Articles in the pulses and beans Category
While the lentils cooked, I started chopping the red Amaranth on my cutting board watching the two tiny squirrels play catch-me-if-you-can on the mango tree outside.
As I stood there silent, my mind began to wander and I started reminiscing about my childhood days…yet again.
“Who on Earth loves eating this laal chawli bhaji (red Amaranth) mom. It looks so yuck?” I would make faces in vain after seeing the slimy mass on my plate, hoping that she would stop making the same…someday.
A long angry look from mom and we would continue to shovel that slimy Chawli bhaji without uttering another word.
“Mom, make your Rajasthani Pasta again, some of my friends will be coming home after the movie and they have asked for it.” Informed son and left hurriedly to join his friends. Today he is off to watch a regional movie (Thalaiva) on his own, refusing any favors from us. From boarding a shared auto, booking the tickets and co-coordinating with his friends…my little dumpling is a grown up kid now.
I am not old enough to start reading fairy tales again…but its time I changed my parenting guidelines. When he waved bye and planted a kiss saying “Don’t you worry mom, I will take care”. I know I would have given anything to keep him little….
But then, I do remember that the best gift I can give to him is to allow him to do things on his own and let him believe in himself.
Living in two different cultures has more benefits than challenges, well, at least to me. I was born and brought up in Rajasthan and moved to Chennai after marriage. I did not anticipate the vast differences in food preference, rituals, languages and the climatic conditions between both the cities. But fortunately for me, except for the common language of communication (Tamil), my transition from one culture to other was seamless.
And yes, the barrier of language was broken long back. I can now converse in local languages (Tamil and Telugu) without getting conscious of my accents or worrying about grammatical mistakes
“My extravagance is my little kitchen garden, these plants & flowers are the very first thing I look at and talk to every morning, it gives me so much pleasure” said mom caressing the tender bean climber near her chair. Mom’s little kitchen garden is indisputably one of the best kept secrets of the recipes she dishes out year after year. Fresh vegetables or aromatic herbs, you name it and you get it from this modest 20×20 sq. feet kitchen garden of hers. I really admire how dutifully she manages her time between cooking, gardening and doing routine mundane chores single- handedly.
It’s a delight to watch her pinching tendrils, tying ropes to support the tender climbers, plucking weeds, carefully drafting the saplings from plastic sachet to soil beds and remembering the age of every plant.
There are a few moments in life when you are truly & completely happy. My yearly visit to hometown in Udaipur, Rajasthan is one such occasion when I wish I could stop the time and live in those moments forever. Though many old familiar houses have given way to high rise apartments now and there are very few familiar faces to greet, but every visit is worth preserving the childhood experiences and keeping them afresh…..from authentic Daal Baatis to exotic Gatte ki subji filled with nuts and dried fruits…they leave no stone unturned to pamper me with their love and let me indulge in my favorite food.
World is celebrating International Women’s day today. Hmm…Is a single day enough to celebrate womanhood? May be, who cares…
Though a little late but am glad that I came out of the veil of a daughter, a wife and a mother to appreciate in broader perspective, the most precious gift of God – womanhood!
breakfast medley, healthy snacks, kids lunchbox, Lunchbox bites, pulses and beans, Salads and dressings »
‘It’s the simple things in life that are the most extraordinary.’ Paulo Coelho. Life is harder when you complicate the simple things and my cooking follows suit to a greater extent. Most of the days I prefer dishes which need less time to cook, have fewer ingredients and still retain the freshness & nutrient quotient intact. These simple recipes are a perfect antidote for those busy days when you are hard pressed for time and need something healthy and filling which can be thrown in just minutes.
This warm Chickpea and Veggie Salad falls in the same category. I defer to call this recipe just a simple salad, with Olive oil, mixed veggies, bread croutons, herbs, spices and protein packed chickpeas, this recipe makes a complete meal in itself. I could happily start and end my breakfast, lunch and dinner with a bowl of this chickpea and veggie salad.
Like all the best families, we too have our share of family disagreements. Daughter likes plain flat breads (chapattis) while son prefers stuffed breads and if hubby likes Lachha parathas, its a big no-no for me. But there is something at home we all are one with…our good old Tandoor or grill, and anything cooked or baked in it is liked by one and all.
Crispy Missi Rotis (chickpea flour flat breads) and spicy Panchmel Daal (five lentils) is yet another popular combination of scrumptious foods from my hometown Rajasthan. People living in the desert areas cook this healthy, filling and delicious recipes during winter season when their body require more fuel in terms of protein and fat to combat the adverse cold conditions of harsh winter months.
Villagers in many places of Rajasthan still light their hearth by burning either wood or cow-dung to give them warmth from the cold waves and also to cook their meals on it.
It really amuses me how our taste buds evolve with time and quickly get accustomed to new foods. Bitter gourd, cluster beans, pumpkin which never made to my favorite list of veggies during childhood are now some of the most cooked vegetables at home.
Though I haven’t succeeded in making my children eat bitter gourd and a few other veggies as yet, they do like to bite on a pumpkin bread, Zucchini Biscotti, brownie and cakes. May be they need some more time to develop their taste buds before they start liking the unique taste of these foods.
Turkey berry/wild eggplant or Sundaikkai (in Tamil) was first introduced to me after my marriage in 1996 by my mother-in-law and there was a love at first sight. She plucked these tiny green round berries from her backyard and taught me how to prep the berries with a small stone. I thoroughly enjoyed the whole experience of prepping the berries, soaking in buttermilk and watching her cook the same in her kitchen.
“Mom, make your Rajasthani Pasta today” Said my son enthusiastically. History repeats, I murmured to myself handing over the bowl of dough to both of them. Yes, I am a happy mom to see my children enjoy rolling these Dhoklis as we did in our childhood. They love to make shapes and faces with the dough and later struggle hard to search for their creations in the final recipe.
This soupy comfort food always reminds me of home & mom. I grew up eating Daal Dhokli which used to be our Sunday meal for as long as I remember. I still disagree and argue with my Gujrati friends who call the recipe a signature dish of Gujrat.
Mom being a working woman never got time to make special recipes on weekdays. Sunday was the only day when she cooked scrumptious lunches and comforting dinner. She would knead the dough and give it to me and my brother to roll the Dholiks, This was her way to keep us busy on Sundays and avoid fights between us. Television & computer come to existence much later in life. Blessing in disguise I must say