Monday, February 06, 2012

Theeyati Pulusu and a rant....

" Oh! It's so darn easy for you" she said, " one kid and nothing more to fuss about"! 
I was stung by this remark when I heard this from my friend a couple of weeks ago. There was a bit of truth in her remark, I admitted to myself, but I don't think I quite accept the so darn easy.. 
Here is how she sees herself, a mother of 2 (which I know is very challenging), lives in India, in a joint family (which I know is very, very challenging), the family is rolling in money and have servants of all kinds to do all they need, however, from her constant complaints- are hopeless and lazy and don't do anything and she has to do  so much..
She complains they are always gossiping, or lazy or want to go back to their village and she has to spend all her time 'counselling' them. Really? Do people actually counsel maids? as far as I understood things, if you don't like 'em, sack 'em! 'Counselling' them is such a waste of time and energy! I could sack 'em, save the time, energy and effort to direct it to doing chores and getting over with it.... 
The rest of her time, she says, is spent in getting her daughter to study ( and the child, apparently refuses to) and threaten her or spank her...  and left over time in taking care of the younger child and many a times in trying to resolve issues with her co-sister ( they are always at logger heads) and taking criticism from her in laws..... 

On the other hand, my life is so darn easy, one kid, no servants to deal with, no joint family. Hmmm... What would I have done in her situation? Would I have been any different? Would I do what I am doing today? get up and get going? 
I have less on my plate than she does, but I have my challenges too. For example, I have to handle everything on my own ( which is not a bad thing and surely something a 30+ woman can do), mostly without the husband ( he travels for work),plan, cook, clean, no elderly guidance, move every year or so ( and y'all know what that means, boxes and boxes to pack- without any help!)  handle illnesses  and so much more.

So why is is so darn easy  for me? Just because I live in a different country? Just because I do not live in  a joint family? 

 For a moment, my temper flared, I wanted to retort, "oh yeah! wait till you have a sink full of dishes to do, a child to drive to and bring from school, cook meals and clean the house, do the laundry when you have a skull- splitting migraine and a temperature and you feel woolly brained and blurry eyed.... and yeah, You are new  to the city, no friends to run to, no servants ( obviously) and no spouse by your side"

Instead, I kept quiet, I listened to her venting on and on about her problems, it was no use, I felt, telling her about my situation, she would not understand, maybe I could not understand hers as well, I am not in her shoes...  but I have lived in India most of my life and honestly, I did not think it was such a hardship, easier, if anything... sure everyone has issues with the help, but is that the focus of  the day? The school bus / rickshaw kaka comes to pick up kids and take them to school. If the domestic help bunks a day or 2, cook minimally and  order from outside. If you are so unwell, the Doctor comes home!  If you are still in a position to walk, the Doctors Clinic is very close, as far as I remember, many Doctors had their clinics in the building where one lives, just go down stairs /elevator or walk to the next building ( and given the space crunch in a place like Mumbai, the next building is  about 20 steps  away). 
Someone is there to make sure your child has good food to eat, what more do you want?  I remember, a few months ago, I was down with a temperature and my poor little boy sat by me, all the time, ran a tiny hand over my fevered brow and said, "it's okay, mommy"... I wept into my pillow, tired, miserable and angry , angry that I could not do much for my baby, and grateful that he in turn was my support. 

Oh well, all this has nothing to do with my recipe today, but just something I wanted to rant about and ask... do you all get into situations like these? What do you feel? How do you react? What do you think?

And now, let's move on to the recipe. This one is 'authentic' as a friend who tasted a bit of the tiny leftovers in a vati and  said, "jaldi recipe post kar iski" (post the recipe quickly) and so, P, this goes out to you. hope you try this and like it, just as much as you liked it at my place! 

This recipe, like any, from Pedatha's cook book is awesome! The taste, as my friend, said is totally authentic and will have you licking your fingers and fill you with comfort. Try it, you will love it.

