Today is the third day of Sankranti festival and is called ‘Kanuma’ ..traditionally its the day devoted to giving thanks to cattle. Cows and bulls in the villages are adorned with bells on their neck and offered prasadam (food offering). Non-vegetarian delicacies are cooked and all the younger members of the family pay their respects to the elders and the elders gift them money and clothes. According to tradition followed since our forefathers, the new sons-in-law of the family are treated to lavish lunch spread with authentic Andhra non-vegetarian flavours like gongura mamasam (mutton cooked in red sorrel leaves), chepa pulusu (fish cooked in spicy tangy tamarind sauce), kodi kura (chicken curry), royallu vepudu (prawns/shrimp fry) and many more.. on â€˜Kanumaâ€™ day.
We had a very sumptuous lunch spread this afternoon with non-vegetarian delicacies being the â€˜themeâ€™. During the festive season all the woman folk of the family lend a helping hand in the kitchen and since itâ€™s a large family gathering everybody puts in their best effort to prepare the best tasting food possible that isn’t too hot and has a nice balance of spices with aromatic flavors. They say “Too many cooks spoil the broth” ..well that quote sure doesn’t apply here as many cooks add a lot of love, spice and flavor to the dishes being cooked this festive season. 🙂 Its fun and thatâ€™s what celebrating festivals is all about – a day of sharing, caring, laughter and relaxation.
Today I tried my hand at cooking a traditional Andhra fish gravy recipe, Chepa Pulusu, which is ammaâ€™s speciality dish. Chepa Pulusu is fresh fish cooked in a tangy tamarind sauce with freshly ground spices. This particular dish tastes best the next day (after the fish pieces are soaked in the tamarind and spice juices) served with hot steamed white rice and sliced onions. Must say that everyone enjoyed the dish though I felt it was no where compared to ammaâ€™s Chepa pulusu. I have come to realise that when I cook traditional recipes, they are so close to my heart as I have grown up eating amma’s cooking and observing how she combines it all together to make the most tasteful dish one can ever eat. I guess it’s the hand of ammaâ€™s love. 🙂