Recreating a nostalgic meal

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An eggplant flower

I am the youngest of the two girls in my family. Being the youngest hard its perks, but it was unimaginable horror at some times. I was expected to go along with my elder sister to all her visits to her friend’s houses as an escort. If there was some grocery item missing and was needed suddenly, I was send to buy it. I couldn’t understand why my sister wouldn’t go and get it. She had created this assumption that being the eldest, she did not have to do these menial tasks. I remember how frustrated I felt at these times and no amount of tears would budge her!

When I finally grew up and was her age, I had no escorts and was left to fend for myself. Ah! That is how I learnt that life is usually unfair and you would be better off dealing with it rather than crying about it..especially when it came to family.But anyway, one good thing about visiting her friends was the food I got to ate. It was our ( me and my sister) assumption that any food other than made in our house always tasted better. This was one thing that me and my sister usually agreed upon.

In Kerala, back in the days there were a great many kids being brought up by i grandparents, as their parents were in the “Gulf”.These kids had the coolest toys and outfits that we could only dream of. I had often wished I was one of them ( now I know better). One of my sister’s friends who we visited was one such family, kids living with their grandmother. When it was time for lunch, we realized there was not much to eat. The friend said, ‘Dont worry we will make brinjal fry’. We both had never had this dish before and we watched as she split the long eggplants ( vazhuthananga),added salt and chili powder and shallow fried it in some oil. We had this with some rice ,achar and some mooru. What a delicious meal! We were convinced that outside food was best. We often reminisced about the brinjal fry although the friendship had been long lost. I think we tried making it at home once but decided it was not the same.

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Recently when I grew my first eggplant, the long kind that you see so often back home, I had the sudden inkling to make the long thought of and salivated dish. Got the freshest eggplant off the plant, sliced it thin, applied a paste of salt and chillly powder, shallow fried and had it with rice. Ahh! It was one of the best meals in along time ! All the more tastier just because of the nostalgia associated with it.

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This post if for my sister, remembering all the walks we took to your friends place, the fights we had on the way…and all forgiven when finally we sat for lunch( remember the ambazhanga sammanthi at SB’s place?)

13 responses »

  1. hahaha. My little sis had the same complaints. She would completely agree with you. But I am with your elder sis! hehehehe

    What a lovely pic….Lovely Lovely pic!

  2. What a lovely eggplant! Home-grown, too!

    Being the youngest of three sisters, I know how rough it can get! But I must admit that I had very little to complain about most of the time. The toughest part was waking up one day and finding myself all alone, something I had wished for always. It wasn’t as much fun as I thought it would be. I missed my sisters!

  3. Good post Gini. Nice pictures!
    You have bought some memories back for me. I had some familiar experiences myself as I was the youngest of us two however I tried to fight back in some cases and there were some lost battles too but now I miss my sister!

  4. I had the prilvilege of being the eldest! 🙂
    But when I got married and had to leave home first, I wished I were the youngest. 😦
    Eggplant looks so yummy.

  5. hi
    in goa we can it vangycho phode ie brinjal shallow fried with chili, haldi and dipped in rice flour.
    you can see those on my blog in my march or april 2006 posting.
    you have a very warm way of writing your experience pls keep on posting

  6. Hi

    i am a newbie to blogging and have been visitng quite a few blogs … I have married a south indian (from kerela) , i being a sindhi have no idea of Kerela food ,what iknow is all that i get to hear from him(Anup). We will be going back to india sometime in Nov and i want to learn all i can about Kerela cooking, i love your site ..ive tried quite a few things from here , with some modifications here and there i’ve managed to learn the thorans, paccadi and the fish curry …. i love ur post and luv the meme, i dont know how to tag u on my page …let me know , wud luv to be linked to u .
    regards
    vanita

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