Tuesday, February 08, 2011

Curry Leaves

"So, what did you have for breakfast today?", my mom started the conversation with her patent question.

"Bread and butter", I replied.

"What? Everyday you eat the same thing?", she repeated the same statement that she's been repeating since 20 days.

"I don't have a choice, Amma", I complained.

"So, what did you eat for lunch?", she began again.

"Salad. Some brocolli and carrots - boiled", I replied.

"And what are you going to prepare for dinner", she asked.

"Haven't decided", I replied, grudgingly.

"Why don't you prepare some nice khichdi and kadhi?", she suggested, "It's easy and takes less time too", she started acting all mother-y.

"Yeah. Looks that simple huh?", I asked, wanting her to know that the curd in Germany is so unlike kadhi types.

But she went on telling me the entire recipe, even though she knew that I was good at it. And then after some talking she added

"Neeche se kadhi patta tod la, kadhi me daal, to add flavour (Get some curry leaves from the parking area at the ground floor)", she said simply, without a thought.

"What?", I asked, surprised.

"Neeche se kadhi pata tod la, badhiya taste aa jayega. (Get some Curry leaves, from the ground floor, it'll add some real good taste)", she added as a matter-of-fact-ly.

"Amma?", I wondered whether she knew that I was in Germany, where curry leaf plant is not planted in the area around the parking lot of the building, like it happens in India, rather they do not grow it anywhere around the civilization, so that the maids, while coming for work ,would carry a big bunch for their madams.

"Memsaab, ye lijiye kadhi pata (Madam, Curry leaves for you)", our maid would say proudly.

"Arre waah Sita bai. Aaj itne taaze kadhi patte kaha se mile? (Wow, Sita Bai. Where did you get such fresh leaves from)", my mom would ask.

"Arre wo Mujumdar madam ke ghar se tod ke laai hu (Got them from Mrs.Mujumdar's place)", she'd say in style, doing a big favour.

Recollecting all these things, I found my self laughing uncontrollably.

"Momma", I asked, wondering whether she was still on the line.

Yeah, she was, laughing uncontrollably too.

That's how we've always prepared curries. As far as I remember, we've never bought curry leaves from the market, ever.

We have our very own plant, in the parking lot!

Alas, I couldn't add flavour to the kadhi I made that day.

How I miss home! :(