Monday, December 26, 2011

Of Just Desserts and Going Bananas

My first memories of eating out date from the time I was seven. I was visiting my parents in the US and I know we ate out more often than we did in India, where I don’t ever remember being taken to a restaurant except when we went to Madras as it was then known to see off parents and aunts and uncles to the US and stayed in hotels. (My favourite then was a green pea soup at a hotel that is still around and popular.) In the US, some of the places we ate out at were Kentucky Fried Chicken and McDonald’s. I tried spaghetti and meatballs. I tasted pizzas, French fries and other legendary junk food I don’t remember now.

Later we went on an extended road trip of both the US and Europe. I remember being not too fond of the new food. (Could that really have been me?) I was always looking for rice and other familiar food. The one time my parents did locate some rice dish, in some place we had halted for lunch in FRG, as West Germany was known then, it was ice-cold and strange and I threw a tantrum. My father was annoyed, my mother more patient – I’m sure one of those two poor souls downed it so as not to waste resources. (I also made them buy me rolls of coloured wool in some other country though neither they nor I had the faintest idea of what I would do with it, despite my father protesting we were “on a budget” and we couldn’t afford to waste money.)

During that time, I remember, my father would always ask me, “Do you need help?” and lean over and relieve me of a bit of whatever was sitting on my plate. That joke continued throughout the trip and after. I didn’t think it was a big loss unless I liked the food.

It just struck me that the tables have now turned – whenever I visit my parents, my father opens the fridge to find that his nightly dessert of cream, curds (yoghurt) and bananas is halved or wiped out. A fortnight ago, after it happened a couple of times, he factored me into the scheme of things and started adding one more banana and some more cream and curds.

My father seems to have discovered a way to add more taste – and where taste lies, calories follow – to this nightcap. This visit, he told me that the inside of a kajjikai (karanji) crumbled over the curds-banana concoction is a great addition. It seemed interesting, but where would I find kajjikai with the same filling here? As I was mulling the possibilities, the brain in me ticked off the idiot in me (the morning diet of soaked almonds must be working) and told me I didn’t have to go searching for a kajjikai, deconstruct it, extract the filling, crush it and sprinkle it on the dessert. I could simply make the filling myself.

The pictures that you see are my father's, photographed at my request, but in the interests of his diet, I didn't ask him to add the topping, so there is no picture of that.

Banana: 2, sliced (I prefer the chakkarakeli variety, seen in picture above, the second and third from left)
Cream from the top of curds: 2-3 tbsp

Note the layer of cream on top - this is home-made curds/yoghurt.

Dessicated coconut: 1 tbsp
Semolina/rava/sooji: 1/8 cup
Sugar: 1/8 cup
Cardamom powder: A smidgeon
Chopped cashew: 1 tsp
Raisin: 1 tsp
Ghee: 1 tsp
In a pan, heat the ghee and toast the coconut in it on medium flame for a few minutes. Remove, keep aside.
In the same pan, add another ½ tsp ghee and roast the semolina 7-8 minutes.
Powder sugar, mix with the sooji, coconut, cashew, raisin and cardamom powder.

To assemble: Put the sliced banana in a bowl and top with the cream. Mix lightly. Sprinkle with topping.


  1. Must be some kind of conicidence! Thought I must visit you here at least once before the year was out and I find a mention of Kajjikai! :D
    Yogurt and banana, I lie but m not so sure about the filling with this, though am sure my husband would like that!

  2. My dad is the same way too - mixing curd with bananas. And lots of sugar. Shd tell him about the gujiya topping :) Cute write-up, Sra.

  3. Sra, love your father's midnight treat. Curd with bananas and a drizzle of honey is what tastes like heaven especially at night.

  4. I too used to eat bananas with yogurt when i had both in stock, sometimes with a bit of cereal oats added in, even at night. Your kajjikai addition sure is intriguing. Never thought of it.. Was even more intrigued with your write up, that you visited your parents in the US when you were seven :)

  5. Ummm thus must have been yum,,,never had banana this way

  6. Aparna, I haven't tried it either, but it sounds like it could be tasty.
    Vani, my dad recommended honey once.
    Indo, yeah, he said honey was good.
    La, oh, yes, and then two years later too. Visited Canada, N. Falls, then. We spent a good amount of time on the road in the first trip.
    Notyet, this is a very popular combination in Andhra. Mangoes too, though I've never tried that.

  7. Sra,
    We do eat bananas with yogurt and poha/rice flakes as breakfast and is one popular mid-day snack as well..that was sweet reading about your father..festive greetings to you..hugs and smiles

  8. delicious looking dessert
    happy holidays to you and family

  9. Sigh. I love dessert. this sounds super delicious!

  10. Banana and curd remind my uncle who forced me to taste. I almost threw because I hate banana. Topping idea with kajjikai is like granola :)
    Now we have unimaginable amount of junk food here :)

  11. Yogurt with bananas and ripe mangoes is super delish. Your dad is a genius, err does he blog ?

    Wishing you and yours a fantastic New Year.

  12. Love your dad's pics -- my dad would always concoct the most *unusual* (I am being kind) dishes -- and when I was a child the only place we ate out was Kentucky Fried Chicken! ;)

    Happy New Year Sra :)

  13. You throwing Tantrums Sra, well i canot believe that :-) i love tha way you have writeen how your dad took the food from your plate on the trip, and that you still remember it, Hans must have been 6 yrs when he had a operation and when his dad came to see hm after his duty that evening, his dad ate all the hospital food which was on the tray as Hans didn't want to eat and they all still tease him aobut it even now.
    Only time we had food outside was when we went to my Dad's family when I was very young and that too mom made chapathies etc...and packed up and in the Allepy buststand there was this small place and mom and we three kids went inside and she will order cofffee and some small things and then she will open up her packed food and give us, i think the owner allowed to do that as he knew mom was a widow with three young kids, don't know why i write this here, maybe becaus your post of eating out brough this memory back.
    Shyama and Hans love your dad's midnight snack, I though will have just the banana :-)

  14. Love those small bananas - how thin their skin is! Don't get them here in Delhi :(

    A simple dessert that is full of good things!

    Happy New Year wishes to you and yours, Sra!

  15. My dad must be a far off cousin! He loves his sweets and can conjure up the most interesting things! My love for French toast, bread butter and sugar, idli curd and sugar, idli ghee and sugar, bananas sliced over plain cornflakes dunked in milk and sugar - all his ideas!

    Must tell him about this- perfect midnight snack, atleast that way I can safeguard my Orange Lindt bars when he visits;-)

    Wish you a very Happy New Year!

  16. Sra,
    Wish you a very happy new year..hugs and smiles

  17. delicious looking dessert with bananas

  18. First time here..Glad I reached here..Following you right away...This looks delicious.…Totally yummy..Thanks for sharing it dear…Should try it soon…If you have time do check my blog too…



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