Visits to Kerala, when we were kids, used to be once in two years. We used to go during the summer vacation months of July and August, which means that it would be raining cats and dogs when we were back home and that is what we used to wait for. My D’s family is huge. The tharavadu (ancestral house) would be full of people, with everybody sleeping on mats on the floor. It used to be fun. All of our cousins used to chat ourselves to sleep, scare each other during the power-cut times, fight with each other to lit up the candles and so on. During the evening chai time, my vellima would ask umma and eleemas – “Makkalkenthenkilum chaayakkundakkiyo?” (Have you made anything for tea for the children?) The answer used to always be in negative. She would just then go into the kitchen and in no time prepare this as her speciality. Simple ingredients, but the magic that used to be created was awesome. My vellima was a person of less words and more action. I’ve not been lucky to be with her to learn any of her culinary skills.
This is just an attempt to prepare her specialty. I very well know that it is nowhere close to what she used to make. But at least, it gives me a feeling that I remember something that she used to so lovingly make during our little time we spent with her.
- 2 tbsp ghee
- 400 gm vermicelli
- 400 ml milk
- 400 ml coconut milk
- ½ cup sugar (depending on sweetness)
- A pinch of salt
- A pinch of cardamom
- 2 large plaintains (Nentrhrapazham), chopped
- Fried cashews and raisins in little ghee, for garnishing
- Heat ghee in your pressure cooker. Add the vermicelli and roast on low flame for 5 minutes.
- Add in the milk, coconut milk, cardamom, sugar and salt, give it a nice stir.
- Close the lid and cook for one whistle. Leave for 5 minutes on low flame and then switch off. Let the pressure go on its own.
- Once the pressure is gone, open the pressure cooker, give a nice stir again.
- Switch on the flame and add in the chopped plantains and leave it for 5-7 minutes on low flame, till the plantain becomes little soft. Add a little water if the vermicelli is too dry.
- Serve warm with the fried cashews and raisins as garnish.