My mother started cooking at a very young age before her marriage.
After her marriage she cooked for the family for years at my village where we lived in a large joint farming family. After that she stayed with my father where ever my father was posted Nanpara, Bahraich, Deoria, Delhi, Nilokhari, Dehradun, Delhi, Gurgaon…
However, we all six children of Amma together could hardly stay year round with Amma. Some of us stayed in the village while others stayed with Amma and Babuji. In my case except for two years in mid fifties when I was with Babuji and Amma in Delhi I stayed in the village or Gorakhpur city or Anand and only from 2000 onwards in Gurgaon.
I have seen my mother cooking using wood on chulha, angithi, gas stove, electric stove, cooking gas …
Amma is not well for the last several years. I am sure had she been active for a couple of years more she would have learnt how to do baking.
Some eight years ago when Amma’s health took first major down turn, Neha Sinha, a trained psychologist and CEO and Co founder Epoch Elder Care helped Amma a lot. Neha would visit our home and spend a couple of days a week for few hours with Amma and engage her in conversations. Amma was not able to do any work and was bedridden after a slip which mercifully was not very serious but the Doctor’s had advised her bed rest.
She found a novel way to connect with Amma. She found out that Amma liked to talk about cooking. So Neha would engage Amma in small talk and then to talk about cooking a favourite subject of my mother and from those conversations came out the blog which Neha wrote and uploaded. Photos were taken by my sister Neelam.
That blog is available at https://fromammaskitchen.blogspot.com
I am posting below a recipe for Nimona a favourite winter dish of eastern UP amd Bihar.
Yeh lo jee Nimona!
Humare ghar mein hamari Shreya aur Munni ko bahaut pasand hai yeh. Baaki hume to accha lagta hi hai!
Hume frozen matar nahi accha lagta. I always prefer buying fresh ones and storing them. Bas matar ke dane ko khaulte paani mein daal do and swtich off the gas. Dhak ke ek min ke liye rakh do. Chalni mein chaan ke ,dry them in the shade. Polythene mein daal ke freezer mein rakh do. Aur jab zaroorat pade to nikaal ke aloo matar ya matar pulao bana lo!
Aloo/potatoes – 2 to 3 medium sized
Matar (kacche)/Peas (raw)- 1/2 kilo
Heeng/asafoetida- ek chutki
Pyaaz lehsun adrak/Ginger-garlic-onion paste – 1 tbsp
Garam Masala- 1 tsp (according to taste)
Dhania powder- 2 tsp
Mirchi powder- half tsp (according to taste)
Oil – 1 tbsp
Ghee – 1 tbsp
- Heat the oil and ek chutki usme heeng daal do.
- Aloo ko chote tukdon mein kaat kar, shallow fry them and take them out.
- Imaam daste (using a mortar and pestle) mein ya mixer mein, matar koot ya pees lo aur thode khade chodo/ Crush the peas in a manner that some are left half crushed.
- In the same oil where the aloo were fried, put the half crushed matar in it and roast it. put 1/2 tsp of ghee for added flavour.
- Add the ginger garlic onion paste, dhania powder and mirchi powder and acche se bhuno.
- Bhunne ke baad, put 2 cups of water in it to get the consistency of a daal.
- Add garam masala powder.
- Alag se karchi mein, desi ghee mein laung ka tadka lagao and add it to the nimona.