Jihva for Love made me think immediately of my mother. My mother was and is my inspiration to cook. I don't think I'll ever be as creative and adventurous in my cooking as she is, but I strive to be. Growing up, we took her cooking for granted. I didn't pay attention when my friends would love to come over and actually ask my mom to make their favorites.
Every week my mom would try out one or two new dishes on us. We were exposed to international foods very early in our lives. Tacos, home-made pizzas, noodles, pasta, cheese-baked vegetables...the list goes on. She got us to love soups and salads, and to taste everything. Our palettes became quite refined as we grew older.
Sundays were always family time. For about 40 years (I hear!), we've had the exact same menu for breakfast and lunch on Sunday. FORTY years! And we look forward to it every sunday! Breakfast is always dosas with small onion sambar, coconut chutney and milagai podi (a spicy powder made with roasted lentils and chillies). Lunch is always small, spicy potatoes, rasam, and peas (or sometimes if peas weren't available, carrot).
When I moved to the US, I'd make my sunday lunch as a special treat for myself when I was home-sick, or needed comforting. It always reminded me of home and of my mother. I have now continued this tradition in my house. And I try very hard to make my daughter as exposed to international foods as I was.
Every sunday though, our menu doesn't change. And I hope I can carry on the tradition. And I hope my daughter's friends will soon be asking me for their favorites! This is the potatoes we always made at home - its very near and dear to my heart for it will always represent sundays with my family, reading the newspaper and chatting about the week.
1/2 kg small (new) potatoes, peeled
2 tsp chilli powder*
Salt, to taste
2-3 cloves garlic, crushed
1-2 tbsp oil
4-5 curry leaves
Pierce each potato with a fork once or twice, and cook in salted water. Remove when they are parboiled or slightly resistant to a knife.
Heat oil in a pan. Saute the garlic, curry leaves and chilli powder for about 2-3 minutes (or until the raw smell of garlic has disappeared). Add the potatoes and toss to coat with the spices. Continue cooking on a low heat, until the potatoes are cooked through.
*(Sometimes I use crushed red pepper instead of chilli powder, and that tastes great too).
Here's to family food traditions.
I want to thank Indira for this event and Jigyasa and Prathibha for choosing this theme that allowed me to recognize my mother and all the unspoken ways she passes on wisdom. My mother wasn't okay with having her picture in the blog, and so I couldn't post it...