Goodbye summer, barbeque and poora aloo memories

by Sunita on September 1, 2009

The sun has hardly made an appearance today and it has been raining on and of. The leaves in the trees are being swayed to and fro by the blustery winds. Step outside and one feels the goosebumps on the skin. The sun,if out at all, seems to be straining to heat up the world. Look closely at the trees, and one can see a few of the leaves starting to change their colour from green to red, golden and orange. Take a walk, and the paths are already being strewn with these multicoloured leaves. The days are getting shorter and one tends to huddle up with the duvet for longer in the morning. All this can only mean one thing- autumn is surely and truly on it’s way.

Rengoni and Agastya’s summer holidays are also drawing to a close, and they return to school on Thursday…to a new class and a new teacher. It’s been a roller coster ride for us, these summer holidays. There have been days when the days seemed darker than usual. But things look much brighter now and we are ready to face the world.

So, last evening, we took out our grill and decided to have a quiet, impromptu barbeque…you know, to make the most of the last few moments of warmth, and before everything is back on schedule. It was nice…just the four of us…Rengoni , Agastya and myself  perched ourselves on a banket while Dinesh got down to business with the grilling.

Earlier, I made incisions on some pieces of chicken and marinated them for a few hours  with yogurt, a few strands of saffron,salt, turmeric, cumin powder, chilli powder- no fixed measurements, just eyeballed the ingredients. The chicken was neither swimming in the marinade, nor was it dry. After placing the chicken pieces on the grill, there was enough left over marinade to baste the chicken pieces as they cooked. I also added a little ghee to the leftover marinade  to baste the chicken.

What I did next, brought back many fond memories between me and my deuta ( father). Uruka signifies the eve of Magh Bihu, an Assamese festival marking the end of the harvesting season. On the night of uruka, a grand feast is laid out in every household. Bonfires would also be lit. On that evening, while ma set about preparing the feast, deuta would set about getting the bonfire started. I would wait impatiently for his signal, which would be just a tilt of his head, and I knew, very soon, we would be huddling around the crackling fire, out side, in the cold mid January night .

Deuta would throw in a few baby potatoes in the fire and we would wait impatiently for some to be handed around. Oh! How I remember those cold Uruka nights. ”Ma e kiman randhi thake, jui puwabole mati anage jua…aru aloo hoise booli koba”, Deuta would say with a wink, which translated, would be ” Go and fetch your ma, to enjoy the bonfire. How much longer is she going to cook? And tell her that the roasted potatoes are ready“. Munching on the poora aloo under the open sky and beside a crackling fire, sharing stories, and without a care in the world, seemed to be the best thing at the time.

Yesterday, it was not a cold January night, it was not uruka, and there was no bonfire. Deuta had long left for his heavenly abode. What there was, however, was our small grill, heated by the coal underneath, at times bursting into small flames. Rengoni and Agastya walked to and fro from the kitchen, helping to carry the things outdoors. There was the banter of two little children, their mum playing tic tac toe simultaneously with both of them , and the dad, well, the dad was busy with the grill.

And yes, the potatoes- they were there. I poked some small potatoes with a knife and rubbed a little olive oil on them. They were arranged on skewers and were ready to go on the grill. Yes, there was poora aloo yesterday. And there was another deuta handing them out to two impatient kids.

Yes, it felt nice yesterday, probably one of those rare days, when life just seems perfect…touchwood!!

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{ 20 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Dee September 2, 2009 at 12:31 am

What a beautiful post sunita , reminded me of the good times I had as a child with my dad :)


2 musical September 2, 2009 at 12:36 am

This post is like a warm, cozy blanket!


3 susan from food blogga September 2, 2009 at 1:02 am

Oh, I love the pics of the flames licking the meat and potatoes. Fabulous!


4 Rosa September 2, 2009 at 4:07 am

Yes, fall is here… The trees are turning and the light is fading!

That BBQ looks fantastic! I love that sandwich!




5 Sharmila September 2, 2009 at 5:59 am

I love roasted aloo so much .. have not forgotten the flavour of those that were made in a dying chulha at my grandfather’s place. :-)
Beautiful write Sunita! :-)


6 CurryLeaf September 2, 2009 at 11:22 am

Warm and delightful post..Love all the pics.


7 Nirmala September 2, 2009 at 11:29 am

Sunita you have kindled lots of memories dear! And yeah reading this my eyes filled with mixed emotions but I wish and pray that this family stay as happy and bonded as today forever!


8 Sudeshna September 2, 2009 at 12:41 pm

You made me remember the day just before Holi, we used to light a bonfire (Burir ghaur) that is what is called in Bengali, and threw in potatoes and vegetables, though non-veg was a strict no no. I love barbecues , lovely click that made me hungry :)


9 Lakshmi September 2, 2009 at 1:19 pm

Beautiful write Sunita. Reminds me of my childhood days with my parents.
Now when we spend the grill and play time with our kids, I want them to feel mind-free. No thinking business, just enjoy life as is. Years fly by soon and then your mind is always filled-up!!!


10 Alka September 2, 2009 at 2:55 pm

Beautiful post Sunita! And yes, the fall is here!! I feel that there was hardly a summer and fall is already at the doorstep. Your posts evoke such beautiful memories.. we all have those, and sometimes, we just need a little trigger, and now I am smiling just thinking about some of my childhood memories.


11 Soma September 2, 2009 at 4:55 pm

What a beautiful post Sunita.. drew tears in my eyes:-( I so miss my mom & days…the potatoes remind of the time I would go to a brick factory few minutes walk from our home.. with my dad. we would carry the new small potatoes to lay them to roast while the bricks cooked! when ready we would get them home to eat along with a sprinkle of salt with my mom.. who would keep all the other things & food ready! so nice to be able to share these times with our children.


12 Sunita September 7, 2009 at 4:58 pm

Yes, memories linger on, don’t they :-)


13 poornima September 3, 2009 at 2:02 am

Touchwood indeed.Lovely evocative post.All the best to you and family.


14 Nicisme September 3, 2009 at 10:43 am

I can almost smell that bbq from here – mmmmm!
Hope the new school year got off to a good start for you all.


15 Divya Vikram September 3, 2009 at 6:49 pm

Great post Sunita! And love those yummy roasted potatoes!!


16 Bong Mom September 3, 2009 at 7:10 pm

Lovely post, warm tinged with longing


17 Johanna September 4, 2009 at 7:04 pm

I have been following food blogs for quite some time. Its great to see some one from my land putting up such a wonderful blog.Poora aloo was always my favorite part of winter…as we huddled around d fire to get sm warmth, d impatience to check whether d aloo was done or not always accompanied…
Grt work!!!


18 Sunita September 7, 2009 at 5:01 pm

Thanks everyone for your wonderful comments…this is a very special memory for me :-)


19 Mahesh November 6, 2009 at 8:14 am

Yummy post indeed !!! I am inspired to do this experiment in my garden :-)


20 Sunita November 7, 2009 at 2:12 pm

Thank you Mahesh, do give it a try :-)


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