HomeChef Parinita Serves Up Dishes For Mother's Day

On Mother's Day, there are a lot of different things you can do to make your mom feel extra special. In addition to purchasing her the ideal present for Mother's Day, you should prepare a handmade Mother's Day breakfast or organise an activity for the entire family to participate in on that special day. A special Mother's Day dinner is yet another wonderful way to show appreciation for your mother, wife, or any other woman who has played a maternal role in your life. We have compiled some recipes and ideas that are contributed by HomeChef Parinita in order to guarantee that your maternal love would embrace the beauty of the dishes prepared.

Parinita is a pukka Mumbaikar with a Mangalorean heart. As a child, she frequently visited the Bejai residence of her maternal grandparents in the centre of Mangalore during her school breaks. For a shy child, her parents' traditional Mangalorean tiled Ill or home was an oasis where she could be herself and run free. From the Jaali, or courtyard, she could watch her grandfather's visitors as they sat in the Chavadi, or porch, sharing Bonda (tender coconut), Kadoli (dwarf bananas), Cha / Badam Milk, and Biscuit Rotti, along with Goli Bajes. She used to hang out in the backyard while her Amma made Vanas and other tasty dishes for the extended family and the dozens of people who would drop by for lunch. Her grandmother was known far and wide for her delicious home cooking. Her 'Amma na kai,' or magical hand, could transform even the most basic saar, gassi, or kajipu into culinary heaven. Her mom has mostly inherited grandmother's specific recipes, which she uses in her own cooking. Parinita considers them to be irreplaceable relics. She began her journey with her mother, and some captures she had taken to remind her of Amma's culinary methods and traditions. As time went on, she learned that it's not just the recipes but the method of preparation itself that matters. You can only recall the finer points of cooking by actively observing other cooks, such as how to use your hand's warmth to encourage fermentation of batters or how to shake the fish curry instead of using a ladle, which could break the delicate fish. 

“One common trait that they both share is they cannot cook a small quantity. Everything has to be made for ten people even if it is just 4 of us at home. And now I do the same. I owe my love and passion for food, especially Mangalorean food to my mom Nishi. I have stayed around the globe, but nothing beats the smell and taste of her kai,” she says. 

Pelakai da Gatti 

Pelakai da Gatti steamed in Thekki da Ire i.e. Jackfruit and Rice Cakes steamed in Teak Leaves. You read it right Teak leaves. This is one of those rare preparations from Mangalore that witnessed both my mom and grandma prepare so effortlessly. It is one of the first recipes that comes to my mind because it reminds me of all the nakhras we did as children to avoid eating it and preferred chocolates and pastries while they would try to make us eat it. This unique preparation is prepared and eaten with slight tweaks. Amma and Mom made it for breakfast or tea time and hence we see the addition of a little jaggery in case the jackfruit isn’t sweet enough. An unsweetened version is eaten in some families with Kori Gassi or chicken curry. My Mangalorean Catholic mom-in-law who is also an excellent cook, stuffs the unsweetened version with a coconut-jaggery mix that is also an interesting take. What is common in all these versions are that they are wrapped in Teak leaves and steamed.  The gorgeous orange hue that the leaves impart apart from the taste makes it a yummy treat. The leaves are also known for their medicinal properties. Amma would say the leaves destroys the 'nanji' or septic properties of the jackfruit. I love the bits of fresh coconut and crushed peppercorn we add, taking the steamed cakes to another level of yumminess.  

Nungel Yetti da Chutney 

Nungel Yetti (Dried Shrimp) Chutney or what is also called as Yetti Podi Chutney with Ganji (Rice eaten with its cooked water) reminds me of the onset of monsoons with maddening thunderstorms in Mangalore combined with power cuts. My grandma would make a big pot of hot Ganji and each of those steel plates she would serve it in, would get a dollop of this fragrant dried shrimp chutney.  My mom continued this in Mumbai Monsoons and hence more than pakoras and chai, I relate to steaming plates of thick ganji and chutney meals when it pours cats and dogs. It’s the tadka of browned onions that makes all the difference. 

Bambe Ajadina 

Bambe or Banana Stem is cooked in a gorgeous sukka style of preparation that is perfect accompaniment for rasams such as Kuddu da Saar or Horsegram Rasam. Banana stem is generally prepared during the 13th day mourning ceremony of a loved one who has passed away. A trio of banana stem, raw banana and ash gourd is reserved for this ceremony.  Hence it is tabooed to bring home on auspicious days. As much as I would be tempted to buy these from sabzi-mandis, I would avoid it to prevent a earful from mom.  Bambeis known for its medicinal properties.  It’s lengthy cleaning and removal of fibre process can be discouraging, but so worth it. It's known as a powerful digestive system cleanser. It's amazing how these stems are procured. Banana trees are cut completely after a few rounds of harvesting as they don't bear fruits indefinitely. The edible part of a banana stem lies deep inside layers of the outer stem. So once we bid adieu to the plant, nothing is really wasted. Leaves as plates, inner stem as food. In fact, even the outer stem discards were used as plates for kitchen work such as collecting semige (rice noodles) from the manual machines. Our grandmas knew sustainable living far better than us! 


Thetla are Knotted Colocasia leaves boiled and added either in a sprouted Moong gassi or pulimunchi style. As a family we love our leaves, Colocasia leaves in particular. We prepare fried Pathrodes (Mangalorean Alu Vadis), Pathrode Gassi, Dant da Kajipu with its steams and then this, Knots of leaves. Knotting them makes it easier to enjoy the unique bite of the leaf in one go. Mom makes sure to make it either on Chauthi or Ashtami festival as it is everyone’s favourite at home.  

Tajank Pelathari 

Tajank Pelathari Upkari. Tajank are Cassia Tora leaves, these wild greens are generally foraged and not bought in Mangalore. It grows in abundance during monsoons. Pelathari/ Bolle/Jackfruit seeds are saved in the summer to make this monsoon special. With the simplest ingredients, Mom prepares this Upkari (Stir-Fry) exactly like my grandma, which celebrates the lovely flavour of the greens. Most of my memories with Amma are monsoon food related as we spent the early onset of this season at the tail end of our vacations, enjoying few of these gems that are becoming so rare these days. 


I could not complete this list without mentioning Kottiges. A must during festivals, we weave cups of jackfruit leaves by hand using small sharp sticks and steam Idli batter in them. A must during Krishna Ashtami, we would pass the time on the day of fasting making these casings and offer it to Krishna during the midnight aarti and have it with a flavourful coconut chutney and light filter coffee. Me, Mom and my sister would sit at the odd hour of the night enjoying the super soft Kottiges. Moode or screwpine leaves/Pandan/kewra leaves are difficult to make on our so they would be brought from Mangalore stores in Mumbai to stream idli batter in.