Remembering Mom

Mom's Recipe in TamilWe all have our own special ways of remembering people. Some of us have photos, writings or clothing to keep memories alive. Cooking keeps me connected to my mom. She was an extraordinary human being as well as a fabulous cook.

Our home was the hub for extended family’s vacations, job hunts, festival seasons and weddings. My mom made sure that anyone who walked into our house never left hungry. Food was always available, well prepared and on time. Her philosophy on cooking was simple and I follow that to this day

-Cook food with love, people will enjoy it no matter what. Food cooked with negative emotions never digests well.

Here are some of mom’s favorite recipes:

Chakli makerRibbon Pakoda:
A standard fried snack that amma made for Diwali (festival of lights). This recipe is fool proof and turns out great. You need the chakli press to make this. There is absolutely no healthy version to this snack. Sometimes you just have to indulge and enjoy.


Safflower Oil 4 cups ( to deep fry)
Rice Flour 2 cups
Besan (Chickpea flour) 1 cup
Butter 3/4 tsp
Asafoetida a pinch
Red Chillie Powder 1/4 tsp (to taste)
Salt to taste.

Mix all the ingredients in a bowl and add a little water to make a stiff dough. Divide the dough into cylinders to fit inside the pres. Heat oil in a fryer to 350 degrees. Press the dough through the press into the hot oil making circles of ribbons. Fry on both sides for golden and remove and place it on paper towels to drain excess oil.

Muthusaram ( means pearl strands in tamil) –

MuthusaramAnother name is Mullu Murrukku ( thorny crisps). You will need a chakli press ( use the small star shaped tiny plate)
Safflowler Oil – 4 cups (deep fry)
Dhal Powder
Chana Dhal – 1 cup
Moong Dhal – 1 cup
Slightly roast the dhals and grind to smooth powder.Mix well and put it through a sieve to remove lumps. Use 1 cup of this mixture for the recipe.

2:1 Ratio
Rice flour 2 cups
Dhal Powder 1 cup
White Sesame Seed 1 tsp (roasted)
Butter 1/2 tsp
Salt To taste

Mix the ingredients in a bowl, add water and make a dough.Heat oil in a fryer to 350 degrees and fry little circles of this tasty snack.

Aloo Bhaji:

A Potato

My favorite Sunday evening treat with Poori and Masala chai. Nowardays, this would be a full meal, but when I was growing up it was just an evening tiffin/snack. Yum!

Oil – 1 tsp
Cumin – 1/2 tsp
Red Onion -1 ( finely chopped)
Turmeric – 1/8th tsp
Potatoes – 2 ( fully cooked)
Roma Tomato – 1 ( chopped)
Water – 1/2 cup
For grinding
Ginger – 1 small piece
Tamarind Concentrate – 1/8 of a tsp
Green Chillies – 3 (optional)
Shallots – 2 ( roasted)
Salt – to taste
Cilantro – 1 Tbsp (chopped)

Grind the ginger, green chillies, roasted shallots, and tamarind concentrate with a Tbsp of water to a smooth paste. Keep aside.
Heat oil in a sauce pan, add the cumin and chopped onions and sautee till its golden brown in color. Add the turmeric, tomatoes and sautee for a few
more minutes and add the ground paste and sautee for 10 minutes. Mash the cooked potatoes into small pieces ( not into a goo) and add it to the pan.Season
it with salt. Add water and mix well. Garnish with cilantro and serve hot with rotis and pooris.

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