Like every rural Indian child who grew up in the seventies and eighties our house hold menu consisted of two choices take it or leave it.

There were days that were special, like the holidays, the first week of rains, and when grandpa was visiting ….? we didn’t dare ask more… in retrospect I think the local Tavern.

Our holidays were simple too, sleep till you are hungry and eat till you are sleepy. The dictum Grandma had been holiday’s meant lot of fun food(translates not necessarily wholesome everyday food.) she whipped up something for us.

It was what we called Upkari, served up with onions(sh.. self-respecting Brahmins are not supposed to eat it.)

Maybe our ancestors thought like Jonathan Swift

This is every cook’s opinion—

No savory dish without an onion,

But lest your kissing should be spoiled

Your onions must be fully boiled.

So coming back to the upkari the recipe goes,

1 cup beaten rice.

1 onion finely chopped

2-3 green chillies finely chopped

2 tbsp. Coriander leaves chopped.

1 tbsp. Peanut deep-fried.

Salt and sugar to taste.

Mix all these ingredients with hand and season.


1 tbsp. Coconut oil

When the oil heats add

1tsp mustard

1tsp.urad dal

1 red chilli broken

Pinch of hing

2-3 bay leaves.

Now pour the seasoning on the previously mixed ingredients and serve with love.

Interestingly this recipe has evolved with our own exposure to the outer world. Will share that with you, when I get to photograph the dishes.

By the way for all of you young mothers who are on a nutrition and healthy food trip. For a child Vegetables are a must. I suggest carrot cake, zucchini bread and pumpkin pie. Don’t bother with soup. You can’t build a meal on a lake.

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