Remembering Kozhakattai and Gulzar

It’s a cross between a light rain and drizzle outside. The kinds that grace days that can’t make up their minds about the weather. Do I drench you, or continue to puzzle you with the inconsistent kiss of water? I associate these moody rains with Gulzar. Perhaps a sudden bout of homesickness as I found myself staring at dessicated coconut in a Tamil store today. I wish to eat kozhakattai tomorrow the way I always have on Ganesha Chaturthi. I remember how we used to batch process kozhakattais as kids. I remember a particular time when my grandaunt was making flat purses out of rice flour, my grandmother placing a small amount of the jaggery-coconut in the flour purse and my mother was tying the flour knot on top. I was placing them on the stand so they could be steamed.

Far from where one grows up, food and music often evoke a certain gnawing feeling inside. Nostalgia. The more I remember, the more I am prone to forgetting. For now, am listening to this song that is perfect for both nostalgia (Gulzar, that halwa for the soul) and drizzles.

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0 Responses to Remembering Kozhakattai and Gulzar

  1. Nithya says:

    Aah…kozhukkattai. You have evoked some strong gastronomical memories, Neha. When I was growing up in Chennai, my mom used to make kozhukkaattai only during Pillayaar Chathurthi. Why not more often, it didn’t occur to ask? But when I visited my parents a few years ago and casually mentioned them, I found my mom and mom-in-law busy in the kitchen making kozhukkattais the next morning. Things like this don’t happen that often. Where can I go now for kozhukkattai, I wonder.


  2. Vi says:

    I know…I’m in my dorm room, and I can’t have any kozhukkattais either, and I can’t go home. I remember stealing bits of the coconut jaggery mixer and hiding it, so I could eat it raw (after neveythaim, of course). My mom always wondered why she was always left with more maavu than thengai.


  3. Mohib says:

    Recently we had an oppurtunity to share our apartment with a Maharastrian guy for a month or so. I heard the word Modak for the first time from him. He prepared them a couple of time. I did not like them that much. May be he was just a bad cook.


  4. tilotamma says:

    Palekar-Delhi. Well apropos of nothing, have you read this piece in Sulekha? I normally don’t go there but this is one of the good ones…


  5. Nithya: We just have to learn to make them! But they are rather time and effort intensive. Having processed my first batch – I am not sure I’d have the enthusiasm to make them on an average Sunday.

    Vi: Oh yes. Isn’t stealing from the kitchen the best? When you can go to your favourite corner and gobble it all up?

    Mohib: He was definitely a bad cook!

    Tilotamma: Thanks so much for that link! Wonderful read. Having spent most of my life as a Madrasi – what a South Indian morphs into once outside “the water”. As an aside – I am known to amuse people with stories of bad pronounciation and word errors that my family has committed over the years. Makes for good conversation at least!