A Tale of Two Kitchens


A Tale of Two Kitchens

Illustration: Akshita Monga


or as long back as I can remember, I have been fascinated with cooking and spending time in the kitchen. There my mother would be, making varan bhaat with a single crushed garlic clove or a routine onion-tomato masala, as I’d get up on my toes to get a good look at the masala sizzle. I picked up the nuances of everyday cooking from her – but it was from my seafood-loving grandmother, who “needed” fish every day, that I learnt to be a proper Mangalorean.

My grandma visited the fish market every morning to buy the freshest catch of the day. She made meen rassa, fish fry, fish egg curry, dry fish chutney. I woke up every day to the warm smell of leftover fish curry being heated for my father, who often mopped up the gravy with fresh pao at breakfast.