Cheery Comfort foods
Last week I was down with a bad case of flu. I instantly reached for my edible security blanket. The special food, which makes me feel cozy, calms me down and convinces my insides that everything is going to be all right. This edible security blanket is simply Comfort food. Food that slips down your alimentary canal with a relaxed, Aaahhh. The same sound that your feet make, (if only you could hear them), when you kick off the stilettos for your bathroom slippers, and feel at home again.
There is a universal connection to comfort foods eaten all around the world. Its all to do with food that slips down the throat easily, that doesnt require much cutting or chewing. Hot, nourishing, something you can slurp. The immediate answer to a runny nose and a bout of homesickness. For an American it would be macaroni and cheese, for a Scottish it would be oatmeal and clotted cream, and for an Indian it would be Rice and bean porridge Kitchadi.
When the world
-- or the weather -- seems harsh and cruel, here are some of my favorite
comfort food recipes to cuddle up with and help bring a smile back to
you, your friends, and family.
Here is my grandmas version of the humble Kitchadi
Comfort food is basically a taste memory of childhood. When I was growing up in India, I loved to read books written by Enid Blyton. She was as popular as J K Rowling is now. Enid Blyton wrote adventure and mystery series. Some of my favorite books written by Enid Blyton were Famous Five, Secret Seven, and Malory towers. The most charming part of these series was the kids would solve mysteries and have fun adventures with a lot of wonderful food. I would be mesmerized by the treacle pudding, trifle puddings, scones, marble cakes these adventurers would eat. My mother, being a strict vegetarian would never cook these foods at home, as all these recipes called for eggs.
Once I was very sick and I refused to eat Kitchadi that she had made for me. I insisted on having creamy tomato soup and croutons just like the kids in Enid Blyton series. I felt like royalty getting soup in bed. ( One of the rare occasions when my mother gave into my tantrum)
Here is my mothers version of creamy tomato soup without any cream.(My mother was not very fond of cream)
There are some days, so bad, so stressful, and so overwhelming, that there is not a friend on this Earth, not a backrub on the planet that could unknot your neck muscles. It is on days like these I turn to food for comfort. I vividly remember when I was in seventh grade, my friend and I, had been, unfairly singled out in our class as troublemakers. We had to run an extra mile at lunch break. That evening I went to my friends house and we moaned and groaned about how unfair life was. Her older sister who was had just come back from college, got tired of hearing us whine. She made this aromatic cream of wheat pudding to help heal our bruised ego. It is no wonder that when the going gets tough, we turn to foods that remind us of happy times in our youth! So whether you're nursing a bruised ego, a broken heart or a common cold, it's comfort food that comes to the rescue.
This special pudding always calms me down and helps me put things in perspective.