Sunday, June 18, 2006

10 Things I Miss Of Mom's Cooking Meme

Pushpa of PuSiva's Culinary Studio has tagged me with this meme. Now that is a nice feeling.

Have been missing home for quite some time now - and this one is making me more homesick!!! Our food was mostly varieties of kuzhambu, rasam, butter milk and curry with rice everyday. But there are so many festivals, vrathams, ceremonies and functions in our households that there is a lot to make, eat and relish. I miss almost all of what my mom makes, but here are things which I like the most and she is the best.

1) Vaazhaippoo paruppu usili : Made from plantain's flower and dal/lentils. Paruppu usili recipe is available at Shammi's and Indira's site. And, I do make paruppu usili out of beans but do miss the traditional vazhaippoo paruppu usili.

2) Thakkaali thokku : Thakkali is tomato in Tamil. Even my dad agrees that nobody can get mom's taste in this. This one is a simple but time consuming recipe where she grinds tomatoes then keeps it on the flame for about half an hour or so. Sometimes she adds onions, but I like it best when it is plain. It is a standard when we travel in trains to accompany the chappatis, idlis and curd rice.

3) Rava urundai : I already have told about this. This lovely aromatic sweet is low in fat but not sugar. It has equal quantity of rava and powdered sugar, little bit of cashews and cardamom. That is it. I still don't know how my mom's tastes so unique.

4) Paahakkai pitlai : Pitlai is a type of Kuzhambu. Paahakkai is bitter guard. This aromatic and tasty concoction is again simple, delicious and very healthy.

5) Mysore pak : Check Indira's site for the recipe. My mom's is similar - the proportions vary slightly. Again my mom's tastes very different from the rest and is the best.

6) Capsicum podi potta curry : This is simple - she just adds besan and curry powder, but it is tasty and till date I have not been able to make it the same way she does.

7) Godhumai (Wheat) halva : This is laborious! And I have seen my mom do this without the aid of a mixer - with the traditional stone to grind wheat - extract juice thrice - add jaggery ghee and keep stirring. The extracting of juice is quite laborious. She does this only for shraddhams, but you can imagine how much I used to look forward to shraddham because of this!!! :-)

8) Ellu saadham : On Saturdays of the month of Purattaasi (Sep-Oct) there is either chakkarai pongal (Sweet Pongal) or ellu saadham (Sesame rice). I love sesame - the seeds - the sweet ellu urundai (chikki made from sesame), the oil. The oil (nallennai) is used for cooking. In fact nallennai is used for almost everything (except ones that need frying). I have never seen my house without sesame oil or the seeds. But what I miss most is ellu sadam that mom makes. I have to get the recipe from her for this.

9) Chakkaravalli kizhangu chips : Chips made from sweet potato. This is traditional in our family for kanu (one day after Pongal). Simple and delicious. I tried this and needless to say - what a fiasco!!! I need to get mom's tips on how to not make them stick to each other.

10) Vaazhaithandu mor koottu : This is a Koottu made from butter milk, coconut, green chillies, cumin and stem of plaintain. I love this primarily for its fibre and the sour taste from buttermilk - not to mention the ground coconut.

There are so many more items - like ezhu kari koottu (made on Thiruvadirai and Pongal), Aviyal (on a grand Sunday). I so very much look forward to festivals for the amazing varieties of food!!! :-)

Would like to pass on this meme to:

Aparna of Shakahari Sapadu
Shankari of Stream of consciousness
Shalini of Samaithu paru


At 3:25 PM, Blogger shammi said...

Please do post the recipe for ellu sadam, Vasundhara!

At 4:38 AM, Blogger Puspha said...

Thats a yummy list. I hope tat u'll blog all of them. :)

At 3:39 PM, Blogger Vasundhara said...

Thanks for dropping by Shammi. Guess ellu sadham is simple, but I better ask Amma for authenticity!

Pushpa, most are available at fellow bloggers' site. I've given links. Some others - yeah sure shall blog on them!

At 2:56 AM, Blogger Nandita said...

I must say I was nodding my head to quite a few of those points...especially Ellu sadam and ellu items, i love sesame too...and my granny says something about how 'kollu paati' ki sevai pannanum or something like that, if one eats too much ellu :)

Avial...I can never get around to even trying those things, because I have this set in my head that it's not going to taste original

At 9:39 AM, Blogger Vasundhara said...


Thanks for dropping buy. Hey Aviyal is rather simple. Check Prema's blog. Nice pics there. I make Aviyal rather regularly!


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