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cookery nostalgia memoriesby my friend viju

Discussion in 'Snippets of Life (Non-Fiction)' started by sunkan, Apr 30, 2007.

  1. sunkan

    sunkan Gold IL'ite

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    Artists are born…not made, they say. Though to a great extent, this statement can be refuted, it remains true when it comes to culinary expertise. It is easy to follow a recipe but it takes more than mere following of instructions to have the recipient of your culinary efforts declare with a satisfied belch … ‘Anna daataa sukhee bhava!’…or give you an Oscar in cooking by declaring ‘Tastes just like my mother’s…’ When it comes to that Oscar, I am like the Indian film industry…eternally waiting!

    Born to a fantastic cook and daughter in law to another maestro in cookery… I am more of the ugly duckling waiting to metamorphose into a culinary swan! Er… may be that is a hyperbole! I am not a culinary moron. My Dal Makhanis, Mattar Paneers, Aloo stews and various chutneys have won accolades at home and workplace. I owe that to my mother’s guidance, motivation and inspiration. My sister Rat is, any day, a better, more adventurous and dedicated cook, than me… Yet neither of us have that magic touch that is our mother’s patent.
    This list is special maybe because of the memories associated with them.
    Here are the 10 things I miss / yearn for/ aspire to perfect…of my mother’s kitchen. WISHFUL THINKING!
    1. The incredibly soft and perfectly round chapathis she used to make for us on a kerosene stove, seated at the foot of the staircase, in the dining hall of our ancestral home in Thrissur, while the five of us used to bicker and jostle one another for our turn.

    2. Aloo, onion and red pumpkin sambhar she made as accompaniment to those chapathis. Sambhar for chapathis? You don’t know what you have missed…She has given me her recipe, but… sigh!

    3.Neyyappams- Whether for Karthigai or Ganapathi Homam or just whenever we fancied it, hers looked and tasted just divine! Mine, I usually add to my rock collection!

    4.Payasams – Specially the ones she used to make for Bhagavathi Sevai pujas. She’d bathe around <?XML:NAMESPACE PREFIX = ST1 /><ST1:TIME hour="16" minute="0">4 pm</ST1:TIME> and clad in her 9 yards saree prepare the offering for the pujai. We’d wait impatiently for the priest to finish his business so that we could dig into that ‘caramel -coloured, ghee dripping, dimpling with raisins and sugar crystals’ preparation… More than Bhagavathi (Goddess Durga), we were pleased by that prasadam. May be if I start wearing 9 yards sarees, I’ll be able to make it like she does.

    5.Silky, lacy aappams on Sunday mornings… Hers are like Kanjeevaram sarees and mine Dharmavaram…or Aarni! Accompanied by her ‘urulakkizhangu shtoo’ or kadala curry, they were poetry…sheer poetry!

    6. Vegetable Biriyani – She used to make hers in big ottu (bronze) uruli. We used to hang around the kitchen savouring the smell of fried shallots and bread cubes…SLURP!

    7. Idlis – Soft, whit, spongy… mmmmmmm! I can compare them to only one thing…The music of M.S. Subbalakshmi…

    8.Puliyinjaam – Our name for the traditional Puliyogere or tamarind rice. Her recipe had that tang that I associate with my happy, secure childhood. I have tasted a variety of the stuff, the Iyengar’s, the MTR’s, the Balaji temples’ prasadams. Nothing to beat my Mom’s!

    9.Vetha Kozhambu and Chutta Pappadam – On those good old days of girlhood, She would give my hair an elaborate oil massage- an ennathechu kuli- and with my hair wrapped in a white towel, I’ll tuck into hot rice with mouth- watering vethakozhambu and pappadams dry roasted on the coal stove. With that inside me, I’d go drifting to slumberland and the adjoining dreamland.

    10. Masala Bhath- She’d prepare that for my lunch box. I still don’t get the exact combination of Khatta, chillies and the perfectly boiled aloo and shallots… I’d fight to control the saliva and tears when my heartless, greedy classmates snatched it out of my bag and gobbled it all up!

    I could go on…and on… I am sure my sons may not feel inspired by this to write their version…May be they will- only it will be titled ‘ 10 Things We Miss From Our Grandma’s Kitchen….SIGH!
    regards sunkan
     
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  2. Vidya24

    Vidya24 Gold IL'ite

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    Very delicious, er beautiful article, Sunkan! Most married women have some fond food that mom makes. I can see that your mom was a fantastic cook. Yes,neypayasam for Bhagavathy Sevai, kadumpayasam as we call it- that is an eternal favourite. I think Devi enters into the body of moms as they make it.

    keep these pieces coming---
     
  3. Kamla

    Kamla IL Hall of Fame

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    Dear Sunkan,

    That was a very entertaining post and your humor made it even more alluring. Oh my, all those yummy dishes, made me hungry too:)

    L, Kamla
     
  4. sunkan

    sunkan Gold IL'ite

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    dear vidya and kamala,
    this is written by my friend viju,
    waiting for her to write to me to bring her over here, her other posts are also equally hilarious a keralite by birth, just pray she calls me and i could woo her to come here to share with all of u her posts....regards sunkan
     
  5. abhatv

    abhatv Senior IL'ite

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    Hai,

    This is a wonderful post. Of course, everyone has some fond memories of the recipes of their mother or grand mother. What I remember is how my grand mother (muthassi) used to give all us kids (cousins) one one urula made with pappadam kaachiya velichenna (coconut oil in which pappadams are fried)....even now I can remember the taste....so yummy.

    Regards,

    Abha.
     
  6. raginiprakash

    raginiprakash Senior IL'ite

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    Hi! Sunkan,

    It was fun reading your friend's nostalgic memories of her mother's cooking. Loved the dash of humour in it.

    I guess mother's cooking is a favourite with everybody universally. I too am yearning to eat the delicious food cooked by mom. Can't tell in words how much i miss it!!

    That was a lovely post! Looking forward for more.

    Cheers!
    Ragini.
     
  7. vidhukumar

    vidhukumar Senior IL'ite

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    your article has made me miss my paati's mor kozhambu........and my mom's dum aloo&kofta curry....sob sob sob......
     

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