Sunday, April 27, 2008

Jihva for Love - (2)

Contd. from here.

Alright, now it's mom's turn. As I have mentioned, mom used to work. In spite of time crunch, she used to make sure that we ate healthy and nutritious food. Her recipes are simple and heart-warming just like her. Each and everything she makes - whether it's her simple Khichdi or elaborate Sunday meal, I love it. But of course, growing up, I was a picky eater. I used to grumble about the way she would cook the vegetables.

Why do you make dudhichi bhaji? Dudhi should be used in making only Dudhi Halwa or kofta curry. Mala dudhi chi bhaaji nako.

Oh Khichdi again, mom? I don't like it. Mala khichdi avadat nahi ga, mumma. (I do not like Khichdi)

I don't want Bhoplyachi bhaji! Kahi tari dusra kar na! (Make something different!)

Only make batatyachi partun bhaji! Nothing else.

Why do people cook all these vegetables like dodka (turiya/ridgegourd) and padwal (snake gourd)?

Tumhi sagale he bhaji kha, mazya sathi batatyachi bhaji havi! (You guys eat that, make potato bhaji for me!)

Mala dahi nako. Mala kela nako. Mala dry fruits nakot. Mala fruits nakot. Mala doodh nako. Me hey khanar nahi. Mala eggs nako. Mala kantala aala. (I am tired of eating yogurt, banana, fruits, dry fruits, milk, eggs)

Why can't you make something delicious like they serve in the restaurants, mumma?

Unfazed by my constant praise (!), mom still (stubbornly!) cooked all those bhajis and amtis! Whatever I argued, she always had one simple answer - "It's good for you!" & "Annala naav thevu naye!" :-) (Respect food)

Mom always tried to pair some daal or sprouts with the vegetable to add proteins in our daily "poli-bhaaji" dabba. I didn't appreciate it then. I also probably didn't appreciate how keen mom used to be, to provide us garam garam phulke or polya for dinner. I was just too fussy and fastidious!:-(

Many years later, as I was driving home in America, I got a craving to eat that Dudhichi Bhaji which I hated so much. I just couldn't believe myself. The same bhaji which tortured me all my school years, that same bhaji - I wanted to eat, made by mom, sitting in the kitchen. All the restaurant foods, meant nothing. I was homesick. Even today, when I feel homesick, I make this simple bhaji or mom's khichdi. It transports me back to my mom's kitchen.

I love you very much, Mom. I miss you terribly. I hope to see you soon. :-)

Mom's Dudhichi Bhaji
1 small dudhi/bottle gourd/lauki, peeled, chopped
1 small potato, peeled, chopped

1 tsp oil
1/2 tsp mustard seeds
1/2 tsp cumin seeds
1/4 tsp turmeric powder
1/4 tsp fenugreek seeds
1/4 tsp asafoetida
1 red chili, halved
1 green chili, halved

1 tsp freshly grated coconut

1. Heat oil. Add all the ingredients for tempering.
2. As the mustard seeds splutter, add chopped vegetables.
3. Add 1 tbsp water. Cover the pot with a lid. Keep water in the lid.
4. As the water on the lid evaporates, add some more water, till the vegetable is cooked.
5. Add salt to taste.
6. Garnish with coconut.

1. Serve hot with hot off the griddle polis/phulka/chapatis.

Jihva for Love (1) & Jihva for Love (2) - just a walk down a memory lane from someone who is not a writer - is my tribute to my wonderful parents. and also my contribution to Jihva:Love at


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