Wednesday, 21 September 2011

Cooking in an Indian village two generations ago

I have told you that i recently went to visit my parents in Vijayawada. My grandma lives in a small village nearby, so i usually also go visit her whenever i go to Vijayawada. Also because she loves me to bits and asks me when i am coming to visit her again only a week after my latest visit. My aunt's family also live in that village and my aunt usually does the cooking part now that grandma has become quite old. Coming to the picture of discussion today, this was how the rice was cooked that day, that was eaten with fish and chicken curries.
This is similar to the basic three stone cook stove mentioned here (My friends tell me i have an addiction for wikipedia, possibly caused by an obsession for perfection). Bricks are set up on three sides to balance a cooking pot and firewood or dried cow-dung cakes are used as fuel and pushed in from the open side. Food is cooked on the open flame and controlled by the amount of firewood placed under the pot. This was how my grandma always cooked, she had two such cook stoves side by side and managed to cook delicious meals on them during our childhood summers spent in that village. I guess this type of cooking is almost non-existent today, even in villages, because everyone now cooks with LPG or natural gas or electricity.

the colour photo looks quite like the sepia toned one above
Wednesdays are when i get to showcase my food related pictures that have no recipes. And if i am doing this for the third consecutive time, you can say i love the idea already.  And the first photo fits the bill perfectly for the black and white theme because this was the style of cooking in the era before colour photos were available. Sending this off to Susan's Black and White Wednesday.

15 comments:

  1. Makes me nostalgic,beautiful clicks..btw regarding ur q'n about white vinegar, it replace the eggs in baking,hope i cleared ur doubt..

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  2. wow...looks divine..
    love ur native place..:)
    Tasty Appetite

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  3. Thanks Priya for clarifying that.
    Jay, its technically my mom's native place, but i am always welcome. Thanks for ur sweet words :)

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  4. Evokes a rush of feelings - racial memory, I guess, since I've never come across home food being cooked like this.

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  5. I mean, I have, but not on a regular basis or even in very familiar surroundings.

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  6. i have seen this in familiar surroundings so often, but never had a picture until now.. i even remember that grandma's kitchen's thatched roof was black from the smoke caused by these cook stoves. Not an ideal way to cook on a regular basis, really.

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  7. No words!!! Love this place
    FIrst tym here and happy to follow u

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  8. May not be convenient way for cooking, but it does invoke nostalgic memories, right :)?

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  9. Oh sure does, Rajani. That's why i had to put up this pic here. Thank you for sharing your thoughts.

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  10. What a wonderful set of photos. I particularly like the one in sepia tones. And I bet the food tasted wonderful too. Many thanks for a glimpse into the past.

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  11. Elizabeth, the food was fabulous and your comments make me value it even more.

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  12. Such a beautiful shot , La. Love the first pic. Even now, Water is heated on a hearth like this at my grandmom's.

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  13. Wonderful history in these photos, La. It's too bad we lost much of the old ways. Cooking outside is sure less confining and hot than outdoors. Love the nostalgia. Thank you for sharing for BWW.

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  14. Thank you Anita and Susan.
    @ Anita - At my grandmom's too it is now mainly used only for heating bath water.. rice was cooked that day because the burning embers of wood fuel was already available after heating water.

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