My Earliest Memory Of Food

Wolfing down a whole plate of jalebis in one go or slowly sucking the last bit of eclairs left, we all have our own delicious memories of food. Sneaking for the last chocolate cookie left in the jar or waiting patiently for mum to serve lunch (read hot aromatic rajma chawal), fond food memories will never end.
My earliest memory of food is eating a bowlful of mum's dahi vada, with my mouth full of the deep-fried vada soaked in curd and the chutney dribbling down from the sides of my mouth. But more than eating, it is the sweet memory of making dahi vada ( chutney counts as dahi vada, doesn't it?) that brings a knowing smile on my face.


As the downpour slowed down to a slow drizzle and the grey clouds receded from the sky, mum got ready to prepare her special dahi vada. There was nothing special in the dish itself, it was the fiery coriander chutney and the tangy tamarind one that really brought it to life. For me, they were just 'green' and 'red' chutneys. As mum ran from pot to pan, tasting,testing and correcting; I stood in a corner observing the commotion. Cooking was far beyond me, it was the final result that went into my little 5-year old stomach that mattered.
But there was one thing I always looked forward to and had made an exception for- making the chutneys. Simple they might seem, but they were the heart of the whole dish and my favourite for sure.
When mum finally called me to help, my eyes lit up with delight. I loved mutilating the tender coriander leaves into bits and pieces (no, I was not destructive) and marvelled at how it turned into a smooth paste once inside the processor.
Putting it all together was the best part. How I used to ruin my mum's meticulously put up plates with endless swirls of the green stuff, putting more outside the plate than inside it.
I always stared in awe when I saw mum put so much effort in one single dish, the planned preparation behind it all.
Today, I may rustle up simple meals and bake layered cakes with equal ease but it is the memory of making those innocuous chutneys, my first memory of food, that I will savour forever. 

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    1. thank you Akanksha! coming from someone like you, it is quite flattering ;)

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