Even the weirdest things can reconstruct memories. Today I had brought Lunch from home. Nothing exotic, some Chappati and potato stew made in coconut milk one of my all time favorites (Well not really, I love the poori and baji that you use to get in the Indian Railways better). Yesterday I had this yearning to eat this old fashion stew we use to make back home when I was a kid. When you need something so bad you need to do it then and there. On the way back home I picked up some coconut milk and made it. The recipe is at the end of the post if anyone wants to try it
When I opened the lunch box in the afternoon, I felt I was in my primary school and kids were opening their lunch boxes. The aroma was transporting me pretty far back in time to the lunch break in school. What a time that was. Though I only had the aroma of my stew to accompany me today, I remembered how it was back in school days.
Even restaurants did not have that variety of food, there are like 50 odd lunch boxes opening at the same time in a room and spreading the aroma of homemade food from some of the best cooks in the world. Even when that happens every kid is not keen on what is in his Lunch box but he or she is busy checking the neighbor’s box. Well that’s how kids are.
Some bring the morning breakfast of dillies, puttu, idiyappam and dosas with mouth watering cuttneys and curries. Some had rice mixed well with curry and sometimes a small piece of fish would be hiding inside the heap that the mother would have kept to surprise her kid. A few also bought butter milk filled in small horlicks bottles. While some had bread, butter and Jam with a boiled egg to feel better, some came with chappathi and stew. It would be beyond impossible for me to explain in words how it really is. But if you can go back to your lunch breaks back in school you will know what I mean
While some kids would have the huge multi layer lunch boxes you will also remember that most of the kids had a round steel lunch box that took so much time to open and many time kids would be struggling with it throwing it on the ground, hammering it on the sides of the desk and more. As the hunger hits the zenith you can see them rolling with it and you might think they would eat the lunch box itself. If you were one of the kids who happened to have lunch box that cant be opened and your mom had send you idily with chuttney, what you would get out when opened would be nothing different from the guy who bought rice, a lump of idily and cuttney mixed. But well who cares, hunger reigns.
It is true that the moments in life that we thought we had lost can come searching for us in the present and it often shows itself up in situations that you would have never imagined just like it happened to me when I opened my lunchbox today.
Now to give you a quick recipe as I promised and try it out if you want. Take 3 small potatoes and cut them into small pieces. Take half an onion and cut them as straight thin slices. Put them in water just enough to immerse them and add some salt. You should also add some ginger because it tastes well (I missed it and it still tasted good) so you can make that mistake and still not hurt your taste buds.
Once it boils just pour half a tin of coconut milk and add put three green chilies cut in half along with generous amounts of black pepper. Crack some mustard in oil along with some red chilies and curry leaves (again I missed the curry leaves in my preparation as I had ran out of them). Wait and you should be ready for a treat. Buy Chappati from the store, it is a pain making them, it won’t hurt your appetite