Friday, March 4, 2016

My grandpa's recipe travels around the world.

I know I am a blessed person but the above video made me feel my blessings more, I realized how much the men in my life involved themselves in the household chores and I had been taking all those for granted.

I take pride in saying  I have an husband when not on office work,  involves himself in the household work. He works in the kitchen not just by chopping veggies, grating coconut or that solid piece of jaggery or cutting that hard chunk of hing into pieces with a nutcutter but makes a meal too, infact his creation ‘Rasambar’ is my children’s favorite . He works not to keep the spouse happy or to save a nasty day but he gets involved as a part of family work and does not consider household work degrading or a woman’s domain. On weekends, he puts the dirty laundry in the machine , and he is the one who lathers soap on the dirty collars of my son’s school uniform( white pant and white shirt). Infact he taught my son and daughter how to wash clothes without brushing hard ( scrubbing soap on dirty areas and letting it rest for a while loosens the dirt rather than scrubbing hard with the bristles of a brush which damages the fabric) and today my daughter washes her clothes in the hostel sans washing machine, while my son applies soap on the soccer ball marks on his dirty white dress before putting them in the machine.

Not just my husband, my dad a man of the yester generation had never allowed his growing daughters into the kitchen. When my mom was away to attend family functions, appa would quadruple as a chef, a washing machine , a dishwasher and even sweep or mop the home. No work to him was gender specific, even today as a retired man,  he and my mom 
#ShareTheLoad of household work.

With such role models, needless for me to say what my children would have learnt.

Alright,  let them be, after all they are from the generation of emancipated women who work outside home, We know that many men of this generation share the load of household work and are more involved in the family affairs as a father/husband or son.

I will talk about my role model from a much older generation whom I often remember, especially more, when I make the kitchen spice powders.

I never buy the readymade spice powders for cooking like the sambar powder, rasam powder, gun powder etc….Everytime, I lay down the ingredients like chillies, coriander seeds, pepper make the spice powder, i send a silent prayer to a man above - my paternal grandpa, a humble and philanthrophic man who never compartmentalized jobs as gender specific. His passion was to create food with love  and all those traditional dishes like paal kootu, pirandai thogaiyal, poriccha kootu  that I make,  I learnt from him. 

I would observe the way he would chop the vegetables finely, No food processer can match the art of chopping vegetables with hands.  Today when  i chop the vegetables single mindedly, it is more like meditation. He never taught me, but I learnt by watching him. Apart from the traditional dishes and chopping vegetables finely,  I learnt the art of making sambar podi.  He would measure the ingredients approximately  with eyes  and hands ( kai thittam) and lay them on a newspaper before dry roasting. His speciality was to add even mustard seeds and roasted curry leaf to the sambar powder.

His work at home was not restricted to kitchen alone where his passion lay, he would even wash his own clothes when he had time, would buy groceries and make the tastiest inji sorasam( herbal ginger tea) when he was not working as India’s leading traction battery expert ……..yes not one of the experts he was the only expert who had learnt from Germany during his times and instrumental in the making of elektrona 24 a battery operated eco friendly moped in the 80’s which was much ahead of its times.

Today, during the times of readymade foods, i still make it a practice of making homemade spice powders and i only have this role model of my mine to thank for teaching this art. I have even stored this recipe for this  sambar powder in my cookery blog here and this is now popularized by another cookery blog here and travels around the world.

 “I am joining the Ariel #ShareTheLoad campaign at BlogAdda and blogging about the prejudice related to household chores being passed on to the next generation.


  1. Mr B is a star, but seriously cutting chunks of hing is a little too much lady :)

    1. Thank you, yes cutting chunks of hing is a tough job, not all can do it . It is as good as a rock.

  2. Nice memories of your elders.

  3. It's a blessing to have partners and kids who help around the house. Men/boys doing the household chores not only help them to learn life skills but also make them better team players, co-workers, and eventually life partners. It's fantastic that the men in your family are so self sufficient and a big help to you too. It's the same with KG and Aaryan in our family. Good luck for the contest, Asha :)

  4. So true about life skills shilpa, moreover it helps them be independant. YEs, i know KG and Aryan are great chefs and help for you through your blogs. We are indeed blessed!