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Posts tagged ‘Kerala’

Onam sadya recipes – Documenting heirlooms

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Priti eating her sadya. Clockwise from top left – Cabbage Thoran, Sambar on rice, Avial, Tender mango pickle, Ghee on gunpowder chutney, Ginger and jaggery coated banana chips, banana chips, Theeyal, Inji curry, Kalan, Olan, Beetroot Pachchadi, Mallu pappadam

Each year, when Onam arrives we (I along with Meryl and now Sheryl since she has been here in Mumbai) talk endlessly about all the food we will eat and then when the day arrives, lazily lament the loss of good old home cooking, deride ourselves for not having planned better, make half hearted attempts to find a sadya in Mumbai, scramble into a set sari or atleast salwar kameez, play act at being mallu girls with mullapoo in their hair, try to haul ourselves to a sadya anywhere nearabouts that has a table free, inevitably feel disappointed at what (if we do) we manage to eat and spend much of the day in one long session of reminiscing good old days when we would just go to our ancestral home with our parents and stuff our faces till we could just lie back like beached whales. Yep, we are rather proactive like that. Read more

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My new favourite way with mushrooms

My grandmother (called chaachi by her siblings, children and grandchildren alike) was a formidable force in our family. In her white mundu, cotton top and large hoops of gold that dangled from her ears, she was ever the gracious, devout Syrian Catholic matriarch – Mother of 9 strapping lads and 2 girls, this was the real grip that kept the family, home, hearth and plantation going. Each of her kids regarded her with a mixture of fear, reverence and love. Each seemed convinced that s/he was the one she had a special bond with, her secret favourite. She had a proverb for every situation, advice for every concern, solution to every problem. What’s more, farm hands, cousins, neighbours..all sought out her secret Ayurvedic ‘green’ remedies to drive away pains, heal wounds and cure secret illnesses. To my young, citified eyes, chaachi was a rather intimidating figure. More the busy disciplinarian than the dada dadi ki kahaaniyaan type of grandmother, she was the last word on all things to do with farming, Catholicism, and upbringing of cattle and kids. And yet she was our last resort to get what we wanted out of our parents. If chaachi had agreed to a jaunt we had planned, no elder would ever have the guts to refute. Read more

Some rooting and my favourite Mutton Curry

IMG_0247There are some days for me when NOTHING hits the spot like a really good Indian curry. Not a generic add an MDH masala curry but the real deal. Made from scratch. Like a good fish curry. Mom style. Red, fiery, coconutty, tangy…with shiny curry leaves, crackling mustard seeds and plenty of spice.

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