Tuesday, April 27, 2010

The Last Meal- A food fiction featuring my favorite dimer jhol

It had been six years since she had been home. Six years of stamping, finger printing and EADs and she longed for the smell of the mangoes in the backyard, the thorny lime tree just outside the kitchen window, and the warm smell of the custard apples floating in the air. She waited to hear the doorbell ring as she chopped the onions for the dimer jhol(egg curry) she was planning to cook for Kumar, her only sibling. He was coming home too to see her before she left for the States in the early morning flight. ‘It must be hard for him to live alone at the construction site in the jungles of Orissa.’, she thought. He was all grown up now. The last time she had seen him, he was a pimply teenager ready to leave home to conquer the world. He had always loved playing with empty matchboxes to build skyscrapers and bridges and was going to start college in a few months to be a civil engineer. While in the US , she worried about his food, who was cooking his favorite dimer jhol as Ma would never touch eggs. She had a separate stove to cook eggs and chicken and separate cooking utensils stored at the bottom of her pantry shelf. As she cooked for her family, she would have to process the onion, ginger and garlic together as her 5 year old daughter hated to chew onions. She longed to make the curry that Kumar relished every Saturday night for dinner.
This was a Saturday night too. Her plane was in a few hours. She still had to pack the chhena pora that Kumar was bringing for her. They both loved it and ate as much as they could when they visited Puri in their childhood years. She looked at the clock.” Ma, station e phone korle(Did you call the station?)” .She added the eggs into the boiling jhol and checked if the potatoes were almost done. She was browsing through the cookbook that Kumar had got her from his tutor’s income at the book fair 8 years back. She planned to make him a cauliflower pakoda too and was just mixing the batter when Ma shouted from the bedroom,.” Train du ghonta late, aattai pounchhobe.”(Train is 2 hours late, will reach at 8 pm.” She almost burst into tears as she switched off the stove. She had to leave for the airport at 11:30 pm. She sat down on the stool at the corner of the kitchen and wondered if she would get to share a meal with Kumar at all.

2 eggs
1 red onion chopped
1 tablespoon ginger paste
1 tablespoon garlic paste
1 small tomato chopped
2 small potatoes cubed
1 teaspoon turmeric
2 tsp chilli powder
1 tsp sugar
1 tablespoon oil
Salt to taste
  • Boil the eggs and shell them.
  • In a wok heat the oil and fry the eggs till they are brown.
  • Remove the eggs and add the cubed potatoes.
  • When they turn brown , add the chopped onions and fry them with the potatoes.
  • When the onions turn translucent add the garlic paste and fry for a minute.
  • Add the turmeric and a little bit of water to coat the curry.
  • Then add ginger paste, chilli powder , salt and sugar and some more water.The sugar helps in bringing out all the flavors.
  • Cook till the gravy seems to leave the side of the wok.
  • Add tomatoes and cook for another two minutes.
  • Add a cup of water and let the mixture come to a boil.
  • Cook on medium heat till the potatoes are done.
  • Add the eggs and let it simmer for another minute.
  • Serve it with rice or roti.
This is my entry to the food fiction event 'Of Chalks and Chopsticks' hosted by Aquadaze. I was inspired by this post from Bong Mom This is the first recipe I learned to cook from my mom and as aptly titled -will be my last meal.

5 have added some spice:

Bong Mom said...

That was a very beautiful piece Tania. Was that your own brother ? I love a Dimer Jhol anytime

Tania said...

Hey Sandeepa,
That was a true fiction combined with some reality. Kumar is my mom's only sibling. I had mango, lime and seetaphal trees in my backyard.I see many of my friends stuck in the US for their greencard processing. The fiction was inspired by all of these scenarios.
Thanks for stopping by.

Jaya said...

that was a good read, wish they can share meal again sometimes :)..and dimer jhol ..amar bhishon bhalo lagey.
hugs and smiles

Sharbori said...

hi, i was planning to cook pasta for dinner but after reading your post, i am in two minds! i love dimer jhol!! nice post and that is exactly the way i cook my dimer jhol too! :-)

Home Cooked Oriya Food said...

this looks yum...loved your story too...