Sunday, August 29, 2010

Urad Dal Vada, Repentance and a contest for this story.

Tried and tasted by Nivedita
Hi All,
My trial to polish myself and check whether I can write a fiction. I tried last month also and was successful with real story. This time it is a fiction with my imagination.I hope you all will like it and encourage me to write in the future also.


He was coming to this restaurant, since 1 1/2 years for his dinner. It was his favorite place to have peaceful meals with all his favorite food. He had changed his dinner time from 9pm to 8 pm as he wanted to enjoy his dinner and the restaurant was closed at 9.  His office had a canteen and his lunch was fixed there only. But he always looked forward to have his dinner here.
The restaurant started 2 years back and it was on the main road. It was a small place and always full. People used to wait to get the seats to have their food. He never missed the Sunday breakfast here as the Set Dosa and Sagu was famous here. He always missed his mother for her delicious food. She was a great cook. Just 2 months before his marriage, his mother was no more in this world. That was the saddest day of his life.
Waiting for his turn to get the table to have his lunch, his mind traveled 3 years back.
All the preparations were done for his marriage. Mother was so happy that she is going to get a daughter-in-law and she was sure that she will welcome her daughter-in-law as a daughter. She had only one son. She always dreamed about teaching her new daughter-in-law all the cooking skills and some old secret recipes. She knew her son is fond of eating and he enjoyed the tasty food which she prepared. She wanted  her son not to get disappointed with his wife's cooking. She always worried about this and she looked for a girl who can cook well.
When they went to see Sukanya, her first question was "do you know cooking?" And Sukanya's mother had replied that her daughter can make delicious food! But the truth was, Sukanya never entered the kitchen other than taking the plate which was served.
With all other things settled, the marriage date was fixed after 3 months.
Just 2 months before his marriage, one day morning his mother did not get up from the bed. That was the end of her dreams about her daughter-in-law and her secret recipes.
Relatives forced him to get married on the fixed date only as he and his father needed a woman in the house to look after. That’s how Sukanya came in his life and both took an oath to be together and always support each other , let any thing comes. 
First two months went in visiting relative’s house with grand food. Sukanya did not get chance to show her culinary skill. She was relaxed! Some times, she prepared morning tea and it never came out well. But being still in a romantic mood with his new wife, he never took it seriously!
The trouble started only after 2 months, when Sukanya started making food everyday. She did not get much time to learn cooking and she never listened to her mother who was always behind her to learn cooking. Now she repented!
She had collected many recipe books and few tips written by her mother. But, she never got any food right!
After few days of tasting her uncooked food, more salty food, very spicy food, stone like idly, more oiled chapattis, burnt halwa.... he was very upset. His father was an old man and he did not eat much other than Ganji, and he was quite. He knew that she will learn soon.
But her husband did not have patience to wait for her to learn to cook properly. There was no way of comparing her with his mother and he was angrier with Sukanya's mother about not telling the truth.
Everyday he came home with the hope of having good food and went to sleep with anger and disappointment. It started affecting their married life. The whole day she will be thinking what to prepare, how to prepare and she stopped taking care of her also. She looked like a servant without proper dressing.
It was just six months of their marriage. That was the day! He came home and he was hungry. He wanted to have Vada. He had called from office in the after noon only to her and told her to make vadas. He thought at least she can make these as it is easy to make!! He came to the kitchen. She was standing there in a corner with tears in her eyes. She prepared the batter for Vada and it became so much watery. She could not add anything to it to adjust. She forgot to read in her recipe book that water should not be added while grinding the dal.
He could not control his anger. He started beating her and he pulled her hair, took her to his room. He packed her bag and put her out of the house. She cried for long time, and requested him to give her one more chance. His father was out of station. That’s all he knew. After that he never tried to know about her, and warned his father not to contact her or her family.
He struggled to manage the cooking for him and his father. He arranged for a cook, whose cooking was bad but was better than Sukanya's.
The waiter patted his back as the seat got empty. He enjoyed his food as usual and went home.
When this restaurant was opened, he did not go there for first few days. One day, his friend gave a small party in that hotel for him and few more friends. His friend told that the vadas are very special here. When he tasted the first bite, he remembered his wife.  He missed her many times. Other than cooking, she was a very good person. She always cared for his little things and she kept everything ready. She kept the house clean and neat. She was a very loving wife, if only that cooking was not there. He had left the party in the middle only and gone to his house with the pain in his heart.  He always thought about that evening and repented for his behavior. He should have been supported her to learn cooking.
But being a person who loved good food, his legs took him to the restaurant again. He ordered Dosa this time and enjoyed eat bite with chutney and potato sabji. From that day he started coming regularly. He always wanted to know who the main chef there is. But the cooking area was restricted and no one was allowed to peep in also. There was a small passage in between the customer area and the cooking area. Several times he asked the waiter over there, but he did not get any answer. Waiter used to just smile and go away. This made him curious to know about the chef. But he could not get any way to find it.
One day, stock checking was going on in his office and it was closed for half day. As the canteen was also closed, he came to this restaurant to have his lunch. Then, he saw a woman entering the kitchen. He was shocked. It was Sukanya. He ran to her and stopped her. She was not surprised to see him. All these years she saw him coming here and enjoying the food. She was the main chef there who controlled the cooking area. Without saying a word she went inside and the door was locked. He sat on nearby seat frozen for long time. 
He did not know when he got up and started back to his house. Then he suddenly remembered the name of that restaurant. It is SURUCHI. This was the name they both had thought of their child if the girl was born.
Sukanya entered the kitchen and started preparing the food for Evening snacks. Vada was her main snack, which she never allowed any one to make. The other assistants always wondered about this secret. But she alone knew it. While preparing the batter, she started thinking about her struggled years. 
When he did not open the door at all, she went to the bus stand and got the bus to her parent’s house. She reached home and told everything to her parents. Few days her mother was upset. She thought of going to Sukanya's husband and requesting him to take her daughter back, as she felt guilty of spoiling her own daughter's life with her single lie. But Sukanya was not ready to go back. She started helping her mother in the kitchen. She was determined to learn all the cooking. She attended a cooking class too. She learnt all the cooking and became the best cook. It took more than a year for her.
And then, she went to her father and asked for his help to open a small restaurant in her husband's town. Her parents were surprised but the father was happy to do the same. He searched for a place where Sukanya can start the business. Luckily he got a space in a complex which was previously used as a canteen. It was near her husband's house. He supervised for the renovation and Sukanya started this restaurant. She was sure that one day her husband will find her and she was confident about what to do if he sees her. And the day has come. 
She came back to the present and started making vadas. She did not bother to see whether he went or not.But she knew that he will come again. 
He came again the next day on the same time. He wanted to request her to come back into his life. He promised himself that he will never hurt her again. 
But she never came out again. 
After 10 years:
SURUCHI has become the best restaurant in the city. Sukanya took the adjacent shop also to combine both and turn the restaurant into big one.
Every day he comes to the restaurant, not for food, but, in the hope of getting her back into her life! 

