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The Kobbari Mithai My Mother Made

Discussion in 'Snippets of Life (Non-Fiction)' started by GeetaKashyap, Nov 21, 2017.

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  1. GeetaKashyap

    GeetaKashyap IL Hall of Fame

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    The Coconut burfi in Kannada is Kobbari Mithai. It as it is one of the most common sweets made across all communities in India, of course with a little variation. But the Kobbari Mithai I am talking about is the sweet my mother used to make, with an extraordinary taste, flavour and texture!

    What I found so special about my mother’s skill was her art of cooking food to perfection, almost every time! Of all the various things my mother cooked she received outstanding appreciation for the Kobbari Mithai and the Vangi Bhaat. This is something I miss a lot since my mother’s sudden demise over a decade ago.

    While making Kobbari Mithai, my mother would be very particular about the size and the type of coconut. You see, to get her level of perfection the coconut had to be perfectly ripe; neither tender nor too tough and she also had a specific thick bottomed vessel to make the Mithai. Once the coconut was selected, she would patiently get rid of as much fibre and loose particles as possible from its outer shell so that while manually grating, these brown fibres wouldn’t fall into the grated snow white coconut. Then while grating, she was particular about the exact amount of pressure to be exerted to get the right textured gratings and also the shell had to be carefully scraped so that the thin darker cover of the coconut didn’t contaminate the snow white scrapings! (Uff! So fussy.) Then she would eye-ball the remaining contents: sugar, milk, water and the cardamom powder. And after careful and continuous stirring for some twenty odd minutes, she would give a satisfied smile and transfer the contents to a pre-greased plate and level the contents and she would later slice the snow white cake into 1.5x1.5 inch burfis. The next job she did always elicited sly smiles from all of us and that was, hiding this tasty burfis from my father as he was crazy about sweets and she cared for his health a little too much! She would say, “Your father will attack the sweets like an ant, so I have no options but to hide it from him!” Then lovingly she would offer one piece of the mithai to him during the evening snack time. My father would play along innocently knowing well all those places where she hid the sweets and pilfer it when she would step out of the house! But both of them wouldn’t say a word about it to each other!

    Even on the night she passed away, she had prepared this Kobbari Mithai as the next day was very special to her; one daughter’s wedding anniversary and another daughter’s birthday! After a normal day of work, she made the sweet late at night, she went to bed as usual but about an hour later, she woke up with sudden suffocation and within the next 10 minutes, on the way to the hospital she quietly passed away, without giving a chance to anyone to save her.

    The following day, we were all busy with the last rites and mourning. Then the next day, we discovered the hidden Kobbari mithai and all of us; her husband, daughters, sons-in-law and the grandchildren devoured this sweet with tears in our eyes but tasting and enjoying every little piece and crumbs of that divine sweet she had prepared for us with so much of love.

    The Kobbari Mithai my mother made always had an extraordinary taste, flavour and texture! It would be just perfect in all respects; neither too hard nor too soft nor crumbly. I have eaten this sweet many times after her demise but none could compete with what she made. Though my mother is no more, the memory of the Kobbari Mithai she made, is firmly embedded in my memory and I can virtually feel and taste it whenever I feel like. To me, it symbolizes my mother and her love for us and that is something I will not find anywhere or anytime ever!
     
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  2. Amica

    Amica IL Hall of Fame

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    :hello: Hi @GeetaKashyap! Welcome to IL!

    Please accept my condolences on your mother's passing away.

    Thank you for this walk down memory lane. You mentioned coconut barfi and vaangi bhaath — two of my all time favorite foods. :hearteyes:

    I remember well the treasure hunt for sweets — always carefully hidden in not-so-secret places. :D

    Do write more. Some of us are gluttons for nostalgia. :blush:
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    shravs3, momsky, Thyagarajan and 3 others like this.
  3. satchitananda

    satchitananda IL Hall of Fame

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    Welcome to Snippets Geeta! So enjoyed reading your snippet. As I read on, I could see those wonderful coconut barfis in front of my eyes and then your description of all the care she used to take to make them brought a smile to my face. This was followed by a lot of pain as I read about your mother's demise and I could almost feel your extreme grief while tasting her last batch of barfis knowing fully well that this was the last time you would taste barfis made by her. But that is life.

    Looking forward to a lot of posts from you. Heartiest congratulations on your first post here being nominated for the Finest Post of this month.
     
  4. GeetaKashyap

    GeetaKashyap IL Hall of Fame

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    satchitananda likes this.
  5. PavithraS

    PavithraS Platinum IL'ite

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    @GeetaKashyap - Welcome to IL ! Your debut post is so sweet and simple. Just like mothers. Thanks for sharing your thoughts. I can empathize with you. If it is Kobbari Mithai for you, it is Vaththakuzhambu for me. It is just amazing that of all things/feelings associated with mother, most of us connect with her (memories) through her handmade food. Maybe it is because of the fact that she not only feeds our tummies with food but also fills our life with more important values through her love and affection. Mom made food and love go hand in hand indeed.
     
  6. GeetaKashyap

    GeetaKashyap IL Hall of Fame

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    @PavithraS
    Moms are always special and whatever they cook tastes heavenly because of the secret ingredient 'Love!' I have heard so much about Vaththakuzhambu; yet to taste:disappointed:. Thanks for your kind words.
     
  7. GeetaKashyap

    GeetaKashyap IL Hall of Fame

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    @Amica

    Hi! Thanks a million for liking my first post and making me feel welcome.:hello:
     
    Amica likes this.
  8. HazelPup

    HazelPup Platinum IL'ite

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    Oh wow that’s really a nice post. Mouth watering coconut burfi. Even before her last breath she made something that you all love. Such is a Mother’s love. Thanks for sharing
     
    Thyagarajan likes this.
  9. Anisu

    Anisu Platinum IL'ite

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    i can relate to this well Geetha. My Mom and aunt are still the same and before marriage she would expect us to grate the way she would do. By the end, we should not even have brown one. By doing this she says that the kobbari mitai will retain its milky white colour. Both her grand children are fans of her sweets and they ask us to learn from her. Whatever we try, Mom's cooking is the best .
     
  10. nandinimithun

    nandinimithun IL Hall of Fame

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    Hi geeta

    That was a beautiful write up..... Mothers are so special, their selfless and unconditional love and sacrifice....

    Keep writing
     

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