Tea-time is a big deal in my family home. My mum and our neighbours used to team up to bake, steam or cook up a variety of delicious sweet and savoury afternoon snacks and delicacies.
Us kids used to be the guinea pigs for experimental cookouts – we didn’t complain very much until we grew up and became a tad more conscious of our waistlines.
During weekends and holidays – when our home practically becomes a bus station with visiting friends and relatives, there is usually a food galore. Since everyone has their favourites, we usually end up with a table full of snacks – an assortment of Malay, Chinese and Indian or fusion delicacies like char kuey, fried sweet-potato with kuih bangkit (sticky sweet brown paste filling), fried banana, colourful nyonya cakes, vadai or spicy curry puffs, red bean or black glutinous rice porridge among others.
One of my favourite tea-time snacks (especially on late-lunch or early-dinner days) is the thosai – a sour/savoury thin Indian crepe made with fermented rice and beans.
Here in Malaysia it comes in several variants, plain thosai, rava thosai, egg thosai, sardine thosai, onion thosai and ghee thosai, among others.
Served up with dhal, fish or chicken curry and green or red chutney on the side, it is best washed down with a soothing cup of Teh C (strong tea with evaporated milk) or ‘Brooke Bonds Bru Coffee made with condensed milk.
I haven’t mastered the art of making a thosai myself though and often have to head out to the nearby restaurants to satisfy my cravings. Hence, that’s on my list of things I need to bug mum for next – a lesson on how to make thosai!