily by the man who was sitting there and making piping hot tea early in the morning.

I want.

Unfortunately, as I sauntered into the place at seven in the morning, I remembered that today is 2nd May. Right next to May Day. And its a Sunday.

Which means…

There was only ONE MAN selling food. And he gave the last Bao to another human being. I gave him a dirty look. He politely looked at me and bit into his Bao.

Not fair.

However, I did get the supremely tasty pork dumplings.

They are made of pork, salt, scallions, garlic. and wrapped in fresh Wonton wrapper and steamed to perfection. Served with a cup of tea, they are the stuff you generally eat and then go to sleep, lulled by the steady rhythm of good dumplings making ripples all over your tummy. I wolfed them down (by the time you see this I was one dumpling down) and sniffed heavily, trudging my way back, thanks to the humble weight I carried.

MY Shopping: Black Bean Sauce (2 jars), Light Soy, Rice Wine, Mung Bean Sprouts and Fungus.

I am a happy, happy girl. And I’m going to bed. Sweet dreams!

Btw, I made this simple soup with the Black Bean Sauce. All you need is clear chicken broth, some noodles (I used bean thread), cornstarch, one egg and a bit of the sauce. Just heat up a batch of broth, slide some cooked noodles in it (you can put in crunchy cabbage and carrots too! I did’nt). Add a teaspoon of the sauce per cup of soup, and then adjust seasoning. Thicken with a cornstarch paste and break an egg per two bowls of soup. Serve HOT.

Edit: Okay, this post is going to be entered for this contest that I got from THIS blog, Thank you Bong Mom. And THIS is the post she asked me to refer to (as I am still technologically challenged, I hope the post refers to the right things) which is from Aqua’s blog, as she told me to. Thank You for letting me enter!

Written by Poorna Banerjee

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  1. panu 2011-05-02 at 5:38 pm Reply

    @ rimi – Bao to you too.

    @ saptarshi – of course I do. You me dhruva meghna. Amazing morning out, and it was my sister's birthday too.

  2. saptarshi 2011-05-02 at 4:04 pm Reply

    Reminds me of that very random morning. Remember Panu? 🙂

  3. Rimi 2011-05-02 at 11:03 am Reply

    Panu, the day I come back, you and I are going. I'll stay over the night before?

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