One beautiful evening, at The Retreat in Covai S3 Retirement Community, I had one of the best Bhatura and Chana that I have ever had!
Both the Bhatura and Chana was very well made – Bhatura all fluffy and melting in the mouth and Chana cooked well and yet visible in a gravy made with the extraordinary balance of tomatoes, onions and other masalas ! I really enjoyed my dinner – thanks to my Uncle and Aunt who insisted that I go to the retreat and have it fresh and hot.
My first thought was – Bhatura is made of maida, it is fried in oil, chana can cause gas and indigestion and maybe I should avoid eating them.
But then I gave into temptation and ate them with joy.
Just when I finished, my friend called. She was surprised that Chana Bhatura is actually served to senior and super-senior citizens. In fact she said it is not right. She tried to make me feel guilty too.
I then remembered an incident with my grandmother in her nineties, she was requesting my mother to make her favourite molagoottal (mixed vegetable curry) the following day and the morkozhambu (buttermilk based dish) the day after that. My grandmother was very fond of eating good food. One of my aunts visiting us at that time asked my grandmother sarcastically why she was still interested in food at this old age when she should be turning to reciting prayers and becoming spiritual.
My grandmother retorted, “Why? I have lived my life well, I brought my children up through difficult times into good human beings, I took care of my husband till he passed away, I keep myself busy and help others in the house the extent I can, and all I am living for now is to eat good tasty food, made lovingly by my daughter-in-law. Food gives me pleasure makes me happy. What is wrong with that?”
My dietitian has advised me to eat all foods as long as it is in moderation. I don’t eat Chana Bhatura every day or very often. So once in a while eating these foods is fine.
Hats off to the Covai S3 kitchen staff for the mouth-watering Chana Batura and a big thanks to them. A tiny self-realisation food wise!
By Ms Latha, Chennai, Niece of Mr Balasubrahmanyam, SDM 39, Covai S3 Retirement Community