My Dad has always cribbed about our long-distance phone bills. The main cause of which was the exchange of recipes between Mom and me. Ever since I left home, Mom and I have had many a conversations around food. There would be times when the sole purpose of my call would be to find the ingredients to go into one of my favourite dishes.
Even though I’ve mastered my own art of cooking, I would take Mom’s home-cooked meals any day. With the “10 things I miss most about Mom’s cooking” meme doing the rounds, how was I to stay away from it. In no particular order, a few things I miss most about Mom’s cooking.
- Her nonchalant way of adding spices to flavour a dish – no measurements, just instinct that never goes wrong.
- Her “Hurry Mom, I’m starving!!” specials – a few things into a pan and a couple of minutes later, lip-smacking goodness!
- Shortcuts/Solutions – she always has a solution to troubleshoot any culinary disaster, even for custard that would not firm up after a whole day in the fridge! (made by yours truly, ofcourse!)
- Biryani – no doubt whatsoever, this is the BEST you can get!
- Her baked goods – I’ve never been into baking, but loved watching Mom make her special cakes. And to top it off, she would always leave a little extra batter for me to lick afterwards.
- Hot cures for cold days – Mom has a knack of making delicious soup out of annything available in the kitchen. No matter what she added, it would drive away all the sniffles.
- Fish – I’d eat any kind of fish that Mom makes, any kind at all. And that’s the only way I’ll eat fish – if she cooks it!
- The way she effortlessly cooks for and entertains over 50 people.
- The crisp evening snacks I would devour over fresh coffee.
- Her spic and span and highly organized kitchen!
After this lovely walk down memory lane, I’d like to leave you with a little something. One of the fastest and fulfilling meals my Mom would make for us was Fried Rice. Whenever we get together nowadays, we spend hours on end talking. The hours would wheez by and late into the night, we would get hungry. Fried rice is something we always come back to during times like these. It’s simple, splendid and hard to resist!
Egg-Vegetable Fried Rice
- 2 cups cooked plain rice
- 1 cup mixed vegetables (fresh or frozen)
- 2 eggs, beaten
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 1 tbsp soya sauce
- 1 tbsp honey-garlic sauce
- 1 chicken buillion cube
- 1 tsp ginger-garlic paste
- 1/4 tsp red chili powder
- 1/4 tsp crushed black pepper
- salt, to taste
- 2 tbsp cooking oil
- chopped spring onion for garnish
- Heat oil in a non-stick pan and fry onions till transparent.
- Add vegetables, bullion cube, salt, pepper and chili powder and fry till all the water from the vegetables evaporate.
- Add rice and mix well. Splash soya sauce and honey-garlic sauce, and stir-fry rice till everything is mixed well.
- Pour beaten eggs and mix well, stirring constantly till eggs cook through and blend with rice.
- Garnish with spring onions and serve warm.