Saturday, April 25, 2015

"V" is for Vindaloo. A to Z Challenge, Day 22.

In college we were a hungry lot.
(I've already said that.)
In any case, days before we were coming home for our holidays, we used to be dreaming of all the delicious goodies we would eat when we got home!
Those were the days of the snail mail. Long distance phone calls were a luxury I could ill-afford. So six weeks before I was due to go home I would start penning the menu that should be waiting for me from the day I reached home. I still remember my favourite orders: Aam Shoal (a fish spiced with raw mangoes), dahi vada (no one still makes it like my mother!) Mangshor jhol (mutton curry) Moussaka (we all know what that is!) and on and on it went, the list was endless.

As they say, all good things come to an end. So it was with our vacations. I don't know what made us more sad, the fact that we were leaving home or the fact that we would not be getting all the good food we got while at home... For me I am sure it was the latter.
So my mother devised a way I would not miss home food for a few more days even as I was away from home.
She made vindaloo.

The train journey from my city to a place called Kalyan, took 36 hours. After a two hour wait we boarded another train which took four hours to reach our final destination, Pune. This was provided the trains all ran on time and there were no delays or mishaps on the way. Often, these journeys across India were taken in the fiercest heat; as a college student I never travelled by air conditioned coach.

So what is Vindaloo?
Vindaloo is Goan dish made with mutton or pork or even chicken (My mom made it with mutton for me to take to college.) It is marinated in garlic and  ginger and other spices and cooked with vinegar. It is almost pickled and hence stays for a few days so it would survive the journey to college... That's when I learnt that if there is onion  and/or water in a recipe it will spoil fast. Same with potato.
But there I was.... miles, days away from home;

Savouring, little by little, a slice of home!


  1. You were lucky to have delicious food awaiting you when you came home from college. When I was in college I thought the food at the college was great - especially the nachos with the fake runny cheese! My mother was not much of a cook - I had to learn as I went!
    Happy A-Z

  2. What a smart mother, and that dish sounds yummy. I ate a lot of not so healthy food while in college. . .when I came to Canada at age 20, I changed my eating habits and it became a basis for life. The only time it changed was when kids were little. They didn't want healthy, they wanted McD's (McDonalds). . .

  3. Thank you! My Mom will be so pleased when I tell her!