25 November, 2020

Badi Ammi’s Rasoi

Ours is a happy marriage: of food traditions

Jitender Gupta
Badi Ammi’s Rasoi

My son Samar was once asked by his teacher: Can your mother cook? The young fellow, only 10 years old then, gallantly replied: “Of course, she can.” That evening, when he told me what he had said, I was shamed into buying my first cookbook. I’ve since graduated to a collection of cookbooks—some, like the Mangalore Ladies Club Cookbook, well-worn and battered, others still in their cellophane wrapping. What I haven’t been able to lay my hands on, however, is an honest-to-goodness book that explains, in simple language, the recipes that Ammi, my mother-in-law, or Badi Ammi, a venerable relative in Farrukhabad (the central UP district from which my husband’s family hails), have handed down from generation to generation. The heavy-on-the-oil but mouthwatering mutton korma, the distinctly spiced peeli murgi, the delicately flavoured yakhni, the tangy tamatar gosht. The fluffy naan (distinctly different from the Punjabi variety), the sweetish sheermal and the enormous maanda (a roti thicker than a roomali...



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