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.
Image courtesy The Indian Food Court