Friday, August 18, 2006

Amma Veshakunnu - Mom I'm hungry

Warning: This post has a lot of Malayalam in it.

Jaguu and Jiby tagged me this a while back to write about 10 Things I Miss Of Mom's Cooking. When I read his tag, I decided I'm gonna keep a list (me and my obsessions with lists) at work and home and when ever I think of a food I will it down. Today as I sit to compile these two lists together I have more than 20 dishes, so I'm going to put down 10 among those twenty.

  • Achapam - Mom is the queen of snacks, she would randomly make snacks. Achapam is something she used to make often and she would make loads of it too. Now all her snack making schedule coincides with Veena or my visit. So dad asks us to visit more because he only gets to eat these when we girls go home.
  • Adda - Adda is again very easy to make but requires bannana leaf that I have not managed to find it close to my place. Mom used to put little extra sugar in Veena's and mine and she would mark the banana leaf so we could spot ours.
  • Appam - Doesn't matter Pal appam or Velyappam, mom used to make these so regularly on Saturday morning. She used to make mutton or potatoes stew to go with this.
  • Beef - Don't get me started on mom's beef curry. I make beef curry too, it is no where close to what she makes. My beef curry's gravy is never enough to eat kappa, by pieces are usually bigger. Above all mine has an orange color and hers has a nice dark brown color.
  • Chakka Kuru mezhukupurrati* (Jack Fruit seeds)- This is something that she used to make it when we were in Kerala, due to abundance of chakka kuru. It takes lots of effort as there are really small and to individually peel them is very time consuming. Veena, mom and I would sit around a heap of chakka kurru and peel. Veena and mine combined heap of peeled chakka kurru would be always less than moms.
  • Kappa(Yucca/tapioca) - This is a favorite dish of everyone who has ever tasted it. It is not the fact that I don't know how to make kappa (yellow color, not the white one), but it never comes out the way mom makes. Sometimes it is over cooked and sometimes it is not even cooked well.
  • Koorka mezhukupurrati* (I don’t know the translation for koorka, I googled it and saw some references to Chinese potatoes) - This is also very similar to the above, very time consuming to peel. This was my favorite; even to this day I can just eat this as a meal. Now here in US we get frozen, peeled koorkas that one can buy. So when mom hears that I'm going to visit she gets 2 packets and makes this. 1 packet for me and 1 for rest of the family.
  • Parupu Vada - This is a snack, Uzhunnu vada is more famous and u get them in all eateries but only few offer parupu vada. It is little hard to make, because we have to get the right texture so that it stays together when it is dropped in oil. I made it last month and as I dropped it in oil and it disintegrated, I served them as mini and micro mini parupu vada.
  • Puttu and Kadala - (Kalada – Chole) Puttu is very easy to make and back when I used to stay at home I used to make it under mom's guidance. These days breakfast has changed to cereals, waffles and bagels, as I do not have time in the morning to make elaborate dishes. Mom says to make it in the evening, for which I reply who wants to eat puttu for dinner. My Kadala curry is good to be eaten with roti and not puttu
  • Upperi (Banana Chips – Should be called plantain chips) - This is a mixed effort from both my dad and mom. Dad is the one who slices all the plantain. When we were kids, the weekend before Onam dad and mom would be making upperi. Upperi has become a tradition (detailed post on it later) in our house now. Anytime when we visit or when my parents visit they bring upperi.

Other day I made some rasam and I told mom that it is not as good as hers for which she responded, "I have been cooking for more than 30 years and you for less than 2 years". She also added "when I started cooking my food never tasted as good as yours do now, so don't worry you will be just fine". She then says "Your cake and Ethyekka appam is so much better than mine."

* mezhukupurrati - The vegetable (in my case, both are starch and not vegetable) is Julian cut, then cooked in water (80 %), salt, turmeric, chilli powder. Then tava is heated with oil and the vegetable is sautéed. We cook almost all vegetables like this.

All the above links are just so that my non-mallu readers can get a rough idea about the dishes. These are not my mom recipe's.

Monday, August 07, 2006

Vroom ZZZzzzz

I have not updated this space for the longest time, so a very sincere apology to everyone who kept checking this for updates. Especially Neihal her comment has prompted this post.

Since the weather is nice we have been riding our bike a lot. Other day we went to Yosemite on our bike. I really wasn't all excited as Yosemite is more than 200 miles from our place. But Shekar was so excited about taking those curves, so I agreed.

It was all nice and fun the first hour then I started feeling sleepy. Falling asleep on a bike that is moving 70 MPH is not a good idea so I made Shekar stop for coffee. After a huge cup of coffee I was little awake and we continued again.

If you guys haven't realized yet, I'm not a quiet person, so being quiet for the whole ride drove me crazy (it is very hard to talk and we both have full face covered helmets and winds are so strong that even when we raise the shade the other person can not hear). We basically communicate with a tap and touches. (Shekar has promised to buy us a pair of helmet headsets so we can chat).

So I can not talk to Shekar, can not listen to music (we have these heavy duty ear plugs to avoid wind noise), can not sleep so I just sat back and enjoyed the ride, I got bored again and thought of things that keep me entertained. So

  • I played athaksiri with myself
  • Did some self reflection
  • Thought about all my friends who I had not called recently, and made a mental list to call then when I get back home.
  • Thought about topics to blog about - (don’t remember any of those topics though)
  • Made a mental list of things to do when I get back home
  • Counted all my teeth with my tongue (did a best of three to get the correct count)
  • Counted how many male cousins I had compared to female cousins (9 males and 16 females), than calculated the ratio.

After few long hours we finally reached our destination, spent some time there and then rode back again.

On the way back I was so exhausted to do any of the above mentioned, but did manage to stay awake some how.