While we honour mothers
With words of love and praise,
While we tell about their goodness
And their kind and loving ways,
We should also think of Grandma..
She's a mother, too, you see
For she mothered my dear mother,
As my mother mothers me!
Lying peacefully at the corner of the bedroom, she breathed for one last time….
Amidst the grievances of the loss,I console myself for having spent some solid time, took care of her,fed her the last Sunday morning she passed away.
Funeral, condolences,consoles,relatives, friends…all had came to a slow still by the passing days…
Amma and me decided to make Vatti Pulusu, which reminded of grandma, in every step.
Grandma was undoubtedly an expert in preparing this special curry,Vattipulusu , a comfort dish, truly unique and loved by all of us in the family..
I knew amma had mixed feelings all the while and I needed to be the one to reassure her that at least she had a peaceful end and is in a better world..
.... Vattipulusu, simmering in the Kalchatti, spreading the aroma all over the house, she prepares for us with her utmost love and care..
Tamarind-a small lime sized ball
To roast and grind to a very smooth paste:
Gingelly seed oil-a tsp
Coriander/ Kothamalli/Malli/Dhania Powder-4 tbsps (use 4 heaped tbsps if you use seeds)
Fenugreek seeds/uluva-1/4 tsp
Black Pepper corns-a heaped tsp
Cumin seeds-1/2 tsp
Turmeric powder-1/2 tsp
Curry leaves-a sprig
Gingelly seed oil-2 tbsps
Mustard seeds-1/4 tsp
Asafoetida-less than 1/4 tsp
Curry leaves-a sprig
2. Heat a tsp of oil as mentioned in the ”roast and grind” list in a heavy bottomed kadai.Roast the fenugreek and next the coriander seeds and the red chillies in medium flame stirring all the time till the colour changes and the aroma spreads out. (Usage of coriander powder is the easiest way and if you use this make sure not to burn it, and roast along with the chillies stirring all the time until the colour of the powder turns deeper and the aroma spreads out).
3. Turn off the flame.
4. Throw in rest of the ingredients ; the pepper corn,cumin seeds,turmeric powder, shallots,garlic and curry leaves in order, stirring the mixture heating them all up.The heat of the kadai is enough for this step.
5. Cool and grind to the smoothest paste with just enough water.(Coriander powder grinds well rather than the seeds and hence suggested)
6. In a thick bottomed vessel (we used the traditional Kalchatti) combine the above paste with the tamarind extract.Add salt. Let the curry be watery at this stage.Boil and simmer the pulusu well closed with a lid. After 10-15 minutes, season the simmering Pulusu by heating the 2tbsps of oil in the earlier kadai , used for roasting, splutter the mustard seeds, asafoetida and next the curry leaves.Simmer until you get the real flavour of the Vattipulusu spreading all around the kitchen and the oil separates .
7. Serves best with boiled rice, idlies and dosas.
This is a spicy and tangy Indian curry, with no vegetables.The name Vattipulusu must have originated from the Telugu word Vanti, meaning plain and Pulusu, a gravy.
Vattipulusu is close to Vatral kuzhambu, of Tamil cuisine ( of course without the vatral) and Theiyal of Kerala..
I’d not wished to show my feelings here but badly wanted to share this wonderful dish with my lovely friends what I watched and learned from my grandmother, the greatest cook of my world..
I strongly feel her presence in this room, when I type this in my lap top, breathing in her air …
....and my sister's post moving me to tears...