Thursday, July 20, 2006

Prepared with love

Angel Doc tagged me. I am supposed to list ten dishes that I miss from my moms cooking. However since I live with my parents I will list ten things that is my favorite amongst her preparations.

My Mom is a workaholic. She loves to putter around the house and will be doing something even when she is watching TV …like cleaning garlic, or skinning baby onions or knitting/embroidery. You will never see her idle for one minute. She is the first to get up in the morning and last to sleep in the house. She has enormous amount of energy and spends all that energy into looking after the house and cooking for us. She has an envious collection of Cookery Books many of them sent by one of her sister abroad, besides the Tarla Dalals, Thangam Philips, Karen Anands etc.

I think I get the stubborn streak to master stuff from her. She doesn’t mind walking into restaurant kitchens and asking for recipes and would attend every single cookery course in town when were little kids. And then she would try out what she had learnt at home. You can call her a Jack of all cuisines, master of some :)

However it is her naadan cuisine that I like best, because she makes it the traditional way. She still uses the grinding stone (the maid does the grinding though) and she cooks everything from scratch. This means dry roasting the Coriander Seeds and Chillies etc. and then grinding it to a fine paste on the grinding stone.

So some of the stuff she makes that I love are…

Kerala Egg Curry

This is made with coconut milk and the main flavoring is Aniseeds. I like it with lots of potatoes. As a kid I was a fussy eater with no appetite, but this curry would somehow stimulate an appetite in me :) It still remains my all time favorite with rice. This doubles up as an accompaniment for Appams too.


She will sit for hours stirring the third extract of coconut milk, then the second and then the first, the traditional way to make the most delicious prathaman. Whether it is pal payasam or prathaman, she makes it just perfect.


This is another back breaking thing to make if you are doing it the traditional way. Rice is soaked, powdered and roasted and flavored with garlic and coconut and rolled out into discs which are folded into a cylinder and deep fried to make a thin and very crispy savory snack. Yum!!

Fish Curry

The traditional Kerala fish curry with coconut milk and kudampulli. No matter how much I try, it never comes out the way she makes it.

Jackfruit and Tapioca

She makes the most wonderful jackfruit and tapioca preparation which is a main course that you eat with her yummy Fish Curry or Kerala style Beef Curry in coconut milk. *drool*

Mom uses tender coconut for this melt in the mouth cottony delicacy. And she makes it with both Jaggery and Sugar as my brothers like it with sugar while me and Dad prefer the traditional jaggery sweetening. For Maundy Thursday she makes these vattayappams with a Cross, cut out of the Palm that is distributed on Palm Sunday. Dad cuts the appam after the Maundy Thursday service and it is eaten with the traditional Pesaha Paalu. This denotes the bread and wine that Jesus shared with his disciples. This tradition is enacted in all mallu Catholic homes as a re enactment of the Last Supper.

Christmas Cake
She is an expert in making Xmas cake. I do the honor of making the wine every January so that it is ready by December. The dried fruits for the cake are bought in October and we all help to cut the dried fruits, which is then kept in a plastic container with a bottle of rum poured over. By first week of December it would be ready to be added to the Cake. The cake would be traditionally made in the first week of December, as it crumbles when cut soon after baking. After Christmas Mass, the cake would be cut and then only do we open the Christmas presents. It takes oodles of will power to keep off the cake till then. But then Mom cheated and made a small one for us to have before Christmas day :) This cake stays forever and ever if prepared hygienically. Every bite is sinfully rich loaded with raisins, figs, dates and other goodies soaked in rum.

Tandoori Chicken
I am not very partial to baked goodies so I will bypass the Cakes and Bakes and go into the meatier section of this tag :) My mom marinates the meats for our barbecues and the marinade is the best I have tasted. Her Tandoori Malai chicken is world famous in our house.

Chicken Biryani

My Moms good friend, a Mangalorean Muslim lady taught her to make Biryani. And my Mom makes it really well. It is the typical Bangalore Biryani and not the Hyderabad type where rice and meat is layered and cooked. The Bangalore Biryani has a strong taste of garlic and the ingredients are cooked together. Delicious with Raita.

Appam and Stew

My Mom makes the softest Appams. She makes it the traditional way, i.e with Kallu which is freely available in Bangalore. If the Kallu is not available then she uses Bakers Yeast and never dried yeast. Since we are a big family, Appam making is a collective effort. A four burner stove and four Appam chatis makes sure that no one has to wait. I get mine with an egg on top :)

All this is making me hungry, so let me tag a few people to do this mouthwatering tag before I go in for dinner.

I tag Mind Curry, Ganja Turtle, Aashik, Dhanush, Pophabhi, Jiby and Mathew

You dont have to post pictrures guys, just a mouthwatering description will do. just have to describe, we will do the mouthwatering :)) :)


Mind Curry said...

excellent..i just had dinner..but me hungry already!!!

Mind Curry said...

thank god blogs are back.. of my favs!!

can i be your mom's friend??

that makes it two pending tags for me!!

b v n said...

thats one yummy list silverine...throughout the list was saying amen...except for kuzhalappam...and btb when did kallu start being available in blr..where?

