In the din and pollution of Bangalore, exists a quiet retreat. The garden is lush, and in the centre of it all stands my favourite tree – The Parijat. There is something about the small white flower with the orange stems. It has a hard grip on my list of all time favourites. In the days of the old, my grandmother and her sisters in law, would break the orange stem, and make a dye with it. They used it to colour their sarees and wore them for auspicious occasions.
In that serene atmosphere, lives Rekha with her husband and daughter. When she got married, her very foodie husband was appalled at her cooking skills, so he took her to his mother’s home for some training. Rekha being Rekha, understood that way to her husband’s heart is through his stomach (as it is with mine!) She dedicated her self to traditional cooking training. I say “well done” husband, because otherwise, we would have lost out on eating out of the hands of one of the best cooks I have ever met.
Rekha is clean, neat and extremely efficient. Her recipes have been so well measured, that nothing goes waste.
In the next few weeks, I will be adding a few of her recipes. The food you must have eaten, but her’s are worth trying out once.
Here is a simple Red Chilli Chutney. I asked her the traditional name for it, she just shrugged and said – Red Chilli Chutney. Well then. So be it!!
Since the time I made it, I’ve had it with everything – toast, pooran poli, in a salad. I even layered the base of Lasagna sheets with it, before putting in the fillings. It is not as spicy as it looks.
The taste of the jaggery and imli (tamarind), blend with the chillies, giving it the right tang and a hint of spiciness. For the palate that does not mind experimenting with a little spice, this recipe is a must try. And it’s adorably simple.