Sunday, May 17, 2009

Mummyum Naanum !

It is a bit late for a mothers day post, but I strongly believe that you don’t need mother’s day or father’s day or husband’s day to say how much you love them.
Anyway about 10 years back, when I bought my mom a flower bouquet, she said “ 30 roobaku poo yaravadhu vaanguvala” ( who will spend 30 rupees on flowers).
On another note I missed out on calling my mom this mother’s day, but when I called the following day and made my toddler say "aapi other day” mom was truly touched.

With all due respects to daddys, here are a few milestones with mummy, things that have crossed my mind while I sit back and think about life - I am transitioning between two roles within the same company ( vetti for 2 days basically!).

Here are things that like vadivelu says “ only you possible “ – Only moms possible.

1. I was 29.
When my little girl was little – ahem was 8 months I think, I took her to the tub to give her a bath, I slipped and almost dropped the baby. Little one bumped her head in the tub and was crying, while I was looking at her feeling extremely guilty, mommy who was standing next to me was checking if I was alright and kept asking me if I sprained my feet or something – mothers !!!

2. I was 28
I was pregnant – full term. Parents were arriving from India 6 weeks before the due date. I was waiting in the Melbourne airport along with hubi dear, bulbu ferni, cool Shankar vaval and sharsur family to receive them. It was about 11ish in the night when they arrived. Mommy walked out looking soo tired after the long journey and all she said was “ why did you come to the airport at this hour. You should have stayed home and rested”. There was no mention of how tiring the trip was, were they thirsty, hungry, nothing. Only thing was I was standing, in the cold night !! mothers…

3. I was 25
It was the day of my wedding. After the reception, I was to stay at hubi’s house, so I went into the groom’s room and was waiting for in-laws to pack up, so we could go home. Apparently my whole family was looking for me and finally found me. Mom was in tears saying she was coming with me to in law’s house to drop me off along with a bunch of relatives and I said with no emotion “ no problem, I will go in uncle’s car”. I did not have a single tear when I left my crying mom ! I could not see anything beyond my happiness of being married. soooo…meeee….

4. I was 25
My big bro was going back to Pune ( he lives there with his family and had come down for few weeks for my wedding) Mommy stood in the train station and was shedding tears. Big bro was in his early thirties, married and had a toddler then. Mommy was still crying coz she felt bad about how he was loosing weight, managing family and work, living far away from home! DUH ! mothers…..

5. I was 23
I landed on my first job with a HR firm which managed some HR projects and recruitment. One fine morning I had my neighbour’s car driver at the door with a piece of paper. His brother who is a graduate was looking for a job. The paper had his brother’s name and his degree information written on it. Mommy had gone around the entire Chennai city telling everyone she met that I could find a job for any one. So here was someone who believed in her. Mind you I was working like a graduate trainee then. The word has it that mommy is still going around telling everyone I recruit people to work anywhere in Australia. Mothers you see…

6. I was 21
I was in the last year of my degree and any wedding we attended, mommy gave special attention to all the moms with sons – the eligible bachelors. She was convinced I was the most eligible bachelorette in the crowd and each every prospective mom in laws were actually assessing me and staring at me. Mommy was dreaming of the overwhelming response she would get when I finished my degree. To her disappointment no one..not even a single lady from her top list approached her. Mommy could not understand why, afterall I was the prettiest according to her ( but I knew my prospects, so managed to find my own prospects (kozhi!) before graduating !)…Mothers..the dreamers

7. I was 20
My mom would keep on complaining that I never help in the kitchen ( which I never did until my mom stepped to MY kitchen), and once I couldn’t take it anymore ( the nagging offcourse), I went in to wash the dishes, and I must have hardly washed one plate when she came to me and said, don’t wash everything, your soft hands would becomes rough like mine ( showing her poor hard palms) and I happily walked off. Sentimental mommies…

8. I was 17
Mom wanted me to help in the kitchen !!! again… I was asked to get the Idly maavu(batter) from the fridge and hand it over in the kitchen – 2 steps away ( I was the hard worker at home !!!). While I was taking this out of the fridge, I obviously missed the huge bowl of rasam in front and spilled the whole pot of rasam on the floor. Mom came running and I was waiting for her to scold me, but all she said was “ paathu yeduka koodadhe, step out of the cold rasam, I will clean it”. Oh ! God, mother’s patience.

9. I was 16
Mummy was making dosai for me and big bro while we both sat in the living room watching TV (offcourse!). We were finishing up and mom made the lucky last. Offered to bro, he said he was too full, so she offered to me, I could eat it but I was upset that she did not offer it to me first. So I told her i wont eat it because she made it for my bro and asked him first before asking me. So I made her go back and make a new one for me and she agreed. WOW my mom rocks !

