Homemade' at a Store
Published: 14th April 2014 09:25 AM
Last Updated: 14th April 2014 11:26 AM
In summer, ladies of the house preparing mango pieces for making Avakaya (pickle) was a common household tradition that was passed down. However, today, hardly anyone from the latest generation even know what goes into making pickle, let alone do it at home.
With many shops specialising in ‘homemade’ pickles and other traditional foods like vadiyams and other pindi vantellu (flour-based deep-fried snacks), summer has lost the charm and aroma that usually envelops the house.
Says Sudhani Nalini, a home-maker, “I have never made these items in my life. It has been 25 years since my mother stopped making them. Owing to the space constraint in an apartment complex and other factors that need to be catered like want of sunlight, it becomes impractical.”
While making pickle requires at three days in the sun, with no moisture around, boiled rice flour needs to be laid out in the sun to dry to make vadiyams. With terraces becoming a luxury, and balconies shrinking by the day, hardly any home prefers to go through the extra care, especially when you can just pick these off the rack at a store.
But there are some who still cherish the summer season for the excitement of these pindi vantellu.
Sudhani Ahalya, a 75 year-old, has been making these summer delicacies for 30 years now and recalls how she learnt them from her grand mother.
“My grand mother would make all the ingredients from scratch, starting from selecting chillis that would be ground for the chilli powder,” she shared.
Mustard powder, the basic ingredient for mango pickle, was also ground at home back then. However, over the years, plenty of lifestyle changes have diluted the tradition of making these summer delicacies.
Today, Ahalya picks up the basic ingredients from stores but insists on still making the pickle at home. “Everything is available, and the grounding process needs special grinding stones. There is no place where I can dry these ingredients before hand. That is why I opt for readymade ingredients,” she explains.
Other preparations were also made at home, much to the excitement of the rest of the family.
“Vadiyalu were made from Bombay rava, rice flour, pumpkin, rice, sago and potato. The most sought after variety then was the ones that are made out of milk from wheat. We don’t make them anymore as it needs to be soaked for three days and then dried,” she laments, adding that she makes some for her children as well who haven’t picked up the cooking technique.
“They probably will buy the readymade pickles and vadiyams that are available in the market since all of them are working professionals,” she says.
In the market, the options have exploded from just the typical recipes to everything under the sun – bittergourd, mixed vegetable, amla, chicken, prawns, fish and what not! These are also a favourite among those who currently live abroad. Companies like Swagruha Foods, Joshi Pickles and Vellanki foods all owe their market to this community.
G Subhadra, branch in-charge of Vellanki foods in Madura Nagar, Ameerpet tells us that there are 180 orders on an average every month that are couriered to UK, USA and Canada from a single branch. They have four branches in total in the city. “We have tied up with DHL courier service. People from these countries can order online and we deliver within two to three days,” she informs.
Source: The New Indian Express