Source::Cooking with Pedatha

You need: 
100 gms Red Pumpkin
100 gms  Bottle Gourd (dudhi/ Lauki)
100 gms Sweet Potato
100 gms Brinjal  ( I did not use any)
100 gms Raw Mango
2 nos. Drumsticks
3 Tbsp Tamarind Pulp (reduce amount if you are using Tamicon or some strong concentrate)
2 Tbs Sambar Podi
11/2 Tbsp Jaggery
3-4 Green Chilies,slit
8-10 Curry Leaves
Cilantro , to garnish
2 Tbsp Oil
Salt to taste

1 Tbsp Split Black gram, husked
1 Tbsp Bengal Gram
1 tsp Sesame seeds

1tsp Mustard seeds
1tsp Fenugreek seeds
3/4 tsp Asafetida powder

Cut the vegetables into large chunks, retaining skin on all except the bottle gourd and sweet potato

For the powder, dry roast the ingredients till deep brown and then grind to a fine powder

Mix the above powder, tamarind pulp, sambar podi and jaggeryin 1- 11/2 cup water to make a thing smooth gravy

In a wok, heat oil for tempering, Add mustard seeds, once they pop, add the fenugreek seeds. Lower the heat with the browning of the fenugreek, add asafetida powder
Add chopped vegetables and , adding enough water to cover the vegetables to simmer

When the vegetables are done, add the prepared gravy, green chilies and salt and cook for 4-5 mins.

Finally, garnish with curry leaves and cilantro just as you switch off the heat.

Serve with hot steaming white rice.
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  1. Pulusu looks so inviting and flavourful. Loved to taste it. BTW I differ with the word Rant. It is more about sharing of thoughts between blogger friends. Now that you have done it, you would feel much lighter. As usual, your posts are great.

    Hamaree Rasoi

  2. is someone holding a gun to her head forcing her to live in that joint family? i'd jump in a well before doing that.

    1. Money and inheritance is a great motivator, Bee! I'd jump in a well too or at least make my stand clear and try to live happily!

  3. I can understand how you must be feeling. My sister lives a similar life as you do, she has a little daughter and her 'friends' react to her the same way as your friend did, they envy her for not having to live with a MIL, having things in her control and living each day as she wishes! Some even go to the lengths of saying how lucky she is for not having to 'deal' with a husband everyday so she 'technically' has the freedom that most of them lost after getting married!(Now what does one say to that?!) Since we are very close (not by distance, by heart) I know how she has to struggle day to day all by herself. At such times I wish she lived nearby so I could rush to help and be by her side. Like the saying goes, 'The grass is always greener on the other side of the fence' its the same thing here.

    I wish you happier and healthy days and appreciate you for all that you do with love and responsibility for your loved ones. Hugs!!! :)

    Btw, I got another bunch of methi to make your methi parathas. They are a regular at my home and are loved every time! I also got the book - 660 curries, after reading about it a few times here and I am loving it. Everything I have tried so far has turned out great! Thank you so much and keep blogging! :)

    - Priti

    1. I'm so sorry ur sister has to go thru all that.. I can truly understand it.
      ...the 'dealing with husband' part... seriously? what is it with people these days, they decided to get married, right? why crib so much! ? I cn understand a bit of hasi-mazak wala cribbing, but this is silly!

      Thank U for the wonderful feedback, made my day! and yes, 660curries is awesome! In fact I have something coming up from the book :)

  4. It's got very little to do with the fact that you live in a different country. I get this too.....despite living in India. People tell me I have it "easy" 'coz I only have one child. I think it's a classic case of "the grass is always greener on the other side". People like to imagine that their lives are more complicated than that of others and take pleasure in regaling their "hardships".

    1. Jayashree, u are right, but I also feel one child or two, it is demanding and i will also add this, many of my friends in the USA have 2 children and are managing everything without any help or support.
      My only issue is , prioritize ur life, what is more important, cribbing about servants and 'counselling' them or just getting all your work done and relaxing or doing what u want to do.

