Thursday, October 24, 2013


(google images)

Enveloped in the whiff of the warmth
I sought to visit sepia(d) moments
In cumin seeds tap dancing in oil

Puffed nostrils felt the heat, yet
Shrunk back wanting the fingers to
Check, re-check the checklist
Safeguarded in ‘historic’ notes
Born of a chef’s wand

Check..check..check…fingers browse
Through shriveled yellow(ed) pages
Of a novice diary – her making into a chef

Ah! There!! –

TOMATO PUREE boiled to
1 tsp grounded pepper
1 tsp black cummins,
PINCHED with asafetida

Secrets of success
Scribbled, jotted, scratched, BOLDED, circled, underlined…
Mother’s sermons for the novice
Before she climbed the aisle
Into her Man’s stomach…

Ticking off one by one …I move down…

1 tbsp of jaggery / sugar
Salt to taste
Seasoned with coriander
One sliced green chilli with sputtering cumin seeds for company
Rest is history and experience! she waved.

The hot waves from the vessel dances
Jostling memories, to find
That one ingredient, amiss
Which one, which one?
The clock ticked the moment
Of serving pride to Mom and devour sepia clicks 

An ‘emergency call’ to Dad
Let out the ‘process followed to the point’ in one breath
Spilled despair of the enigmatic touch
And the imminent loss of my sepia….

 ‘Love, my dear, your mom’s love’, he replied.


  1. ah yes that is the one ingredient that makes all the difference in the world
    a bit of momes love...i like how you did this akila....

  2. I really enjoyed this. especially vivid 'lines such as 'cumin seeds tap dancing in oil.' I also love the association between home cooked meals and love, which is one I really resonate with.

  3. Very clever and full of ingredients, i like this.

  4. Oh this is really sweet.......the most essential ingredient!

  5. We follow many recipes in life..perhaps love should always be the essential item! Very warming write..

  6. And I love this! Brings back all the memories of meals and moments spent in kitchens of those who love me, too. Precious, this piece. And happy-making as well!

  7. yes the perfect touch to any recipe. I have a handful of my grandmother's recipes just to remember that one key ingredient

  8. It is what I answered when asked what special I added to my dish that is so tasty ~ Love

  9. Mom's love is always the best ingredient... unfortunately, with my mom, there was usually a little vermouth spilled into the dish, unintentionally!! Love the recipe idea, and this was altogether wonderful. Amy

  10. Ummmm.....that was a delicious take, akila! Lovely...


Brickbats and bouquets, both are welcome!