My very first memory of my mother in law’s cooking, was that of carrot chutney. Since then onwards, I have become a huge fan of this dish and so has the intensity of bonding with my mother-in-law.
At first, I was surprised to know that this tangy chutney was indeed ‘carrot chutney’. I assumed that it would be sweet, but I had a very ‘warm and comforting feel similar to that of a mothers love’ after savoring it with hot rice and dab on oil’. The only dish which my mother has made with carrots is: carrot coconut curry and gajar ka halwa (the popular Indian dessert made with carrots, milk and sugar)
My Attaigaru (mother-in-law) continues makes simple and unpretentious dishes which are enveloped by her love, especially her tangy chutneys and pickles are very tasty and popular. Carrot chutney is one such dish. Infact ‘I consider it as ‘soul food’ – completely satiating.
Living with a lady who knows your husband very well, is not easy. Especially when you get married, you want to be the cynosure of your husband and not anybody else. But over the years, I have evolved as a person and as a mother. Also, my mother –in-law has accepted me as I am – carefree (For me, toe rings are a big no-no and minimal jewelry only) She continues to bear up with my whimsical cooking skills. Not to mention my forgetful nature especially when I am in the kitchen e.g forgetting to switch off the gas when heating milk!
‘Attaigaru’, after my marriage continued to hold of the reins of our house, especially the kitchen. It definitely made sense as we were living together and I was a busy working professional. For two years, this seemed fine to me. But later, I wanted more control over the home matters and this led to some misunderstandings on a minor note. However, over the course of 5 years, I have evolved as a person and as a mother, thus understanding my mother in law in the true sense. For, I too understood what a mother’s love is about, after I was blessed with a daughter. Mainly, I could truly comprehend, how possessive a mother is about her child. Moreover, my husband happens to be her youngest kid.
I realized that my Attaigaru is a warm and very loving person. Moreover, she is very forgiving. The one main aspect about her personality is that she never keeps grudges. Also, in the past 12 years since I have known her and lived with her, I have never seen her nagging about any matter. This is indeed one of the biggest plus point about her!
If any one of us is angry with each other, we do not speak to each other for a few minutes. But this ‘silence’ is always broken after a maximum of 30 minutes. This is our unsaid rule. I am glad that we always kept aside our differences and patched up very soon. Moreover, I think this is the main reason for our bonding and a lovely (read enviable) relationship between a mother in law and daughter in law.
She is very apt at starting a conversation and never tires of telling stories. One of her sayings which she often quotes relating to her lifelong experience of raising six kids and being confined to the house and kitchen is: Kadupu Kailasham, Illu vaikuntham. In English it means: Our stomach is like Kailash parvat (the holy abode where Lord Shiva resides) and our home is like Vaikuntham (the divine residence of Lord Vishnu) She would have loved to visit more holy shrines, but she could not do so, due to her family responsibilities and now her age, does not permit much mobility and physical exertion.
All these years, we continue to share a very strong rapport and bonding over peaceful lunches especially when I am at home on Saturday’s (and hubby is away at work)
Among her many good qualities, I aspire to mainly imbibe her trait of being content and cooking swiftly! And I continue to relish her dishes, especially her signature dish – carrot pacchadi.
And I hope every woman is blessed with a mother in law like my ‘Attaigaru’!
Here I am sharing my ‘Attaigaru’s (mother in law’s) signature dish – carrot pacchadi.
Most of the South Indian chutneys, especially Andhra chutneys utilize ‘tamarind’ to render sourness. However this chutney uses lemon juice to bring in the tanginess. This is what makes it different from other chutneys. A must try chutney which one can never tire of…
The fieriness of the chilies, bitter notes of the fenugreek seeds and mild sweet taste of the carrots in this chutney blend beautifully only to be enhanced by the tingling gentle, sourness of lime! Spicy, bitter, sweet and tangy, a true amalgam of tastes!
My most memorable chutney