This picture is not going to win me any awards.
It is not staged, there are no props, no pretty plates or a beautiful background to convince you my fellow food lovers about how wholesome this meal was. Let’s just be honest and acknowledge that it is not an Instagram worthy pic.
So, the mothership and I were walking back home on a hot day during the fading Mumbai winters, and we saw a lady selling ‘Choliya’ or fresh green chickpeas. We started talking about the food she used to cook for me, and I mentioned how I couldn’t remember eating ‘Choliya’ as a child. So obviously we ended up buying some to make for dinner.
We discussed different ways in which we could make it, and I told her to remove the fancy bowls so I could to take a good picture of the final dish to show off because don’t we eat for Instagram now?
By the time we reached home the heat, the bumpy ride in the rickshaw and all that traveling got to me. So I gave into a lazy afternoon nap which is a rarity for me. When I finally woke up, I realized my mom had already shelled and cooked the chickpeas, and it was now too dark to take a decent picture of the dish.
I admonished my mother reminding her “Maine aapko bola tha na mujhe pictures leni hai” (I had told you I wanted to take pictures). She looked at me and softly said while pouring the 4th cup of tea for me “Tu thakh gayi thi na” (you were tired). And just like that, I felt shame wash over me, and my heart was suddenly so full of love and gratitude for this woman who was definitely more tired and exhausted than me, had ensured that I got a little bit of sleep just because I was tired. So, it is only fair that I share a picture of this meal in her old steel utensils on the black granite cooktop with no props or a decent background, just the way it is. Because let’s face it, nothing can even come close to the love a mother has for her children no matter how fancy they think they are, when they can no longer eat the food she cooks, without taking a pic.
In this plate there was:
Choliya cooked with Potatoes in a Onion & Tomato Gravy
Dahi (yogurt) made by her
Homemade pickle and Gajar ka halwa
Rotis with a lot of Ghee