This post is a departure from my usual way of blogging - I often find it hard to cook specifically for an event.....well this time I am blogging especially for the Jihva event. This month's event is being hosted by Pratibha and Jigyasa on their spanking new blog dedicated to Pedatha.
Jihva is a food blogging event which was begun by Indira of Mahanandi and focuses every month on one ingredient. This month's ingredient is a fitting tribute to the memory of Pedatha - it's that ever so intangible thing which makes each home cooked meal a comforting one - LOVE.
When they asked us to blog about the one person whom we really love and honour in our lives - I found it so difficult to choose. My life is filled with people who have touched it in so many different ways and with so much of love that I couldn't imagine a life without them.
So, I wondered (being a true Gemini) how I could choose just one person. These people are difficult to separate from the person I am. They make me complete in their own unique way.
My biological mother - Amma - of whom I have very few memories; she passed away when I was five.
My mother who raised me to be an honest, responsible and caring person and broke all the stereotypes about stepmothers.
My father who is the best father ever - there is nothing I can't talk to him about, he has always stood by me - even when he didn't agree with me.
My husband who is my Rock - the one who nursed me through my illness, fought alongside me and believed that I would make it, when so many others didn't.
My daughter who has brought new meaning into my life and made us give thanks every single day for the beautiful blessing that she is.
BUT there is one other person, not part of my family, but as dear and respected to us - without whom I wouldn't be here today.
My surgeon - the most sincere and forthright person I have known. He did everything in his power to keep me alive when other doctors were just looking to add a "rare case" to their records. He experimented, researched, kept me going with some path breaking methods of nutrition and then performed a surgery that he truly believed would be best for me - not for the money, not for the "case sheet", but for me. I am here today, so I guess he succeeded!.
Tragically he died last year of cancer and I was left ranting at the unfairness of it all - one so young and so dedicated to his profession should have had more time...
This is my tribute to him through Jihva for Love. I don't know whether he would have actually liked this dish - the only thing I have made for him is coffee when he visited home (yes, he made house visits just for me!!).
But since it is one of the few things I remember my mother making (the others being a tomato raita and an egg curry) I would like to think that the one who brought me into this world and the one who gave me a second life might have similar tastes....
simple and satisfying - served with vegetable kadhi and stuffed eggplant
Basmati Rice - 1 cup soaked in 3 cups water for 15 minutes
Peas - 3/4 cup
Cinnamon stick (laung) - 2 " piece
Bay leaf - 1
Cloves - 3-4
Cardamom - 2
Onions - 2 medium sliced long
Ghee - 1/2 tbsp
Oil - 1 /2 tbsp
Salt - to taste
1. Take a non stick pan and heat the ghee and oil together. Add the whole masala - cinnamon, bay leaf, cardamom and cloves and wait till they change colour.Add the cumin seeds and saute half a minute, then add onions and saute till golden brown.
2. Drain and add the rice and peas and saute 1 minute, then add the drained water and bring to boil. Add salt.
3. Lower flame to medium and cook uncovered for about 10 minutes. Stir the rice just once in one direction and check to see whether it is cooked.
4. Cook for 3-4 more minutes; the rice grains should be cooked and separate, but not mushy. Turn off flame and cover till serving time.
If the rice isn't cooked for some reason, add hot water only one fourth of a cup at a time. The rice will continue cooking when it is closed, so allow for that extra cooking time.
If using frozen peas, add them halfway through since they are already cooked.