Metkut, reminds me of the softest of rice cooked at ajji’s place, served hot with dollops of tup(ghee) and salt. I liked my metkut bhaat even softer, mushy mixed with some warm milk. metkut bhaat bring back the fond memories of being fed by panji my great-grand mother (whom I referred to as ek daat wali ajji….because she had one tooth left 🙂 and another cousin called her white kesanchi ajji..all because she had grey hair) while she narrated a story. I recall my summer holidays when we visited our grandparents. The vacation was always memorable starting with our train journey from Howrah till Manmad. Mama would escort us from Manmad in the middle of the night to Aurangabad. It was just amazing meeting people who spoke aai-baba’s language. Back then, I and my siblings communicated mostly in Hindi, Bengali or English with Marathi when being insisted by our parents.
Everyone would greet us at Aurangabad. Dada, my ajoba would make sure a taanga(horse driven carriage) stood waiting to give us a ride home from the station. It was fun meeting everyone who spoke in a typical Hyderabaadi Hindi with us(just because we spoke in Hindi) and showered us with oodles of pampering. I carried a set of Enid Blyton series with me. Reading was my best part of the vacation. Dada would show his gramphone and the collection of records in a cupboard. After selecting a record, he would allow us to listen to one of the records only once we have had our bath and lunch. I loved my younger mavshi’s(maternal aunt) wardrobe and the dressing accessories. I would sneak into her room to check her wardrobe and try her high heeled shoes and bell bottoms. Yes, as soon as she stepped out for the college I just enjoyed the freedom with her stuff(elders in the house did not mind that at all) and as soon as I saw her step down from the bus at the stop..which was right across the road, I would rush back and change… with the adults support of course. S my mavshi had the sixth sense I must say, when it came to her jewellery and dresses! She would guess exactly which dress I had tried sneaking in and would throw a temper at the elders…while I just sat there on my diwan listening to the ladies in the house asking her to have some patience and grow up!! Fun na?
Come evening, the ladies prepared the best meals for us and all the cousins would be gathered by mavshis’ and ajji to the backyard. A huge satranji was laid for us. Panji sat in the centre and we all sat in a circle around her. Metkut-bhaat was mixed in a huge plate or even in paraat with helpings of bhaaji, lonche and chutney. Panji would make soft balls of rice with an occasional helping of the bhaji hidden in and serve on our palms. These we ate till the story narration did not stop…obviously it was only after the story finished that I used to realise that she had fed me more than what I usually ate!! I was one fussy eater as a child. My panji left us long time back and my ajoba dada is no more either. I meet my ajji when I visit India. S Mavshi, now is my mame saasu(yes, our relations got even stronger…she is my in-law…wasn’t spared you see) and my other mavshi is the masterchef in the family. Last summer she visited me when I visited Pune. We spent our time making traditional things in the kitchen. Dadpe pohe, Sushila, pud chutney, goda masala, metkut, varan phala and loads of other preparations.
This afternoon I had rice and metkut for lunch and realised I had not blog posted it. Although it is a critical time for me managing work, home and P’s GCSE revision which start next Tuesday, yet I thought a blog post will actually give me some motivation to carry on. So here it is…
To make metkut, one needs
Chana dal 2 cups
Urad dal 1 cup
Rice 1/2 cup
Wheat 1/4 cup
Mustard seeds 1/4 cup
Cumin seeds 1.5 tbsp
Coriander seeds 2 tsp
Black pepper 2 tsp(Ruchira does not suggest this, but my mavshi adds these)
Dried red chillies 2-3
Dry roast all the ingredients mentioned above separately. Grind to a fine powder. Sieve if need be. To this add in
Asafoetida 1 tsp
Turmeric powder 2 tsp
Dried ginger powder and Nutmeg powder optional(I did not use)
Mix well and store in an air tight container.
You may use metkut on hot rice. Metkut is also mixed with yogurt and seasoned as a chutney. At times, chivda is mixed with metkut, to this peanuts and chopped onions and coriander are mixed in for an afternoon snack.
note: You may add in methi seeds if you like. However my son prefers metkut without the pungent taste of methi. Henxe I do not add.