November 1994 (Grade IV)Morning 7.00 AM
I was sleeping in my bed. “Get up kanna! it’s getting late for school today”. My mom’s voice echoed from the bedroom wall. One of the most toughest ordeal for my mom during my school days was waking me up earlly in the morning. She would sometimes sweetly whisper into my ears promising an ice cream for the day but most days she will give couple of strong pats on my back to get me out of the bed.
On one such morning in October, this incident happened:
“Get up dear! Wake up to see the rain. Come. Lets see it through the window” my mom lifted me from the bed.
“Wow. So no school today huh?” was my immediate question and as I peeped out of the window pane I saw a chubby puppy cuddling against my money-plant pot.
“No, no! Brush and get ready for school. Fast!”. My mom announced.
I have always wanted a dog at home. But I was totally denied to have one because my parents felt that having them it in a two bedroom apartment is difficult. So when I saw the cute brown puppy that morning, I became really fond of it. I got ready and left for school as usual.
When I returned home in the evening, I ran around my apartment building looking for the puppy and soon, my younger cousin D (also my partner in every crime) joined me in the search and we finally located it near a bush. We carried it back to my home. My mother didn’t let us in and after few pleadings and cryings, she permitted to have it in the open space outside the house. We lived in the ground floor. My cousin and I took a hose pipe and gave the puppy a complete wash. It kept running around the garden and we kept running around it. We then wrapped it in a towel and kept milk for it in the coconut shell. After hours of discussion, we named it Browny. Our everyday entertainment was playing with him. As a kid, we were looking forward training Browny do a hand shake or jump from the bench. And one day we kept him on the wooden bench and placed a stick across and screamed “Jump Browny! Jump!!”. He didn’t react and was licking his legs. Immediately D screamed in a much higher decibel “Brownnnyyyyyyyy! Will you jump or not?”. Again no reaction from him. Hardly realisng that its just a puppy, we kept pushing it to things which he cann’t do. We over-feed him with biscuits and milk. After a meal, he can hardly move around with his blotted stomach. We applied baby powder to his face and tied ribbons around the neck and tail.
Within few days, he climbed up the stairs to other floors of the apartment and sometimes he did potty there. My most unfriendly neighbor J aunty living in the second floor was so annoyed with this and one fine day she shouted at me and D for feeding the dog and letting it roam around the apartment. She looked like a fairytale witch to us. We were trembling and tears were rolling down our cheek. My uncle and dad heard this lady’s voice and came outside our home. They shouted back at her for scaring us this way. The next day, my mom had called up the Blue Cross Society (Animal Care Center in India) and they took our dear Browny away.
Every time we see a puppy in the road, my cousin D and I would spare a huge smile and talk about this incident. We can never forget Browny or that hysteric silly neighbor J aunty in our life.
The most beautiful phase in anyone’s life is the innocent childhood and I just love recollecting those naughty yet lovely moments.The post for today has nothing to do with this story but the dish is again my childhood favourite.
Peas Masala with Soy Chunks is yet another dish from my grandmom’s kitchen.Its quite healthy and easy to cook. The dish’s main ingredient is dry green peas. I soaked it overnight and cooked it in a pressure cooker as I am pressed for time with a toddler and infant at home. Trust me pressure cooker is such a savior. I added all the basic ingredients and pressure cooked for three whistle. The mild heat comes from the chilli powder and I didn’t use any spice powder. This simple dish will be loved by your kids too.
PEAS MASALA WITH SOYA CHUNKS
Recipe Source: My grandmother
Serves: A family of four for 2 meals
Preparation Time: 30 minutes plus soaking time for the dry peas
Cooking Level: Beginners
- 2 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 red onion
- 1 tomatoes
- 5-6 garlic cloves
- 1/2 inch ginger
- 3 green chillies
- Salt to taste
- 1 cup dry green peas ( soaked in excess water, overnight)
- 3 cups water
- 1 cup soya chunks
- 2 litre pressure cooker with whistle
- Soak soy chunks in hot water for 20 minutes. Once done, remove excess water and cut them into half or use whole. Set aside.
- Pulse the onions, ginger, garlic and green chillies in a food processor. Then place the finely chopped tomatoes in a clean bowl. Set them aside.
- Heat oil in the pressure cooker. Once hot, add the pulsed onion mixture. Saute for 10 minutes.
- Then throw in the tomatoes, soaked green peas and soya chunks.
- Pour water and cook covered for 3 whistles.
- Remove and add salt to taste. Serve hot with roti or naan.
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