Recipe for Urad dal Vada:

Urad dal or black gram - 1 cup
Raw rice - 2 tbsp 
Or Rice flour - 2 tbsp
Ginger - 1/2" piece, cleaned and chopped
Green chilly -2 cut into two
Cumin seeds - 1 tsp (optional)
Curry leaves - few, chopped finely
Salt to taste
Fresh coconut - 1/4 cup, cut into tiny cubes
Pepper corns - 8 to 10(avoid this, if serving it to the kids)
Oil to fry

Soak the Urad dal for 2 hours (do not soak more time, as the Vada absorbs more oil). If adding raw rice, soak it with dal only.
Drain the water, add green chilly, ginger, cumin seeds, curry leaves and grind into fine paste. Do not add water at all. If you feel it’s not getting fine paste, then only add a tbsp of water.
Transfer the paste in a bowl. Add salt, rice flour (if using), coconut pieces and pepper corns.  Mix well.
Heat oil in a thick bottomed kadai. 
Take a leaf or thick plastic or aluminum foil. Sprinkle water on it. 
Take little batter (a big lemon size). Keep on the foil.
Press and make hole in the middle to give Vada shape.
Slowly transfer it into your palm, and slid it into hot oil.
Take care as if you hurry the oil will splash out and you may burn your fingers.
Vadas are ready to eat with your favorite chutney and Sambhar.

Sending this to  
Of Chalks to Chopsticks hosted by Jaya ,an event started by Aqua.

Now coming to the contest,
I am happy with the ending of this story, but I want to know about other endings also. I need you to read the story and give another ending. 
There are two options,
1.Either you take the original story till Sukanya comes to her parent's house. Give a twist to it and end it in some other way.
2. take the original story till he sees her in the restaurant, and continue to give some other ending.
Hope you all will think some other ending for it and send it to me. 
The contest ends on September 20th. 
Send the details to with subject as "End of Repentance" with
Your name :
Your blog name:
url of the post :
Non bloggers are also welcome. Send the details to the above mail.

Keep Smiling,


Unknown said...

DEar Nivedita, Loved the story...I am so much engrossed in the story I didn't go thru the recipe..will come later for that....The story touched the heart...very well presented....will try to perticipate in your contest...though I loved the end...Its a question of female self esteem that they are not born to feed their husbands only...Marriage is based on mutual understanding and a balance...If one lacks something the otherhalf will help to accomplish....brutality or abuse is never accepted...

Nivedita Thadani said...


Unknown said...


The story is very touching!!!

Recipe is also great!!

Unknown said...

wow, I got so involved in the story that I was sad that the story ended. What a great writing. You are amazing. Lovely vadas too :)

suvi said...

this is a lovely story Nivedita and I like the way Sukanya carved out her own identity. Graet ending, I personally wouldn't like to see it end anyother way.

Jaya M said...

I liked the ending and I don't want to change anything..women are not domestic servants if she is married or even not..If one lacks something the other half should at least try to understand and fill in the gap and that's how a marriage works..Domestic violence can not be tolerated in any way..lovely story..and the vadas looks so delicious..
hugs and smiles

SS blogs here said...

I like the story as it is. Serves the fellow right.

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