Thursday, 28 February 2013

Relishing kalla katta ice-gola dripping with tangy memories

Today for the second time in February I had kalla katta ice-gola. I don't know how to translate the name 'kalla katta ice-gola' but roughly ice-gola refers to crushed ice and kalla katta is the flavour into which the crushed ice is dipped. The word 'kalla' in Hindi is the colour black and 'katta' refers to the sour taste. Now, to the post.


Kalla katta is an integral part of my formative years. A man selling ice-golas would be stationed outside our colony and every time I came home from school, I would want to buy some ice-golas but was always refused by my mother. She felt that the water used for making the ice was not hygienic. Of course, all mothers feel that way and we children felt that hygiene or not, ice-golas were tasty and delicious. Every time we passed by the man selling those golas, our mouths would water and immediately we would crave for one or two coloured golas. By the time the man crushed the ice using a dilapidated machine and moulded the crushed ice, we would get impatient and while he fizzed out coloured syrup from tall bottles on to the ice, we would stretch out our hands, one hand with the money and the other for the ice gola! One ice-gola cost about 10 paise. Though it seems a paltry amount today, those days it was some money.



Ice-golas remained frozen in my memory and I never did think that I would be able to taste the same ice-gola all over again. I did. Our Institute conducts festivals during which many food stalls are put up and one such stall was BOMBAY ICE-GOLA. Initially I was wondering whether I should give it a try. Usually when a memory is intact and perfect, one doesn't want to distort it by revisiting the same and get disappointed. Right? Ah, I just wanted that ice-gola and the same flavour that I knew back then -- Kalla katta. The 10 paise ice gola was 30 rupees now! Any price to revisit memories, right. Apprehensively, I muttered, "Kalla katta" and immediately the man started his antics of preparing the ice-gola. The moment I tasted the gola, I became the Susan who was five years old and relished her ice-golas. I sucked memories and also split some nostalgia on my clothes in the process. I forced my husband also to buy one for himself. He did. He preferred to get an elite flavour - pista badam and strawberry flavoured ice-gola. Somehow his ice-gola did not appeal to me. It was too synthetic and modern unlike the raw and tangy kalla katta. Both of us sucked our golas all the way from the stall to our house.

Well, did I tell you my tongue and lips were a tinge of blackish pink after having finished the ice-gola? For some time I was twenty odd years younger, looking up the mirror now and then and happy that the colour was still there - natural lipstick, we used to say.

Memories are beautiful especially food ones. After all in memories calories and health don't matter, only memories matter.

What are your favourite food memories? Tell me . . .

Image 1: Internet
Image 2: Internet

28 comments:

  1. You brought me back fresh memories from my childhood where I would crave for amazing hot Jalebis and a ride in the mini and colourful giant wheel that would be carted on the streets near my grandma's house when I was 6.

    You had actually made the Kalla-katta tastier than actually it might be through your words, dear Susan. It was a treat to read this post of yours. :)

    Cheers,
    Gayathree

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    1. I like hot jalebis as well. Food memories are the best memories that can be shared with anyone, right?

      Thanks for coming by, dear Gayathree.

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  2. Oh, what a wonderful post! So glad your childhood memories were only strengthened by tasting the Kalla Katta once again.
    When I was little, I loved popsicles. The ice cream man would drive his truck through our neighborhood every afternoon in summer. I remember begging my mother for a dime so I could get one. Rarely, did she give in. But, when she did, I always selected the blue popsicles - turned my tongue and lips the same color! :)
    Blessings, Susan, and thanks for this walk down memory lane.

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    1. I can imagine little Martha with blue lips and tongue. Delightful picture.

      Lots of love dear Martha. Thanks for bringing a smile.

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  3. Nice post! Always a delight to revisit childhood even for a brief moment.

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    1. Absolutely, Clement. Glad that you stopped by.

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  4. B I N G O....definitely, Susan Deborah. My mother allowed me, the "eldest" of four, to accompany her to Tuesday night Bingo in a large church basement. WHY I enjoyed to go there (did not gamble the bingo games--too young) was for the hamburgers (chopped beef) tasting SO good on German rye bread with slice of Burmuda onion. That was all, no drssings, etc. And I LOVED it, ate four during the evening. Always ended up with stomach ache. Hmmmmm. Already--at age six--an addict! I love them today, 74 years later. smiles!
    Love ya, Susan.
    Steve

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    1. Even I was the eldest but no such privileges! Chopped beef . . . sounds yum, Steve. Even I enjoy my beef and lamb. 74 years later sounds lovely. I envy the way you carry yourself, dear Steve. I love you for that.

