Winter comfort


Vinod aunty, my mum’s friend (and neighbour for more than two decades) is an ardent cook. Talk about the importance of cooking everything at home, and she’ll proudly say: Eating homemade food is the best feeling. Apart from my mum, it’s her who has always encouraged me to make everything at home. Whether it takes time or effort, it’s all worth it. Originally from Udaipur, Vinod aunty has truly used her cooking talents–not to miss her home science degree–and has successfully kept traditional recipes alive.

As a child, I remember when she sent us her day’s special dish in a tray, only for us to taste. On one such occasion, I tasted the raab. Basically, it’s boiled buttermilk. But, when you sip it, you can feel its healing effect. Whenever I used to be down with the winter cold, she used to send me a cup of hot raab. Sitting on the bed, I used to pray to recover soon, with my spoon clacking against my bowl of the nourishing raab.

Recently, when I caught cold, I realised that I have to try making my favourite ‘recovering’ drink. And, guess what? It’s damn easy! I have pledged to make it often. Thinking of which, I fret I will have to set the curd even more often. Nevertheless.

Also, dear readers, in the image above, I have gone way too much with the cumin seeds. You might want to control a bit. Happy Winters!

Recipe: Raab

In a pan, heat a teaspoon of ghee. Add two pinches of cumin seeds. Let it splutter. Add a glass of buttermilk (thin consistency) and salt as per your taste. After a few minutes, add two tablespoons of boiled rice. Remove from the flame after one or two boils.


Make sure the curd (from which you make your buttermilk) tastes mildly sweet (meetha). Avoid using sour (khatta) curd. Also, you can use uncooked rice and cook it in the same pan.

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