Suhasini reveals her favourite food cooked by her mother

Suhasini reveals her favourite food cooked by her mother
Suhasini and her mother Komalam Charuhasan

Suhasini Maniratnam’s mother Komalam Charuhasan welcomed her daughter, who had just returned after receiving the prestigious National film awards, with her masterpiece items stir-fried bell pepper and semolina kesari. “She would always cook stir-fried bell pepper and kesari and wait for me to return from the school,” recalls the actress.

Suhasini was born in an Iyengar family based in Rameswaram. She calls her mother Komalam ‘manni’, an endearing term for mother in Tamil. The tasty sambar, kozhukatta (steamed rice balls), semolina laddoo and besan laddo are some of Suhasini’s favourite food items that are cooked by her mother. She has many fond memories that are related to food from her childhood. “Bajji was manni’s special item. From egg plant, onion and plantain to cauliflower and paneer, she would cook bajji using anything,” notes Suhasini. The actress is proud when she says that she has learned to make murukku and diamond biscuit just like her mother cooks.

Writer Sudha Menon. Photo: Manorama Online

Writer Sudha Menon has tried to recapture the unique essence of these flavours in her latest book ‘Recipes for Life’. From actors Suhasini, Vidya Balan and Aamir Khan to cricketers Irfan Pathan and Mithali Raj, some of the well-known celebrities have shared the special recipes from their mothers’ kitchen in this book.

Here are some of the recipes that Suhasini has shared in ‘Recipes of Life’.

Stir-fried bell pepper
Dried chillies
2 tsp coriander seeds
A pinch of asafoetida
Salt as required
2 tsp roasted yellow split dal
2-3 tbsp oil
½ tsp mustard seeds
6-7 bell peppers (sliced)

Dry roast the dry chillies, coriander seeds, asafoetida and salt
Grind these along with roasted yellow split dal into a coarse powder

Heat oil in a pan
Splutter the mustard seeds
Sauté the bell peppers with some salt
Add the roasted powder
Mix well
Stir fry for a minute before turning off the flame.

½ cup ghee
3 cups water
1 cup semolina
2 cups sugar
Food colour
2 cardamom pods
A pinch of edible camphor

Fry the cashews in ghee
Set them aside
Boil water in a vessel
Meanwhile, heat ghee in a pan
Roast the semolina
Add the hot water when the semolina turns golden in colour
Stir and cook without forming any lumps
The semolina shouldn’t be dried out
Add sugar and mix well
Stir until the sugar melts and coats the semolina
Now add the kesari colour, cardamom and edible camphor
Mix well
Garnish with fried cashews
Add some more ghee if the semolina is dry.

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