Saturday, June 08, 2013
Kaanda (Onion) Bhaji
There is a slow but steady increase in the Monsoon--still a gentle,peaceful pace but very much there!!The funny thing is that I was only worried about my hip pain worsening---instead surprisingly it has eased a bit !!If I recall correctly the Pain began in April and as the Heat escalated up and up so did the Pain. Now I'm trying to find out whether extreme Heat can also cause the Pain???The reason may anything--Weather,Medication,E
xcercises--or maybe all 3 combined but I AM feeling much better both physically and mentally for being crippled by Osteo Arthritis is not what I want to be looking at!!
I love India during the Rains---the body feels cool and rested and the nights are definitely more relaxed and one does sleep better.The only real problem is mobility because a lot of areas which are low lying turn into Lakes!!In my childhood I'd watch the torrential Rain from my maternal Grandparents Balcony in one of the low lying areas and after an exceptionally heavy downpour the Fisher Folk could be seen plying light Canoes to ferry people across to the Buildings in the vicinity.Everything would come to a standstill---and we'd have a wonderful impromptu holiday---with my Aaji cooking up a steady stream of Food in her Coal fired Kitchen.My Aazoba would want all his favourite dishes for Breakfast and Lunch and the afternoon Snacks would be large platefuls of crisp deep fried Onion Fritters with a spicy Coriander Coconut Chutney---the perfect mating of a hot,crisp,spicy savoury taste!!The Onions would be very thinly sliced into slivers which would then be seasoned with Salt,a pinch of Sugar and some Coriander-Cumin Powder in the morning and covered and left in a cool place to sweat and release it's juices.In the Afternoon ,finely chopped hot Green Chillies and Fresh Coriander leaves would be added to the Mixture along with some Chick Pea Flour to make a dropping Batter--thick enough to just bind the Slivers together and provide a crisp coating.No Water was added for that would thin the Batter too much.Large tablespoonfuls would be dropped into the hot Oil and within minutes platefuls of the "Bhajiyas" would be served--literally disappearing into thin Air within moments of it's arrival!!On the days we did not eat Onion or Garlic,thin finely sliced Cabbage would be used instead---another truly yummy substitution!!
It was only after I began producing an unending supply of the same for my family that I realised the effort it took to churn out these fast enough to keep the baying family quiet---a truly Herculean task!!!Luckily both Aaji and Mummy had Cooks to help out--Aaji did most things personally and though similarly minded, Mummy would have to relegate most of these things to the Cook for Daddy wanted her to sit out in the Verandah with us and enjoy the Weather.In my case I preferred and still do--doing my own work.Despite having helpers in the Kitchen I need things just so--and therefore do some of these preparations myself----which does irritate my Kitchen helpers I must confess--nobody likes to be treated as an imbecile!!However I am now learning to let go of this obsession of mine--with Sudhir not there anymore a lot of things have ceased to matter.