Articles tagged with: dinner
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.
Thanks to some real-life social engagements, I went off-line for a couple of days and enjoyed the leisure time with family and friends. The self-exile did help in bringing some balance back into life .
Getting back to work again after a break can feel daunting. I was trying to re-sync my internet-based social media engagements and checking the in-boxes for any messages.
I checked the online link on the site of a popular Indian newspaper ‘The Tribune’ which published my interview a couple of days back. I was reading that article and grinning from ear to ear, as if I had just won the lottery
And why wouldn’t I, the article about food bloggers in India starts with a few snippets from ‘my journey into the world of food blogging‘ and ends with a sentence from my about page!
Following your dream is never easy, but these are the times when the efforts you put in, to realize your dreams feel worth.
“Food is a gift and should be treated reverentially – romanced and ritualized and seasoned with memory” ~ Chris Bohialian
For some time now I was thinking about the spicy Chole (chickpeas) with fluffy deep-fried Bhature (flat breads), mom used to make during weekends in Udaipur.
The star ingredient of the recipe is Charmagaz. Charmagaz is an assortment of four different seeds of Cucurbitaceous plants. Musk melon, water melon, pumpkin and cucumber seeds together are called Charmagaz. Char is a Hindi word fo four and Magaz means intelligence.
Apart from making a healthy, filling and delicious snack, Charmagaz is extensively used in Rajasthani cuisine. If Rajput families use a paste of these seeds for their exotic non-veg cuisine then the Marwaris make scrumptious desserts using the same.
Lunchbox bites, Veggies/curries »
“Hey, turn back and see who is sitting right behind you” hubby spoke to me in hushed tone during a special cocktail dinner party organized for the senior officials of his company in Leela palace last night.
I gently turned around to see a dashing young man in body-hugging white shirt and tight fit blue jeans behind me.
I used to wonder whether opposites really attract and do they make a perfect couple? But after being together for the last 20 plus years with him, I know for sure they do
healthy snacks, Lunchbox bites »
“Look at this pretty Idol of Sarawati with Veena, this one is more than 100 years old, it was passed on to me by my mother. And this white Shiva Idol….a friend of your Tatha’s father (great-grandfather) brought it from Sri Lanka about 70 years ago.” She wipes the idol gently and asks my son to place it on the ladder specially created for Navaratri festival.
For a change there is a silence at home for long, as the children are sitting patiently next to their grandmother, waiting eagerly for her to open that heavy iron trunk which is rusted beyond repair. I could see the amusement written all over their faces. The trunk which opens up with a creaky noise is like a Pandora box for them with small bundles of memories, moments and untold stories.
Her face lightens up each time she unfolds the fragile age-old clay dolls wrapped in small muslin clothes. I wonder how she never gets bored of narrating the (same) history of each Idol to my children, year after year…
And I am sure when they hold some of these Idols which belong to their fore fathers, it gives them a feeling of belonging and reminds them from where they came from.
“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
Growing up, we rarely had Pasta in our menu. Not that Pasta was easily available in India, it was non-existent in mom’s kitchen. The only recipe I could remember which remotely resembled today’s Pasta was our indigenous Daal Dhokli. Hmm…those delicate stripes of whole grain pasta…err…Dhoklis floating in spicy lentil broth…I would never trade my hot steamy bowl of Daal Dhoklis for any fancy pasta, not in the least.
But no matter how creatively you present these traditional recipes, children are children, they fail to notice.
As your children grow older, your sayings on the dinning table fall off and your food preferences are put to shelf.
“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.
Lunchbox bites, lunchbox medley, Veggies/curries »
“One friend with whom you have a lot in common is better than three with whom you struggle to find things to talk about.” ~ Mindy Kaling. I have experienced the same during many of the regular family meets with hubby’s office-mates. When everyone else would be seriously involved in discussing Cinema, TV serials, fashion world, latest gadgets to who is the best dressed man/woman, the feeling of being left alone in crowd really scares me out.
And I was really surprised to know how much common ground we all share, true to this saying “Each friend represents a world in us, a world possibly not born until they arrive, and it is only by this meeting that a new world is born.”