I have a mixed relationship with cooking. On some days, I feel like embarking on something adventurous, and on other days, I can’t be bothered with it and I’d rather eat raw carrots. I think some of my cooking sensibility comes from just having observed the women in my family. What goes together, what doesn’t and the like.
I had a sudden desire to eat thenkuzhal today. I’ve seen my mother make it a million times. Back in the day when eating something fried wasn’t quite the sin it has become now. Think my mother made a full spectrum of things and was quite sane in her advice – eat everything in moderation. As a 19 year old, I ignored it, and binged on fried fiends, but I find my own cooking quite reflective of her style. Minimum oil, most things slightly steamed, no overkill with every damn spice in the shelf, never really over-cooked and everyday meals that don’t involve back-breaking effort (mostly).
So anyhow, back to the sins of thenkuzhal. While poking my nose about online I discovered this wonderful maama-maami combo who make these wonderful videos from their kitchen in Srirangam. There’s something about their unassuming style of conversation (all in Tamil), their utensils, the arranged chaos that screams home to me.
For instance take a look at this – one of the videos for making Morkozhambu.
The videos aren’t edited or jazzy. You never quite see their faces, just maami’s busy (and magically effortless) hands, and her responses to maama’s various doubts and questions. Thanks maama-maami – you made someone very happy today.