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Two Veggies From the Soul

Two Veggies From the Soul

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Titli enjoying the food with her friends

A surprise visit from her Granddaughter along with two of her Vegetarian friends, led to the innovation of two dishes which she cooked from her soul. Introducing Ruma Roy with this story where she shares the secret ingredient which she uses in her recipes.

Life starts not before nine here in Guwahati. So when the door bell rang at 6 in the morning, I wondered who could it be. Finding my sleepers, which almost all the time goes surprisingly missing, I came out. What I saw was not just the biggest surprise of the day but also for the year. Titli, my granddaughter was standing at the door with her cutest of smile.

Titli is staying in Pune for her education since last few years. Frankly without her the house looks lifeless. She is the heartbeat of the home which I make. Today she comes for a surprise visit with two of her friends. My surprise soon turned to a fret. How? Let me explain.

“Listen go to the market and get some Chicken and fish” I told my husband “Titli loves bowal mach (type of fish) so get that”

“Wait Mamoni, they are vegetarian” Titli interrupted “so do make some vegetarian dishes too.”

“But the market is closed today” informed my husband.

I rushed to the refrigerator to check on my supplies, only potato, tomato and Jhinga (Ridge Guard) as I found out. What do I cook, I thought. No, I need some tea first. As Arthur Wing Pinero said ‘Where there is Tea there is hope”

Soon my daughter came to my rescue “Why don’t you make the Aludum with cheese.”

“Ah! Yes” I was relieved “just check if we have any cheese left?” I asked my husband “but only one dish for guests? It sounds rather de trop, isn’t it?” I told my daughter.

“About 10 cubes” informed my husband from the back.

“So make some Alu Cheese and you have Jhinga so make something out of it”  my daughter advised.

“Hmm let me see what I do” I told her “you don’t worry, you get ready for your work” she is a school teacher.

By this time my tea tickled my brain and ideas started flowing in.

After a quick breakfast, I started off by cutting the guard into small pieces after pealing them.


I also cleaned the baby potato, we got from Shillong a few days back.


I boiled the potatoes and started chopping the onions for my Jhinga. I also grated some garlic. Now that my preparation is done it was time for me to cook. I started off by frying the potatoes in white oil. Putting it aside, I added the grated garlic in the same oil. Once the raw smell disappeared I added some chopped tomatoes and lowered the heat. Soon the tomatoes dissolved and it was time for me to add the potatoes and cook it further.  I added a bit of red chilly powder for some heat and added grated cheese along with turmeric. Adjusting the salt I plated the dish.

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An empty Plate with a fork and a knife placed on the dining table

Prepared Potatoes

After a pan break I started off with the second dish. I started by heating mustard oil in the pan and gradually added the onions and garlic. In a while it was time for me to add one chopped tomato, turmeric and red chilli powder. Gradually it was time to add the main ingredient jhinga, I also added some potato to it and slow cook it. Ah! Cooking is done it seems.

prepared food

It was around 1:30 all the kids woke up. No, they don’t sleep so late, it was the overnight sleepless flight which called for a late morning. I served them food.

Nani this kind of food will make me stay back in Guwahati” expressed Titli’s friends.

“This is the only simple preparation I could do, will surely cook something better tomorrow” I said “but glad that you all liked it”

I realized that the simplest preparation can turn a great dish with the special ingredient called love. I do not fail to use it in abundance in my cooking. Do you?

“A recipe has no soul. You as the cook must bring soul to the recipe.”
– Thomas Keller

Also read: Dish with Fish!

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