10. I was 10
Mommy bought diwali dreess for me and bros ..once upon a time. I was not happy. I did not like the colour and the fact that the dress did not have as many frills as I wanted (duh !) I refused to wear it, while bros accepted what she bought for them without any complaints. So mommy actually took me back to the shop returned the dress and bought me a new one which costed her twice the budget !

I do realise that like the movie “abhiyum naanum”, this post of “mummyum naanum” has been a very me, myself rather than about mummy !

But all said and done, if I am half as good as my mom when I am her age, I would consider myself a great success

Hoping to read the mommy moments of lavender, lazy blogger, touring blogger and wondering blogger soon.

P.s – English translation for tamil words are provided in the post considering the non tamil readers to my blog ( hehehe..)

Thursday, May 14, 2009

South Indian Kitchen - Bongu Samaiyal 1

What is a blog without a recipe and I have decided to share my wisdom to the new cookies (tanglish). With number of little bro’s getting married and with the increasing number of brides arriving in Ausie land , I feel it is an absolute responsibility of a senior (alais peetha thalaivar) to share the tips and tricks to survive in the kitchen. Also after the call from dear babu and babhi (babu’s wife hehe), I consider myself in a position to provide culinary advises. Word of caution, my cooking is only for bachelors and amateurs , definitely not for the experts in the trade.

Preface :

I have never really cooked before I came to Australia and had few recipe books handy or call mom / mom in law when I stepped into the kitchen. I struggled to cook for more than 5 people because I would never know the right proportions. Then found something which I have named as “bongu samaiyal”. This is mix of authentic Indian cooking (predominantly south Indian) and modern microwave cooking and totally dependant on the time and patience I have at that point.

Most importantly its easy - tested and tried recipes. The cooking would definitely taste good enough for a weekday and relaxed weekends, can be shared with guests who are not critics ( I must say all the bros from KV to babu, ferni to amigo, shangy to buddy never complains).

Breakfast – Well we all would agree that we never have the time to cook any breakfast through weekdays. So in the weekends, I tend me make some decent breakfast which we end up eating at 11 ish.

Pongal – Sambar – This awesome combination is the simplest

Ingredients ( serves 3 adults)
Rice – 1 cup
Moong Dhal (Paasi parupu) – ½ cup
Pepper – 10
Cumin seeds – 1 tea spoon
Green Chillies – 2 (optional)
Ghee – atleast 3 table spoon ( absolute essential)

1. Dry roast the moong dhal till it turns light brown
2. Wash rice and add dhal to the rice
3. Add 2 ½ times water ( for the measurement above – add 4 cups of water)
4. Add the pepper, cumin seeds and salt to this
5. Pressure cook this for 5 -6 whistles, the rice need to get the porridge effect
6. Switch off the gas and wait till the steam comes down.
7. For seasoning – in a pan heat 2 table spoons of ghee, add mustard seeds and slit green chillies and fry till the chillies turn white
8. Add this seasoning to the cooked pongal, add more ghee and salt if necessary


Onion – 1
Tomato - 1
Toor Dhal ( Thuvaram parupu) – ½ cup
Sambar powder – 1 teaspoon
Tamarind Juice – 3 table spoons
Mustard seeds
Red chillies – 2

1.Cook Toor dhal with enough water in a pressure cooker
2. In a large pan add oil, finely diced onions and fry them till it turns transparent
3. Add the red chillies
4. Add finely diced tomatoes and fry till you see the skins curl
5. Add tumeric powder
6. Add any vegetable you want – to go with pongal have some soft vegetable – finely diced brinjal or carrot or potato. This sambar tastes fine even without any vegetable
7. Pour the cooked dhal into this, add sambar powder, salt and some water
8. Now add tamaring juice
9. Let it boil and turn of gas.

Options – You can add coriander powder and chilly powder when it is boiling to add additional flavours or even replace the sambar powder with these two.

Coconut Chutney

Shredded coconut – ¼ cup
Green or Red chilly - 1- 2
Roasted gram ( pottu kadalai) – a handful ( can be replaced with raw peanuts without skins ofcourse)
Garlic – 1 pod
Tamarind – a pinch
Salt – to taste

1. Soak coconut, roasted gram (or peanut) with just enough water for 10 minutes
2. Now just add all the other ingredients and grind in the mixie

For seasoning
1. In 2 table spoons of oil, add mustard seeds, split black gram dhal (optional) and very finely diced onions.
2. Make sure you fry the onion till it turns light brown

I can hear you all say ' vada pochey' - it is a bit complicated to be added to the bongu samaiyal list