Memories still fresh, I still cannot come to terms with my Grand Mother’s demise. It is always hard to let go of the sorrow you feel when a loved one passes on despite the hard fact that we all have to someday leave everything and everyone and that we are just another creature in the universe that is bound to leave its premises one day. And yet that time has come to bid her goodbye for ever.
It only seems like yesterday that I used to pester her for stories, and more stories from her early life, her childhood, how many kids she had, why was it that my mom did not have a sister, did she tie her hair into a "koppu" or did she wear a plait? So many questions and she had answers to each one of them every time.Not one time would she be bored of repeating the same stories again and again, how my grand pa gifted her with a kilo of gold at the time of her wedding, how she foolishly gave her expensive waist belt to some one she really did not know to get it repaired, afraid to tell someone at home, and so on. She was some one who would never differentiate between her own grand kids and not hers. She would still wake up in the middle of the night to accompany us to the rest room which would by the village rules be out side the house, with out ever showing the slightest frustration. And I look at myself now, how I react to my own kids' constant pestering. I am sure every one out there would definitely have a similar story to tell about their grandma. But it sure is a pleasure to keep reminding myself of what a wonderful childhood I had, and feel sad at the same time to know all the fun my kids are missing.
And what a good cook she was, her " Baanam Buvva" AKA "Palannam" which she made with the freshest milk from the house cows, was to die for. How ever there is one dessert that she was a pro, and one probably most of you would have never heard of " RAAGI HALWA". One of the coolest, healthier, yummylicious dessert that would be forgotten just like other traditional dishes from the region. Raagi/ FInger Millet used to be one of the region's most grown crop. Back when rice was a luxury, Raagi was fed to infants as a Malt, to hungry workers as a cheap, filling yet wholesome food "Sangati". And "Raagi Halwa" is just one such heavenly dish made from the grain either by finely powdering it after soaking overnight, and drying it for couple of hours. Or being in the US you can go for the easier approach, soak the grains and grind it into a paste and filter through a muslin cloth. But beware this is no less arduous and time taking process, for you still have to soak, grind and then use your hand on the muslin cloth to filter the liquid.
Hmm I will try to make the Halwa this week end and post the recipe with the pictures. And this will be another sweet memory of my loving grandmother