I spent a paltry 25 days in my in-laws place right after my wedding. And most of those days were spent by going out to luncheons hosted by some aunty/cousin/brother's friend or running up and down to the passport office. So, I never really got a chance to know my in-laws. However, past summer they were here for three months and oh my! I can write their biography now!!
My fil has some peculiar principles which he follows very religiously- he will not eat leftovers, he thinks one falls sick eating leftovers (I have no idea who put this into his head, I am pretty healthy!) , according to him a good pulao should have 1/4 kg ghee and 1/4 kg ghee roasted cashews, upma should be eaten with kesari bath... Huh? No.. no...my mil is still with him, she has not divorced him. Why? Because she is a reincarnation of her !! Some differences between me and her,
1.She makes kesari bath everytime she prepares upma
-me ' sugar= kesari bath'
2.sweet pongal is a definite accompaniment for khara pongal
-me 'mango/lime/chilli/mixed vegetable-pickles are at your disposal'
3. she ends up having the left overs sparing my fil!
-me' this is what is there. Eat it or beat it.'
4. she spends hours in the kitchen making sweets from scratch.
-me 'Hmm.. Haldirams/Swad son papdi? tough decision..'
I can hear some of you saying 'she does all this because she does not goto work, she has all the time in the world to make to all these (I myself have said so umpteen times)' But when I think about it, that does not seem to be the reason. I mean, I was at home (doing nothing) the first 6 months I landed here. I never once made upma and kesari bath on the same day (those days making upma itself was a challenge for me!). Its not just the issue of time, according to me, its a matter of love and patience, which she seems to have in abundance! I just wish I had at least 15% of her patience!!
Having written so much about them it would be unfair not to put up their pictures. Get ready to say awww..... I call this "Love at 60 -in the Grand Canyons"
Them gambling away to glory,
Along with all the sandiges, papad and pickles, she had brought this awesome pudi from India. I have never tasted any pudi as good as this till date. There is just something in it that makes you ditch the chutney and grab the pudi instead. She made it twice when she was here- I never bothered to see how she made it (yea, I am stupid!), just merrily ate it!
Last week I had this maha pudi-craving and wanted to make it. Called her up and asked her the recipe; "Arda hidi kadle papu, kaal chamcha dhaniya..." Oh-oh, she does not use cups and teaspoons (like all experienced cooks) Now how much is half a fist full? Did she mean half a teaspoon or half a table spoon? So after numerous experiments I think I have got it (or at least come very close to it!).
Athe's chutney pudi -
4 cloves garlic
1/4 tsp pepper corns
2 tbsp coriander seeds
1/2 cup dalia
9 dried red chillis
10 curry leaves
5 tbsp dried coconut (or copra)
1 tsp tamarind paste
1/2 tsp salt
Heat 1 tsp oil and fry the garlic cloves till brown, set aside. Roast the coriander seeds, dried chillies, pepper and curry leaves till coriander seeds change colour and dried chillies start to plump. Set aside. Roast the dalia and coconut till light brown. Let cool completely. Add the tamarind paste and salt to the above mixture and powder in a blender. (This is uber spicy, you can reduce the spice level to your liking)
This is going to her for the Colours of Taste - Powders event.