Just a couple of days before I head back home, Maa and I are at our local vegetable market and that the array of fresh produce adorning the shelves is making me feel like a kid in a candy shop is by no means an exaggeration.
The two cloth bags that Maa had lovingly folded and brought along with her are already full – there’s a gorgeous shish palong, fabulous pui metuli, luscious green-white eggplant, beautiful sheem to name but a few.
And yet more vegetables greet us as we walk down the aisles.
Delhi carrots. Beautiful beetroot. Pink radish with verdant plumes. (I make a mental note to request Maa to make a mulo shaak chingri before I leave). Hillocks of lovely green peas.
Cauliflowers with august crowns. Please don’t discard the greens, I alert the boy at the stall just in time as he was about to bring his ominous knife down on the greens.
And of course, my cherished onion greens. With their pristine white buds yet to bloom.
Maa what shall you make with these beauties, I ask. As I stuff two bunches in the already bursting-at-the-seams bags.
If we get some chhoto dishi tangra or fresh katla, Maa ruminates, I shall make a peyajkoli tangra or peyajkoli rui for you.
What else do you fancy ? Maa nudges. We shall have a bunch to spare even beyond that.
A peyajkoli bhorta ? I muse.
It’s while we are passing the mutton stalls that I remember the delectable mete peyajkoli Maa used to make.
Maa do you recollect the mete peyajkoli you used to prepare ?
I haven’t had that in decades now, I complain in mock agony.
Ok, as you wish, Maa smiles as we stop to buy mutton liver.
For lunch Maa cooks a stunning mete peyajkoli. I ask for a second helping. And then a third. The pepper scorch my taste buds. The shallots and peyajkoli do everything to pacify the heat.
Mete Peyajkoli. A delicious pairing of mutton liver with onion greens. Fuss-free and earthy. Loads of peppercorn. An overdose of shallots that pacifies the manic heat. Just a whiff of spices. This is food heaven.
I swear you shall fall in love with this !!!