Rasam woes


5..4..3..2..1.. she muttered and then with a deep breathe marched out with the vessel to the dining room

Lavanya belongs to the Iyengar Kannadiga clan of Mysore. Meaning that her family actually belongs to the Tamil Iyengar family who live in Mysore. And so they have their own unique language and food habits. Her husband Jagadish too belongs to the same clan but then are two families similar? And while she has adjusted well to her new family, she has failed in one aspect-making rasam the way Jagadish loved it.

‘Luv, everything you make is perfect but not this rasam. I mean it is good but not like amma makes it. Amma makes it tangy, spicy and mmmmmm’, he would say.

And Lavanya would walk crestfallen back to the kitchen. It was not that she had not asked his mother, she had but the wise old lady had refused to divulge her secret.

‘Oh that, I would just boil the tomatoes,  then grind it in the mixer add any sambar powder and then temper it afer boiling it nice and long’, she would say.

‘Any sambar powder’, Lav had asked.

‘Yes, any’, the wise old lady had said.

And now Lav’s kitchen had about 7 varieties of opened sambar powder packets and about the same amount of rasam powder packets. All opened and used once.

Everytime Jagadish had said, ‘Lav it is good but not the taste that Amma made’

The wise old lady would grin at her son and  grimace at her daughter in law. But would she come into the kitchen any day and say, ‘Lavanya  I will make the rasam today’ or that ‘come I will teach you how to make rasam’. No.

So Lavanya was morose. For the past one week they had gone rasam ‘less’ and she knew she had to make it that day or face wrath, when the phone rang.

‘Hello, Athe’, she said happily. It was her Shantu Athe, her father’s sister.

They gossiped for a while when Athe sensed something was wrong. The wise old lady was nearby, so Lav said nothing.

Afer sometime Athe called her on her mobile and asked what was wrong. Lav took the mobile went to the terrace, leaned far from the boundaries and slowly told her rasam woes.

Now Athe was a smart lady and what is more she and the old wise lady had lived in the same lane in their younger days and that is how the match between Lavanya and Jagadish had materialised. ‘Lavanya I think I have the solution to your problem, just give me an hour’, she said.

In 45 minutes the doorbell rang and Athes Man Friday was at the doorstep with a packet.

5..4..3..2..1.. she muttered and then with a deep breathe marched out with the vessel to the dining room.

The first two courses of dal with rice and sambar with rice were over. The third course of rasam with rice was about to begin.

Jagadish poured some rasam on the rice, mixed it and then put some of the mixture in his mouth and said, ‘Mmmm Lav, the same taste, the same aroma…Magic’, he said with his eyes brimming with joy and love’.

The wise old lady had meanwhile tasted the rasam and now was sitting in shock and silence

Lavanya smiled shyly and with a look at her mother in law said, ‘someone sent me the magic potion’ and thanked Athe mentally for sending the rasam powder made by her ex-neighbour.


This post is a part of Write over the weekend, an initiative for Indian bloggers by BlogAdda. The theme being This weekend your post should begin with, ’5..4..3..2..1..’

Image courtesy The Indian Food Court

28 thoughts on “Rasam woes

  1. Ohhh…I can so imagine the look at the old lady’s face and the feeling of victory in Lavanya. 🙂 But your story reinforces the fact that all sons are the same…mommy boys. 😛

  2. I am reminded of a story where a young lady could not make rasam like her mil and her husband was unhappy about it and taunted her often.When both dil and mil met at a family function,dil pleaded with mil.for the secret behind her rasam.Mil revealed that she kept the left over rasam in the fridge and enlarged it the next day with fresh powder and did so for three four days before throwing out.
    When later dil enlarged the previous day’s rasam that was rather stale and served it, the hubby went gaga and said “Wow,it has the flavour of amma’s rasam.You have now become an expert like my mom”

    • 🙂 My mom possesses such a sixth sense, Remya. When I am sick, when I am about to cook something special, she will surely call me, don’t know how she comes to know. Athe might have put the pieces together as both she and the wise old lady had lived in the same locality in their younger days.

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