Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Whats Cooking, Mom???

Picked this tag up from Silverine. Many years back some regular refrains my mom had to bear with from me was, "ithrem currykale ollo", "inne erachiyum meenum onnum ille". My mom would throw her arms up in the air and remark, "ivaneyokke hostelil vitte padippikkaathathinte doshamaanu"!! Cut to these days, every time I land in tvm, as usual she cooks her best stuff, but i just dont have the stomach to eat all that anymore...i try explaining how i need to return to despair-inspiring food and that too just two times a day and how eating all this would upset my carefully calculated rhythm. But who was I trying to explain to 'Her Eminence'...afterall she is the BOSS in tvm. Over to the 10 best dishes she and my ammachi makes.

1. Cashewnut Curry - It is 4-5 years since I've eaten this one. It is so yummy...i would sacrifice chicken for 6 months if i can get to eat this once more. In the 90's before the Technopark started progressively eating into the Kerala University Karyavattom campus the place was full of cashews and my dad would being sackloads home in summer. One lingering memory is my poor moms fingers which would keep burning for a week with all the "kara" from the cashew.

2. Karimeen Fry - Just once or if we are lucky twice a year we used to get to eat the Karimeen Pollichathu of Karimpankala near Changanasseri but moms decided she needed to end our fascination with the place and soon we were enjoying the same delicious stuff at home instead of drooling over the next trip to that shappu! This time I went home I had Karimeen for one month continuously. She had taught our servant how to cook it before leaving and finally beg with the lady to stop making me anymore karimeen.

3. Chicken Cutlet - Cutlets used to be a horror story till my mom discovered the trick of adding a topping of ruskcrumbs with the egg-white and this became the bofors in her armory. Last year one of my classmates and his wife was visiting us, after eating dinner, i was amused seeing him plead with his wife to learn to make the cutlet.

4. Chicken Biryani - The story of my mom's "CB" includes a fascinating competition she had with her brother who is an excellent cook too and is even vain about it. They both made their biryanis and looked to us, to say whose was better. Finally both of them, had to grudgingly agree they were equally good.

5. Chocolate Cake - It takes a few weeks of pepping up my mom to get her to bake us a cake. So what she does is make a week's stock to shut our mouths for some time. What begins is a game of one-upmanship between my sis and I in raiding the pantry. Very rarely have the cakes survived to see a 3rd day.

6. Crab Curry - One of my favorites for all time. Ofcourse I get the fleshy body parts and leave the limbs to my parents. Last year we were in Baltimore with my cousins and our aunt cooked a huge quantity of crabs and laid it out the patio for us to attack. It was such a wonderful family moment...all of us together and we guys getting to be kids again as we feasted on the crabs...no talk of marriages, careers and ageing!

7. Putte, Payar & Pappadam - Until this combo came into my life, Putte and Kadala was my favorite dish. The first time my mom laid this out for breakfast I gave a look of horror...wondering how on earth i could mix these seemeingy total opposites together! And thanks to a hereditery gas trouble...i have given kadala goodbyes!!!

My Ammachi's Cooking
1. Kumbalappam, Elayappam, Kozhikotta -
Before ammachi came to live with us in 1990, famished evenings after school was all about eating biscuits, fruit bread or some other crap. Kumbalappam is the most delicious thing i have ever eaten in my life. The flavour that the leaf imparts on this cone-shaped appam is one of life's most pleasing aroma's too. Grandpa planted that at one of our properties in tvm long back...i am amazed at the foresight of these kaaravanmaar. The Elayappam and Kozhikotta was almost a daily affair until we started goin to college and both taste so good...hot and cold!

2. Banana Chips - Everytime I look back at one of my most memorable academic achievements, the 12th public exams...the taste of my grandma's freshly fried banana chips and the sweet sound of her snippets of naadan pattukal she would breathe into my ears to keep me awake makes me so nostalgic.

3. ChakkaVazhattiyathu - This takes a painful long time to make, but what a labour of love this thing is. Its irreverently called "jackfruit jam" but i love to eat this to the point of indigestion!!!

Ooh I am fighting hard not to salivate by now!!! Ultimately more than all these the rice, morre curry , a fish fry and a payar thorran are all i need my mom to cook to make me happy...day in and day out!!! Mummykuttiye, thanks so much for overcoming all that stress from work, clients and frequent guests to cook what ever we greedily wanted me to eat. I would have loved to add more fotos...but blogger is crapping up on me. Many thanks to my buddy Rajay from whose forward i lifted the fotos above! And most of my blogpals havent taken up this tag yet. So comeon...Thanu, Sarah, Pappanabhan, Neil, Arun Hari, Jofu ... give this a shot!


Sarah said...

aha.. I barely survived reading silverine's blog abt her mother's cooking.. Must you too torture me like this? I haven't had kumbil appam for 24 LOOOOOOOOng years!!! And Now I want to eat it.. Right now

Thanu said...

I have this tag pending... I'm drafting it but very hard to narrow it to just 10.

I want kumbil appam..

my ammachi used to make chakka putt. Anything that has chakka is good.

silverine said...

Guests..even my house is perpetually full of guests, and my Mom actually likes cooking for them as it gives her something to do.

Karimeen Fry is making my mouth water. I wish I had written about my Ammachi's cooking too.She was an expert in naadan cooking!! The Ada and Kozhikotta was a speciality of Ammachi :) I prefer my Puttu with Banana. Never fancied the Kadala Curry or payar and papaddam combo.

I got this forward too with the pictures of Kerala cuisine.
This is one tag I am gonna love reading, so I hope all your tagees take it up soon!

joseph said...

mone... ingane kothupikaatheda :(

Anonymous said...

I can never get enough of jackfruit halwa and kappa and fish curry. Unfortunately i haven't tasted most of what you wrote although i heard my mom talk about it. I like my puttu with banana too and lots of freshly grated coconut. i need a break i am salivating like a dog now...:)

Chirikudukka said...

Karimeen fry reminds me of my kumarakom...i miss all those foods a looot...

thoughtrains said...

Mouth-watering dishes...hhhhard to resist. Good post:D

Alex said...

Delicious! I would have included ethaka appam a.k.a vazhaka appam too.

Praveen said...

am reading this just before lunch time and this has increased my appetite multifold. Let me check out whats cooking in the cafetria :).

Good compilation, i can say that i have eaten some of them if not all.

Anand K said...

Oh no no no no NO!
I will die of a broken heart and a collapsed stomach..... that is if my intestines don't first rise in rebellion and strangle me if I attempt this tag.
You know what a foodie I am, just a fish finger away from a God like Jughead Jones, our own Dennis and the amazing Rappai Chettan! I had a severe bout of depression after I saw that email forward from Rajay the Kodiak Bear..... and I don't wanna excaberate my suffering with a fr1ggin post on it!

BTW, Cahsewnut Curry sounds exotic.... must ask my folks to try making it.

Babin said...

We used to have a cashewnut farm in kerala. my summer months were spent on picking 'andi' ( a nasty job) but reward for this was splendid Cashewnut curry!!!!!

it seems we have similer interst in food.. Only thing is that i will only eat putte with pazham or honey. I am not a fan of mixing putte with other curries.... btw, have you checked out this blog:) http://puttans.blogspot.com/

Sujith said...

mone, nee ithokke kanichu paranjum enne desp aakkalle. nere chovve aaharam kazhichittu 4 varsham aakunnu :-(

mathew said...

ChakkaVazhattiyathu ..am subjected repeated sensory assaults!!!..bindaas!!!

Thanu said...

phew... finally done witht his tag..

Anonymous said...

why dont u give us the recipes too ;)