It seems to me that my parents and grandparents pretty much had good eating habits down pat - cooking from scratch, with fresh ingredients, whole grains and a whole lot of greens, vegetables and lean protein.
My weekends were always spent in my maternal grandmother's (nani) home and I still remember the day kicking off with a small bowl of these wonderful mung beans and a tall glass of milk.
My nani's crumpled form today is a far cry of her former self as she sleeps in the fetal position in the care of a nurse, 24/7. This once feisty, independent and self assured woman has been reduced to this. But her skin continues to glow and she is beautiful in my eyes. Very old & shrivelled but still beautiful and I for one will always see her as the woman I remember - standing tall and one of the finest culinary masters I have ever known.
I like to believe that that small spark that shines in me, comes from her.
Fortunately for me, my Mum though not adventurous in her culinary exploits does what she does very well. She has my nani's hand and continues cooking her traditional dishes for which I am eternally grateful.
As she prepares the morning mung beans just like her Mum did for decades, it reinforces for me the importance of carrying forward the small things that make our families unique, that bind us by blood and by tradition.
These mung beans have a few ground spices, a handful of fresh herbs, loads of fresh ginger root with a few curry leaves throw in and little else. Saragva ni sing aka drum-sticks is a long vegetable akin to drum-sticks you beat a drum with, not the chicken variety and is optional but can be purchased in Indian grocery stores.
The result however is spectacular so much so that Mr. Hubby actually asked Mum to video skype this for him.
Looks like this is one tradition that's here to stay.