Alexis Leon said...

Nice list of delicious dishes. And the beautiful photographs make it even more appealing. Why you always post food and related topics during night. It is worse than Chinese torture :-)

Immigrant in Canada said...

I want the recipes!!!! now.. before I go completely mad..( vayil ippol oru pathu kappal odikkam)

silverine said...

Mind Curry: Thank you doc :) My blog is not back :( You like kuzhalappams? Not many people make it these days and the ones you get in bakery is yuck! Awaiting your tag :)

b v n : Thank you :) Kallu is available in the outskirts of Bangalore everywhere. On the way to Bannaghatta National park you can see the cola bottles filled with Kallu kept for sale on the roads.

Alexis : "Chines torture" ROFL
he he that was really funny :p I am now awaiting your food tag!

Sarah: Sure I will give you the recipes, though I don't know if you will get the ingredients in Canada.
"vayil ippol oru pathu kappal odikkam" ROFL good one!!!

mathew said...

My word Web says...

Gluttony = Eating to excess (personified as one of the deadly sins)

What u have written may cause me loose out a ticket to St Peter's gate!!!..Atleast you could have avoided the snaps..Esp the chakka would be heavenly with that chilly rich Fish curry!!!...

This post is savoury..Any one who is intersted in cooking ..plz come up with these interested
in appreciating em... :)

DD said...

FOr me, the best part in this post is the link...LOL! You can now change it to a more decent looking blogger.con link
Oh yeah, just came back from breakfast, I cant wait for lunch!

Jiby said...

now what do i the last 1.5 years i had my moms food for just 2 days!!! u just made me awfully homesick...but i will take it up as a tribute for her wonderful cooking despite a tough work schedule!

Jiby said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Jiby said...

on second thoughts i realized my post is gonna look exactly look like urs bcoz most of there are my moms specialities too...hehe. but i'll take it up!

an uncle visiting our house once said..."nalla non-veg food and cake kazhikkanangil achaayathi maaruthanne ondaakkanam"!!!

silverine said...

Mathew: I put the snaps to make it a truly mouth watering post, though a description would have been fine :)) Now let's see your tributes to your moms culinary skills !

DD: lol I have corrected it. Call it a small act of defiance :)

Jiby: This tag is for people who miss their moms cooking so you are the right candidate :) And what that Uncle of yours said is something I have heard so many times from our non xian mallu friends :) I really enjoyed doing this tag!

Maverick said...

of all the posts that u have made till now this one was nasty.u could have avoided the pics atleast.

sheesh im feeling hungry again in the middle of the night.:((

hope and love said...

im feeling hungry..
the appams looked so delicious..
for pesaha we make indri appam.. its made of raw rice, urud dal and not fermented.. cocconut,garlic, onion and jeera r crushes and added..

silverine said...

Maverick: I am getting solid theri villi for this post :p Am begining to realise that I should have avoided the pictures :))

HnL: Even we make indri appam and the exact same way!! My Dad's favorite, but nobody else touches it after the formality of taking a small bite :))

EspritNoir said...

hey, you had this blog hidden from us all this while (well, maybe i just didnt look earlier;) great stuff here too...appams with eggs on top, now thats a bloody good combination...wonder why i never thot of that;) well, next time i go to a south indian joint, i'm going to insist on that:)

Dhanush said...

aara, entha, evidaya.. ethu dhanush... njan dhanush alla. But ee food okke thattan maathram njan varaam..
Address Tharoo :)

Huh - Gal Surviving on Hotel Food and numerous 'nilpans' (Standing Rest) you made my mouth watering .. Office Vellapokkam aayi :)

Will Take up some time.

Anonymous said...

U will never be able to imagine my current state... I am just back from my apartment after eating uppumav that I made myself as I am staying alone.. And after that I see this post... Dont blame me if u get some stomach ache. ;-)

Though my ammachi cooks very well and her dishes are delicious, I always used to tease her and I used to be a bad critic... But the tables had turned and my ammachi has the last laugh now!!!

But one thing, I hope everyone will accept is that, however bad our self cooked food comes out, we ourselves will always be able to find something good about that... Like for example, tonight though my uppumav was burnt a bit, the amount of salt was just perfect!!

Unnikrishnan G Nair

silverine said...

espiritnoir: Welcome to my think pad :)

Dhanush who is not actually Dhanush: This would be the easiest tag you will ever take because you just have to write about your mom's cooking..of course there is the real danger of drowning:))

Unnikrishnan G Nair: LOL that was a good one. Reminds of the time I was asked to proof check a wedding invite and just before printing someone realised that we had got the day wrong. When accusing eyes looked at me I pointed out that I had been asked to proof check and the spelling of 'Saturday' was perfect!!The wedding was on a Sunday!

Anonymous said...

Great Post..Am a bad cook (or is lazy the word)...but love experimenting stuff...Hey, Can u post the recipes ..And what are "Aniseeds"??? Looking forward to c the recipes :)

Ganja Turtle said...

The blogs are up! Am back! Am hungry!

Take this soon...

silverine said...

GT: Lip smacking Madurai cuisine, here we come !! :)