In the days when mixer-grinders were still a novelty, the idli-dosas made at our home were quite in demand. And it was an elaborate process too. Soak the rice-udad dal for about 5-6 hours then grind it in the big grinding stone, which required a skill borne only of practice, In our home, we had a big grinding stone and a smaller one. While the bigger one was used to make batter for idli-dosa etc, the smaller one was used for chutney-masala etc. The grinding process took a lot of time and I wonder why Amma even bothered when she was already so busy. Handling three kids, their eccentricities, gardening, stitching. knitting, housework, I wonder how she had so much of energy
Our friends and neighbours, had a hearty meal whenever they dropped by. The favorite being Idlis and dosas. Those days North Indians seldom made those at their homes and restaurants were non-existent in the small town of Bhilai.
Those who have had a taste of food ground in a grinding stone will agree that its taste is quite unique. Maybe because of the stones or maybe because of the effort needed to actually handle it, the idlis would be quite soft, the dosas crispy and the chutney yummilicious.
And so when it was time for our birthdays, it was usually masala dosa which would be a part of the menu. We never cut cake or invited friends. Anyone who knew it was our birthday, would drop by and would be treated to a sumptuous meal.
When my brother was a teenager, feeding a group of young lads would indeed be a challenge. Each of them would compete with the other whilst eating. My mother would be standing near the stove, and my sister would be running between the kitchen and the Hall. At the end of the day amma would have turned red standing hours in front of the stove and my sis would immerse her feet in a bucket of water to ease of the pain.
Later on amma changed her menu to idlis, dhoklas and appes (mini idlis made in an aebelskiver pan). But the chutney was fixed. Everyone just loved the coconut chutney and often it ran out mid-course. The late arrivals would just have to do without it. 🙂
Flash forward to the present: In the early days of our marriage, we had an UPite couple as our neighbour and once invited them to our place for an idli-vada session. Owing to my childhood experiences, I made a huge batch of coconut chutney. My husband was shocked and announced that if there was any leftover chutney for days together, he would not aid in finishing it off. I asked him to wait, watch and have faith in my judgement.
I like to eat after everyone has had their fill and so when I did begin, there was nothing left of the chutney except the curry leaves.:D
I begin my travels on this Thursday and so will be posting very very less. Even if I do, it will be short posts. Forgive me if I am not able to read your posts or reply to your comments.
Keep well, be happy!!