I started writing something about flowers and trees until I realized that today is Tuesday. And then I changed my whole post and the picture too!
For a post on foods should deserve a picture that matches with it. Now, a vazhai ilai (banana leaf) sprinkled with water, ready to be served with food is the perfect picture to go with it!
So, here I go, with those favorite dishes from childhood, because of which I remember a lot of things that happened during my childhood.
1 That delicious arisi upma made in vengala panai along with thengai thogaiyal, made by my maternal Patti is something that I drool over, even today!
2 Semiya bagalabath is another specialty of my maternal Patti! This is what we term as kai manam. Patti’s cooking skills are just to die for and even now I can hear her humming some song while cooking. Those carefree days of vacation spent at the maternal place are something very dear to the heart.
3 Coconut trees were aplenty at maternal thatha’s house and hence coconuts were used for everything. I used to team up with two other friends and make snacks without cooking like mixing fried grams, coconut, sugar and crush them with a mortar and pestle and eat it with a proud feeling.
4 My paternal side Patti is my favorite, for I remember her softness and the steel-like will power behind the soft exterior. Even during tough financial times at home, she will lovingly mix thayir sadam and give it to us in our palms along with mavadu. This is one food memory that overrides everything else. Maybe there was a secret ingredient called love!
5 The image of amma sitting on the kitchen top, making crisp Rava dosas and all of us gobbling them one after the other is something which is my favorite. And today as I make Rava dosas, I tend to compare with amma. I cannot match her but I just try to be better than the previous time.
6 I remember the rainy day, when I and my siblings were shivering because of the chillness in the air, Patti made us sit on a gunny bag to feel warm and gave all of us hot boiled groundnuts. It was heaven. I can still feel the warmth of Patti as she sat with us and helped us to peel the groundnuts.
7 One day I remember making semiya upma in the evening. Since my thatha loved garlic, I thought of putting garlic in the semiya upma, which we generally don’t do. The upma turned out in a pathetic state. I didn’t like it at all. But my thatha was so happy that he relished it so much.
8 Appa used to fast during shashti and he ate without salt for dinner. Amma made saltless chapatis and tomato sweet chutney to go with it – something like a jam. She will never make it on ordinary days; I wonder why she didn’t! So, on shashti, as appa sat with his dinner, I used to sit next to him, drooling over that tomato jam. Amma will roll her eyes secretly to me not to take from appa. But appa will feed me chapati and tomato jam and I will be trying hard not to show that I was chewing on food.
9 Kozhakattai is always a favorite of mine. And I used to await those festival days when it was made at home. More than kozhakattai, I always feel thrilled to eat that poornam separately – just coconut and jaggery – I feel it is the way to heaven! Patti used to give the poornam to us with the knowing smile of the love we have for it.
10 And for the love I have shown above, here is something that I am not fond of since childhood, which is bread. It may be because amma used to give me bread only when I had a fever and so I started associating it with sick day food. And even when I grew up, I never got over that feeling. Today I can manage a toast if nothing else is available, but it will be the final straw to being alive…hehe 😀