Friday, April 10, 2015

I is for Idli

We had idlis for breakfast today. I know those of you who know me, will be very very surprised. I used to be, until very recently a person who did not like idlis at all.

(For those of you who have never heard of them, idlis are a form of steamed savoury cakes, made with black lentils and rice. They are a very traditional south Indian breakfast, believed to be healthy)

From a young age, Idlis were just some of those things that I did not like. Home-made, restaurant-bought and made in any way/form, they were a no-no, except maybe the spicy rava idlis that Ma used to make. But yeah, white idlis and I were always miles apart. Whenever Ma made idlis for breakfast, I used to just devour copious amounts of the sambar she made with maybe one idli or two if I was caught. And the darshini idlis happened only when either one of us or Ma was sick. Since I was always assigned the duty of buying the idlis, I used to always make sure I had alternatives.

When I moved to Singapore, I remember having Sambar idlis at Komala's once and I just loved them. Maybe because it had a lot of ghee added, maybe because it was little idlis dunked in a lot of sambar or maybe it just reminded me of home. Still, I never liked the plain white idlis per se. But I became a lot tolerant to them. I guess that's what growing up does to you. You do love or hate anything with the passion that you did when you were younger.

When I married R, my mother-in-law bought me a set of idli moulds. Now, although I could tolerate them, they were never ever made in my kitchen. Although R doesn't mind eating them once in a while, he is not exactly a big fan. Another thing that discouraged me is the amount of washing involved after making idlis. I hated that my kitchen sink used to get full after them. So, the idli-moulds just sat in a corner of my kitchen, unused, for a very long time. They would get used only when either set of parents visited.

When I went to India this time with Pickles, Ma had made idlis. She decided that Pickles had to try some or he would be idli-deprived for the rest of his life. But to her conviction and my surprise, he really loved them. Then she made them another day, he liked them again. So, Ma made sure she had written and sent the recipe with me, just in case I feel like making them sometime. As usual, she was right! With my vision of making Pickles a good eater, I try and cook as many new things for him as I can. And one day I just made idlis for breakfast on a whim. Just the eagerness on Pickles' face was good enough encouragement for me to make them again. And again. And again. So, idlis are now a staple breakfast for us once a week. I don't even mind eating them so much now.

Motherhood has brought about a lot of changes in me. This is just one minuscule thing. Maybe I will tell Pickles this story when he grows up. I'm not sure how I'd take it though, if he begins to hate them the way I did when I was a kid. Will I be more tolerant and understanding? Or will I just make sure he eats them, whether he likes it or not? I'm not entirely sure. Only time will tell.


Christine Rains said...

I've not heard of idlis before. I feel the same way as you do about deciding to tell my son stories about certain things. I don't want to influence his opinions. Good luck with the Challenge!

Visiting from Untethered Realms

Anonymous said...

Good One…. Me some how felt that "I" would be for "idlis" :)

Maya said...

Thanks, Christine! I need the luck. And yeah, I'll definitely be selective about the stories I can tell him.

Maya said...

@ Anon: Thanks!