One universal truth is ...... nothing can replace 'Ghar ka Khana" (Homemade food ). And no food can be more satisfying than home made ones and especially if it is made by mom. ...... Guess it has the Midas touch !!
But it was not always that I admired food from mom's kitchen as much as I do today, everything was better than her's . I used to be a very willful child when it came to food. The list of food that I didn't eat or didn't like to eat outnumbered the ones I ate. I used to give my mother, grandmother and aunts a tough time everyday ..... my tantrums were unending. And being the first grandchild I was pampered and spoilt. I used to piss my mother so much that she would threaten me about boarding schools and hostels.
And I used to dream of the freedom of staying in a hostel with nobody around to boss, nobody to force feed me with veggies. Little had I imagined about the food and other problems associated with hostel life. I still remember the first day in hostel when I walked up to the dining hall and served myself with cold rice, daal and eggplant curry. With moist eyes I walked to a corner trying to hide my tears as I ate that meal. No one was around to pamper me and none at whom I could throw my tantrums.
Laxmi Amma the cook stared at me as I struggled to finish that bland and disgusting food. "Don't waste food ..... you have to finish all you have on your plate", she told in a stern voice pointing at my plate. I struggled with every morsel as tears rolled down my eyes. I was missing home and more than that I missing the food from mom's kitchen. Slowly I befriended Laxmi Amma. She would fry me an extra pappad or make me an omelet. In return I would buy her jasmine flowers or get medicines for her aching knee. Each meal time I would remember 'ghar ka khana' and finish my food with a sigh. It was a lesson learnt the hard way. I remembered the words wisdom of my grandmother about God punishing children who wasted food.
Soon my semester was getting over ...... which meant that I was going home for vacation. Rather than making a list of lessons that I had to study, I made a long list of things that I wanted to eat. I would read out my wish list each time my mother would call to make sure that she remembers it all.
And the day I was home I ate like there was no tomorrow ..... everything that was on my plate !! As I licked my plate there was a burst of laughter. My mother, aunts and grandmother laughed their hearts out. It was sweet revenge !!
Preparation Time 30 minutes
Chana Daal - 3/4 cup
Potato cubed - 1 medium size
Chopped Onion - 1 tbsp
Chopped Garlic - 1 tsp
Chopped Ginger - 1 tsp
Green Chili - 2
Cinnamon - 2 inches
Cardamon - 2
Bay leaf - 1
Cumin seed - 1/2 tsp
Cumin Powder - 1/3 tsp
Coriander Powder - 1/3 tsp
Clarified Butter - 1 tsp
Garam Masala - 1 pinch
Turmeric - 1 big pinch
Fresh grated coconut - 1/2 cup
Cilantro for garnishing
Oil for cooking
Salt to taste
Method of Preparation
1 Wash daal and pressure cook till one whistle adding salt and turmeric. Keep aside.
2 Add a little oil in a kadhai. Fry the potato when the oil is hot. Fry till all the sides brown. Remove and keep aside.
3 Add some more oil if required. Add Cumin seeds, bay leaf, Cinnamon, cardamon to it and fry for a minute. Add the chopped onion, garlic and ginger. Sprinkle a little salt and fry till they are soft and there is no raw aroma.
4 Add a little turmeric, cumin powder and coriander powder. Fry for 2 -3 minutes. Add the potato and mix in. Add a little water and cover and cook till the potatoes get cooked.
5 Add the cooked daal and simmer.
6 Add butter and garam masala and stir in.
7 Before removing from heat add the shredded coconut and garnish with chopped cilantro.
Serve warm with rice or roti.
Do not over cook the daal. You may also opt not to add the coconut.
Let me know what Ghar ka Khana/ home made food means to you. I would love to hear it from you all .....