Every weekend morning like the one today reminds Manoj and I of all the weekend mornings when papa and everybody else used to crave ताज़ा नाश्ता (freshly made breakfast) and you came up with your masterpieces like मटर के समोसे (pea stuffed samosa), आलू की टिकींया (stuffed potato pancakes), हलुवा नगौड़ी (semolina sweet porridge and crisps) and much more. We miss those finger licking dishes every weekend of every month now.
The precision with which you made all the scrumcious पकवान (festival time sweet and savories) was breathtaking. लड्डू (ladoo), गुज़िया, सेव, पापड़ी, फ़ूल, कुपड़ि, and गजक, you name it and we had you, our expert culinary master make it for us. Your succulent दही की गुज़िया (stuffed lentil balls in yogurt) is still the most popular dish at all of my house parties.
Mumma I am glad I made you write down some of the family recipes for us and learnt a few others from you. Having said that, your expert guidance and scrutiny will be missed. Life will not be the same again without that sweet to the ears comment “ ज़रा सा और भून दे” (roast it just a little more).
It will not be incorrect to say that food is everything we are. It’s an extension of all our feelings, be it our nationalist feeling, ethnic feeling or our family history. For us more than anything else, it’s inseparable from you. Food is the ingredient that binds us together as family.
Your day to day cooking, albeit all vegetarian was cherished and loved by one and all. The ambrosial बैगन (curried eggplant) or आलू रस (curried potatoes), अरहर दाल (lentil) or बेसन कढ़ी (chickpea flour curry) were all delectable. As they say a recipe has no soul, you as the cook must bring soul to the recipe. You were and will be the soul of all our family recipes. You didn’t cook fancy complicated dishes, just flavorful food from fresh ingredients. Love you for it.