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  5. I love gola too but cannot have it off the streets! Nowadays, they have opened these Gola outlets where they make a hygienic one in front of your eyes with amazing flavors like kachchi kairi and of course, kala khatta too :).

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    1. Gola outlets in a building!?! Wow. That's something nice. I presume the ones that were sold here were also from an outlet since it was part of BITS fest. Anyway, the fest is over and so are the golas :(

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  6. i have many apart from the ice golas. Btw did you know that in Delhi they are also known as Chuski. We have flavors including pan nowadays. i love them. Even when they were not flavors but amazing colors that showed on the lips and tongue. And our gola man had a carpenter's plane with which he scraped from a block of ice...then used his hands to make a bolus of the ice... then from the sugary colored bottles drenched the bolus with the color we had chosen and we were off licking the ice cold sweet colors. All that lovely licks as it dripped only for 10 paisa. And much to our parent's chagrin did not fall sick because of that.
    Yeah now they have flavors like kala khatta and more but i am sure nothing less than 20 rupees. Even then we land with a sore throat or something of the sort...

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    1. I have never heard of Chuski. I had it three days in a row. Alas! now the festival is over and the golas have gone but those three days were fun. Eating those golas refreshed many a memory from my formative years.

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  7. You've send me down memories lane ! Kala Khatta was something we looked forward to every summer. There are so many other flavours now .. But there is nothing like kala khatta !

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    1. What are we without our memories, Ruchira. Yes, of course there are many flavours today but nothing like Kala Katta!

      Glad to see you here, Ruchira.

      Delete
  8. nice...like shaved ice? we def had those as well...smiles...elephant ear cookies was a treat when we grew up...and you just cant find them the same as they were....

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    1. I guess so. Something like that. I have never heard of Elephant ear cookies.

      Smiles on seeing you here, Brian.

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  9. Your post made me remember a time when I was about ten years old. I went to Puerto Rico and somehow I wound up going to the ccountry. It was incredibly hot and in a little shack house a man was selling ice cones (piraguas in Spanish). It was our version of your ice-golas. My grandfather had given me some money and I was able to buy many, many piraguas. At least that's how I recall it.

    Good post as usual Susan. You always manage to arouse some basic memories and feelings. Thanks for the good wishes you wrote to me on my blog. Your support in my impending move matters. I hope you get to eat many more ice-golas since they bring you so much happiness. Take care Susan.

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    1. Myrna, thanks for your warm words. They never fail to cheer me up.

      Hope the change for you is smooth and fine.

      Lots of love, Myrna.

      Delete
  10. I've never eaten ice gola, wonder why. But yes food does trigger a memory, whenever I make my grandmother's curry, it brings back memories of rainy Bombay days when the cousins used to sit together and break pieces off our kadak pav to soak up the warm gravy.

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    1. Pav is another memory for me. Eating pav-bhajji in Juhu beach. You should try ice-gola. I think you get them in Ampa Skywalk Mall.

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  11. Never had ice golas in my life, wonder why...
    Food does trigger memories, whenever I make my grandmother's curry, it brings back memories of rainy mornings in Bombay, when we cousins would sit around together, breaking off pieces of kadak pav to soak up that warm gravy.

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  12. We had packed tube-like flavoured frozen ice. Not sure what the name was, but it was very tasty and cold. Of course, I have had a very few of them as it was generally banned for us. But I do remember the taste vividly. I liked the kucchi-ice and ball-ice, as well. Ball-ice was actually a plastic ball filled with vannila ice-cream and we would play with the ball afterwards. Double fun :)

    Destination Infinity

    PS: Need to remember this kalla-khatta-ice-gola. Difficult :P

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  13. In my days (of ice gola) there was nothing of the sort of hygienic and non hygienic. Maybe the water used in those days were not all that bad and water borne disease were not so common. But yes the ice gola was very much there and the poor guy used to make it by actually grating a piece of ice on a grater sort of thing. (no machines like the one showed above) And after sucking out everything as quickly as possible we used to ask the guy to put some more of those coloured syrup on the gola, which he used to readily do.
    You brought back good memories Susan.

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    1. You belong to a generation way back than mine, I reckon. Now I remember, the man outside our building used to grate them like you have mentioned.

      Ah, memories. Sigh.

      Delete
  14. I love this. When I happen to visit George Town in Chennai, I make sure I don't miss this. Mango is my favourite :-)

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    1. Mango is too sweet for me. I like sour and tangy flavours more.

      Glad that you stopped by, Ashwini.

      Delete
  15. am not a fan of kalla khatta......but loved reading your posts..sinc eits so linked with your memories :)

    http://www.myunfinishedlife.com/

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