When I was in the first grade, my mom sent me to school with a Tupperware container of karai chicken - a particularly pungent north Indian dish. It was one of my favorites. With it, she packed a few roti's (bread) in aluminum foil. When I opened it up during lunch, within 10 seconds, I heard, "OH MY GOD EW WHAT IS THAT SMELL." I closed to box, and threw it in the garbage. That day for lunch, I had a small bowl of pretzels from the snack jar.
This feels like it might be a cliche story, but it also feels like some stories are cliche for a reason. For years I learned to only love my families cuisine in our own home, in the homes of our family, our friends, our mosque, or the few restaurants in the South Asian town nearby. Midway through high school, though, things began to change. My friends were now fascinated by my "home food." They'd ask that I bring some for them, or they'd come over after school to vacuum up the leftovers.
I only recently decided that I wanted to learn these family recipes. And when I did, I was a bit disappointed. None of my families matriarchs has "recipes" - they just had memories. They knew how to make what they knew how to make but they never really thought to write it down. Recently, my mother, at my behest, began writing down her recipes. For the first time, she started using measuring cups and spoons - as up until now, she did it the desi way - "dekha jayenga".
The recipe I've shared is one for kheer, an indian rice pudding dish.
– Aziz Adib