Tried and tasted by Nivedita
Each person comes in your life with a purpose! Some come to get their work done, and very few people come and serve without much expectation. I am always blessed to have people from second category. And I am grateful about it. You all might be surprised about this! Today's post or recipe is from a person like that who served us for 14 years with so much love, affection and care. I am talking about an old lady who stayed with mom when mom became alone after my father's death. She wanted someone to be with her as I was living in UAE and my brother was in Maharashtra. Then this lady Neelamma entered our life. She was from a good family, and had lost her husband during the same period. She never wanted to be a burden on her sons. She was looking for a house where she will be safe and can earn money by taking care of the house. God listened the prayer from both and the wish was fulfilled. We used to call her "Ajjiri". when she came to our house she was around 50 years old. And she served us till she was 64. But! her tobacco chewing habit turned her into a cancer patient and she passed away just two years back.
WE all really miss you ajjiri. Especially my younger daughter. Ajjiri loved her more than her own kids. It was in her hand that Phalguni was brought up. As she was under treatment, we could not meet her regularly in her last days. Though mom and me visited her but we were scared to take Phalguni. When doctor told she does not have more days, we took phalguni to meet her and I will never forget the way she loved her, hugged her and blessed her. And very third day she left this life. My daughter always miss her and cry a lot now also.
Now, coming to the recipe,
This was Ajjiri's favorite snack which tasted heaven. I tried many times to make the way she did, but always failed. Whenever we used to feel hungry in the evenings, we used to tell her, ajjiri please make kemp churmuri(red kurmura). Now also my family tells me to make ajjiri churmuri, the name is changed now.
I know it's a very simple dish, but could not stop sharing this recipe with you all as I felt I should show my gratitude to her.
I took this recipe(sounds silly, to write down in a diary to save so easy one) over the phone from Abu Dhabi, when I wanted to make it. Though after returning to India, I learnt directly from her, but could never make many dishes the way she prepared. She was whole in charge of the kitchen. Many years I entered kitchen only during lunch time and dinner time and enjoy all the food.
Crispy Puffed rice(kurmura) - 3 cups per head
Onion - 1 medium, finely chopped
Fresh coriander - 1 tbsp, cleaned and finely chopped
Red chilly powder - 1 tbsp+1tsp
Oil - 2 tbsp
Granulated sugar - 1 tsp
Lime juice - 1 tsp(optional, but tastes good)
Salt to taste.
Take all the ingredients excep puffed rice in a long vessel or even a wide big plate(Ajjiri always used Paraath, a very wide plate with sides.)
Mix well and add puffed rice. Puffed rice should be crispy.
Mix well again with your hands or spatula. Ajjiri used her hands and I always felt her hand added more taste and love to the dish.
Serve it immediately topped with sev, some more onion and tomato(Again this is optional)