Monday, May 12, 2014

Happy Mother's Day

Honestly, I don't subscribe to such observances. You celebrate your parents, friends and dear ones everyday. This time it just happened to feel extra special because of the little one's birthday. My aunt called to wish me though - I was pleasantly surprised by her gesture. She was calling to wish my mom, but since she was on vacation, I became the intended recipient. 

It suddenly occurred to me that I could actually observe Mother's Day by whipping up some good comforting home food for my cousin and her mom who were flying in from Pune. I had already told them the week earlier that I will be bringing them a simple dinner of idlis and coconut chutney. When I spoke to K after she had landed, I knew she was dead tired and her fridge was empty. She never really asks for any favours and surprisingly asked me to get some vegetables for the next day. I decided at that moment that I am going to surprise them with a feast.

I made a lovely more kozhambu or curd based gravy with white pumpkin and to accompany that, I made a delicious coconut rice along with  bottle gourd-tomato curry. I had also taken extra plain rice since I knew her mom loved curd rice. (Nephew darling does not like to mix the curd and the rice and has them separately!) The two poor souls were absolutely famished and the sight of such a warm home made meal had them choking. So as soon as I walked through their door, they just went straight for the feast. They absolutely loved every item I had prepared with so much care and perfection. My cousin's mom is an excellent cook and getting an appreciation from her made all the difference.  I also knew her mom was strict about avoiding pungent vegetables like onions on auspicious days. So not wanting to take a chance, I cooked an entire non-onion menu just for them.

The past few days have been a delight for me because I have had the kitchen to myself and had been focusing on perfecting some of my favourite recipes. For the first time, I made the batter of the crepes and the idlis at home with a little help from my maid. I was so proud when the came out fluffy and fresh.

So here's what the chef has been upto:

1. Coconut rice
2. Coconut chutney with coriander
3. Fluffy home made idlis
4. Pumpkin based yogurt gravy (morekozhambu)
5. Bottlegourd-Tomato curry
6. Puris
7. Chole or chickpea in tomato gravy
8. Methu vadai or lentil fritters
9. Yellow pumpkin-onion spicy gravy
10. Rava upma
11. Sweet pongal
12. Payasam (lentil with jaggery base dessert)
13. Cucumber-sprouts salad
14. Cucumber-tomato salad
15. Cucumber-cherry tomatoes with olives salad
16. Split moong dal with tomatoes
17. Lemon rasam
18. Arachavitta sambhar (lentil-tamarind based gravy)
19. Cabbage-peas curry
20. Lemon rice
21. Millet based tamarind rice
22. Tomato,capsicum and sweet corn curry
23. Phulkas
24. Spicy noodles
25. Mixed vegetable soup
26. Palak-paneer (spinach-cottage cheese gravy)
27. Ven Pongal
28. Rajma-Rice
29. Chick Pea sundal 
30. Ridge gourd chutney
31. Ridge gourd moong dal gravy
32. Spicy baby potato curry
33. Bhindi pyaza
34. Baingan ka bhartha

This is unbelievable. Until I made this list, I did not realise how much cooking I have accomplished over the last couple of days and I have thoroughly enjoyed each and every moment of it. 

In India there is a specific blessing given when you eat at someone's place; when the guest has enjoyed the meal and has eaten to their satisfaction, they bless the hosts with peace and happiness: Anna-daatha Sukhi Bhava ((Dhaata)giver of (Anna)food, (Bhava)may you be (Sukhi)happy). It was a fulfilling day with my cousin and her mom who blessed me for such a delicious menu I had put up.

I love cooking and enjoy cooking for a crowd. Food brings people together, which is why in earlier days, families gathered around the table for their everyday meal. 

If I could, I would be running a community restaurant now.


Anonymous said...

wow. just how much have you been cooking?? :)
your nephew wants me to let you know that he misses you and that we should pick you up from office!! :D

AquaM said...

Yes yes yes I would love that absolutely!