  5. I have had the same feeling about living in India, usually after talking to my sister who has two kids,But there is always other side of the coin. You know what making a simple tea takes time as you need to boil milk in the morning and keep it ready to be served for guest. So each and everything that they do there takes more time than we do here, they have their daily morning chores, which sometimes becomes our weekend routines..:)
    So I feel It really is difficult with lot of mental pressure over there, that too in a joint family , no need to say ;)

    1. Yes Sumi, Having lived 30 yrs of my life in India, I know what the routine is and the hardships.. but I cannot accept that time is wasted on cribbing about servants, how easy my life is here or some silly thing like that.
      Whereever one is, if things do not work out one way, find another!
      Think of the ime when we were little, or even when our parents were little, so many modern appliances etc were not available, did u ever hear anyone grumble? Nuclear families have come into being over the last 3-4 decades, before that it was not a popular theme. Plus, there is the option of living separte.. as Bee, has said in her comment, is anyone holding a gun to make u stay! LOL!

  6. This looks yummy and I wonder why the enmity with poor eggplant. I get to hear all such things from strangers and even some friends especially from back home, they automatically assume that since I work and keep my kids in daycare, my hubby is not earning well and I am not a good mom, as I Neglect my kids...I listen, with closed ears as there is no point in explaining such shallow minds what we each his own..Most famous taunt I hear is that Oh.. you must be having so much time, that you blog... you r lucky to have your hubby do all the house work....LOL..and seriously LOL. Dil pe mat all I tell myself. Your posts and ramblings are top notch and connect with us in special ways.
    Love Ash.

    1. Oh Ash, I cannot get over my dread for the eggplant! sigh!
      oh yes, the blog part too, I get it from people in the USA, they assume I do nothing but blog, day in and day out! LOL!
      U are right, dil pe mat le!
      Thank u for ur kind words, made me happy!

  7. Find another friend :) I mean it! There are tons of people out there who you can have wonderful conversations with so there's no point engaging with people like her. That's what I do when people bore me with their complaining attitude.

    1. Thank you, Nupur. she is far away from me as it is, and you are right, there are a lot of people out there who can cheer me up!

  8. I love Pedatha's book as well. Havent yet tried this pulusu but your post is tempting me to make this soon :-) On the rant front, people sometimes do not realize how their speech/actions can be hurtful. Guess we all have our challenges and few choose not to make a big deal of it and carry on with our lives but a few others feel compelled to spell it all out. I have encountered such things from even close friends but guess its a part of life and am sure all this will be forgotten soon, esp when you have such a cute kid for support:-)

    1. Thank You, Rajee. I guess ou are right, we all have our challenges. I guess, this was her way of showing it.
      And yes, my son is my kohinoor! :)

  9. Did they ever think why we hesitate for second child and always give such a huge gap between siblings here...
    In one word, people in India have plenty of time to criticize those NRI - if they are engaged more like as cook, driver, cleaner, wife, mother, etc... probably they will realize. I have heard it the same kind of story, but useless to argue with them.
    This mixed veggie curry sounds tasty.

    1. Cham, u said it girl! I think we can define ABCD better, Aayah, Bai, Cook and Driver! LOL!
      The curry is fantastic, hope you try it.

  10. ohh looks so mother used to do this..i wanted to try this one..

    1. Thank you Anu, is it the same method or do you have a variation?

  11. Beautiful picture!..abt your kid or more you still have so much to do don't worry abt such ppl!

  12. I have this book too. It has some great recipes and you just reminded me that I should try out some! Your dish looks tasty.

    And the grass is always greener on the other side. :)

  13. I love curries such as these..simple, flavorful and healthy! Thanks for visiting my space, got to know this lovely blog in turn. Hugs.

  14. Wow!!! tempting curry. Nice clicks. Happy to follow you

  15. I don't have children and believe me, there is always something to do! It is not fair to accuse you of having a relaxed life as I'm sure you are tired at the end of the day and do as much anybody else...

    That dish looks so comforting! That's exactly what I'd need now with that polar weatehr we are experiencing.




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