Mom and Dad are staying with us just now. Mom is in the midst of reminding me why there is quite nothing like mom’s cooking.
The timing could not have been better. The bai (maid cum cook) has usually churned out good food. Unfortunately she has been going through a low phase and has become incapable of producing anything edible on a consistent basis. While I have put it down to bad spirits and am waiting for a recovery, I have also been starving a bit given my lack of interest in the kitchen and D’s lack of time and inclination to do anything less than a perfect dish.
So the arrival of mom is as welcome as can be.
The magic began almost as soon as she arrived. One evening of eating dosas made from the unfermented batter stocked in the house had wizened her to our drastic situation. Stocking fresh, edible batter was a matter accorded great priority. Since then breakfast or dinner has been a series of hot and soft idlis or hot and crisp dosas. This is usually accompanied by atleast two side dishes (a far cry from our habit of just eating podi or pickle). For variation, she has thrown in adai, puri/bhaji. Lunch or dinner is no longer a boring affair with thick dal, random sabzi and rotis dry from being stocked in the fridge. Rotis are made fresh and again accompanied by a variety of side dishes. I get veggies and packed rice for lunch – lemon, coconut, sambar, tamarind. My colleagues have caught onto the taste and can barely wait for me to make my polite offer to sample the fare . To top it all, I also get a light snack when I get home – puttu, idiappam, vadai, bajjis. If there is no hot snack (and there is no danger of that yet), there are always the readymade snacks which the dad has thoughtfully brought from home – thattais, chips, mixture.
Weekend meals are more special. Last Sunday was a perfect ten when the visiting 84-year old granny presided over the cooking and produced mouth watering mutton dishes (mutton kozhambu, kola urundai, mutton rasam). Mom added to the melee with her chicken curry. The poor bai, sadly no longer a force to compete with, produced a veggie that had become over ripe and could not be eaten and quick substitutes had to be found for the vegetarian uncle and cousin who had been invited. The rest of us were too busy gorging to care that all they had to eat was rice and beetroot.
Mom has been here less than a week and already my life is a gastronomic heaven. Of course, the thought that haunts me is what happens when the folks go back home.
It will be back to bai’s cooking which I am hoping would get inspired and improve. And going back to letting my mouth water while the Sis sends me detailed mails of how Mom is in fine form these days.
Which is probably why I have thrown all caution to the winds and am eating like there is no tomorrow.
p.s. The Mom thinks that some day I shall produce such delectable stuff and has stored all her recipes here - http://malarumninaivugal.blogspot.sg/