|Fig. 1. Auntyji's Khatta Macchi|
This is from my Mom's recipe collection. Mom got this recipe from their childhood neighbour "Auntyji".
Every neighborhood has a motley assortment of residents. Some befriend us, some are just polite acquaintances, some quarrel with us and some ignore us. Almost every family knows an Auntyji in the 'hood. She's our building friend Chickoo's Mom, or she is Mom's polite companion when together they wait at the bus stop for us kids to return from school. Sometimes she's the neighbor who picks up our milk when we take off for a day and forget to update the doodh-wala. And sometimes she is the bagal-wali Auntyji with the beautiful rose garden who is always on the look out for notorious gulab-chors (rose-thieves).
Auntyjis enter our lives and leave our lives as they move on with their own. Some leave with Chickoo, the building friend. Some leave with the school bus. Some Aunties leave behind real packets of milk while some leave behind memories of fresh, fragrant roses and ethical conundrums about ownership and longevity versus joy, beauty and spontaneity.
Mom has some marvelous stories to tell about her Auntyji and her family who were friends with Mom's family. Sometimes you get a real lot from family friends. So much that you can pass it on even to the next generation! We may not be neighbors with Auntyji anymore. But Auntyji left with us one very treasured heirloom! Auntyji's Khatta Macchi has been made and relished by my Grandma, my Mom and now me!
On behalf of my Mom and our family, thanks to Auntyji for this recipe and all the memories that came along with it.
Surmai (I used Tilapia) - 1 lb.
Onions - 2 medium, finely chopped
Jeera/Cumin seeds - 1 tsp.
Methi/fenugreek seeds - ½ tsp
Tomatoes - 2 medium
Green chillies - 1
Curry leaves - 4 or 5 leaves
Tamarind concentrate paste - about 1/2 teaspoon
Ginger paste - 1 teaspoon
Garlic paste - 1 teaspoon
Haldi - 1/2 teaspoon
Chilli powder - 1 teaspoon
Cilantro leaves for garnish
1) Fry chopped onions with jeera, methi seeds, tomatoes. Grind this to a paste.
2) Heat oil, add chopped green chillies, curry leaves, ginger garlic paste, haldi, chilli powder, tamarind paste, salt and the above ground paste.3) Add water. When boiling, add fish. Cook. Garnish with cilantro leaves.
I served this with rice and dal. Yumm!! :) Thanks, Auntyji for your eternally loved recipe!
Cheerio and thanks for reading everyone!