Ramadan Thoughts over Tamarind Chutney

Here’s an example of an iftar at home: a glass of sharbat topped with takmariya and almonds, a potato cutlet with spiced ground beef (known as the “potato chop” at home), a chicken kebab, dates, almonds, imli chutney. Fruit salad is off to the side. A small jar of imli chutney takes up residence near my plate for easy access.

My mother and I are in the kitchen on a bright Sunday afternoon right before Ramadan. Spices overwhelm our shared counterspace as my mother toasts and grinds spices for her garam masala, the ubiquitous Indian spice blend.I’m squishing tamarind pulp that’s been soaking in warm water through my fingers—my mother assures me that the food processor won’t give the same results.After years of avoiding learning from my mother’s kitchen skills, I find myself this year asking her to show me ho … [Read more...]