The Idli Sambhar story …




“The Idli Sambhar Story” ….  An unforgettable memory                                29th Oct’ 2013.

Yesterday, as I sat with my daughter and my Dad across the table along with my husband, I caught the familiar yet filial soft expression of my Father as he looked at us and fed us our favourite dishes in a Restaurant, I could not help but remember my Grand Parents who so often would feed me with Idli Sambhar on almost every Hols we went and met them.

The spicy aroma of the tadka in the Sambhar and the wafts of the steaming Idlis whilst it was being cooked,  a heady concoction often reminds me of my childhood. My Granny, who was the epitome of motherliness and often cooked mouth watering breakfast of steaming hot Idlis and piping hot sambhar along with coconut chutney so early in the morning when we stayed with them in their ancestral home at B’lore.

Perhaps she knew me and my brother and my Father simply loved those fluffy magical white Idlis . Her kind crinkling eyes would smile as she served GrandPa at the helm of the dining table and all of us after we had quickly bathed and changed into proper clothes, promptly to take our place at the dining table.

She would be ever ready donned in a beautiful Kanjiwaram saree or some colourful Pochampalli with the kindest of eyes and the dishes all laid out, ready to be served.

I remember, my mouth watering and my tummy doing a gastronomical dance as the wafts of the Sambar would gently awaken me on those leisure Sunday mornings, when nothing else could shake us sleepy heads, but GrandMa’s Sambar and Idlis  !!

(Granny whom I called Ammamma as we kids could not yet pronounce the ‘ch’ sound as in Achhamma and GrandPa as Ashaya instead of ‘Achachann’ in Malayalam)

 I think she knew we ate well and took more than our second helpings of Sambar and Idli that pleased her a lot and more so because Dad loved it too!  We would eat in stoic silence (maybe out of respect for Asaya , who I vividly remember had a stern countenance usually through years of a disciplined life in the Indian Air Force and commanding so many men under him) , occasionally slurping as we ate those delectable soft Idlis along with the a little spicy sambhar which she prepared separately for us and quite spicy one for all the adults around. There was so much warmth in those meals we had together despite an occasional discussion that Asaya & Ammama had with my Father and my Uncles at times. I would listen to them speak in Malayalam, fascinated by the sound of all the words that did not make any sense to me at all, at that time.



I would hug my Granny after I had washed hiding my face in her soft, silken sarees and felt her touch our heads with deep affection, her voice smiling and saying, “Today why did you both not eat well ? See, so many Idlis are still left!” And I remember we both chorusing together, “No Ammama! We have eaten tummy full and now no place for more! Your Idlis & Sambhar are the best!” as we hugged her even more tightly and scampered off to play with Betsy who was already jumping all over and barking ever so loudly with excitement, raising a huge ruckus and wagging his tail, as if it could not control it to stop!

I slowly realized now and know why Papa loves serving and treating us with those soft, fluffy magical white Idlis or sometimes Dosas too which we enjoy and relish so much each time …   The magic of the Idli Sambhar story …

Copyright Madhavi Mohandas alias Madhavi Sood  Dec’ 2013

2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Trackback: The Idli Sambhar story … | 'Poetry, Verses and Writing'
  2. madhavisood
    Apr 17, 2014 @ 10:12:08

    Reblogged this on 'Poetry, Verses and Writing' and commented:

    Thank You for everything!


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