... There is so much to be said about it.. then, now and perhaps, always. Conscious and sub-conscious memories from that time affect and influence our reactions and perceptions all through life so much, that it is almost silly to not consider the importance of that age back then. :)
Impressionable is what they usually say. What isn't usually apparent is the depth of it. The idea of so many real feelings and emotions that we come to express (or not!) as adults are grounded in what we felt and perceived and taught ourselves at the tender ages as a child and young adult.
Happy memories can be made anytime but those that were made then will carry through the rest of our lives. The converse holds true too, unfortunately.
There is a reason I love food and am passionate about it now. My
happy memories from my childhood
are all associated with
food and the comfort
it gave me amidst the whirlwind whatever else was happening around me or missing in my life.
There was a
consistency in the joy
it triggered in me to eat certain foods. Simple as they were, that is all I sought because that is all I could depend on to always be true. Even today, in moments when I need
, I turn to my kitchen and take comfort in my joy of being there and forgetting all else. It gives me strength and stability in its unwavering loyalty. For that,
I thank the gift!
These lentil pancakes,
as they are called in my native language, are one of my favorite simple joys. My face lit up whenever I saw the beans soaking for the batter in my mom's kitchen in anticipation of an escape! I loved to eat them as is and rarely asked for a fancier accompaniment than homemade pickle or yogurt. I was happy and lost in each bite and transported to a different happy world through my favorite authors of the day. Even today, they evoke the same far away happy feelings.
Gluten Free Lentil Pancakes (Adai)
1/2 cup split yellow lentils
1/2 cup whole green mung bean
2 tsp salt
1 tsp fenugreek seeds (optional)
2 whole dry, red chillies ( or green ones if you prefer)
water as needed
melted butter, ghee or olive oil to fry
Soak all the ingredients in enough hot water to fully submerge them, for atleast 4 hours or overnight. Drain the liquid and process the mixture to as smooth a puree as possible adding as little water as needed to get a pancake batter consistency. Adjust salt to taste.
Heat a heavy bottomed frying pan and pour a ladleful of batter in the center. Using the back of the ladle gently and quickly spread the batter to 1/4 inch thick circle. Moisten the circumference and the center with liquid fat (ghee preferred). As the edges crisp and brown and lift off the pan slightly, gently slide a spatula under the pancakes to release from the pan. If you find that the batter is sticking to the pan, tease it out with some oil and gentle pressure from the spatula.
Turn the pancake over and cook for another half minute till cooked. You don't have to fully cook these pancakes. I prefer them crisp on the outside and soft and mostly raw on the inside. They is something so comforting about the gooeyness of the center!
Serve immediately with any accompaniment. This is a great replacement for bread with stews. The pancake soaks up the flavors and adds a lot of heartiness to the meal. I have photographed them here with Chana Masala.