Last week my mom retired from her state government job after 32 years of service. The farewell was as graceful as all the years of her service. Stepping into the campus where I spent a large part of my childhood stirred mixed feelings. While I felt very proud about my mom, I had this sad feeling that I won’t be able to come here as often as I used to. The slopes formed by lawns on which I used to slide down most evenings after school, the canteen where I was given the privilege to decide where every colleague of my mom would sit for lunch, the water cooler area I would rush to when I wanted to hide, the creepy corners where I was not allowed to and even dreaded to go, the little space behind my mom’s chair where she kept a little bed for me to rest after school, the tiny fish pond with lotuses (which was scrapped 😦 by the new director). I took a walk around the campus to show Prash all these memorable spots that I am gonna miss.
My mother smiled across the auditorium as my husband and I entered the large hall brimming with present and former employees. What followed was rounds of praises, shared memories and praises for mom. The entire staff then dropped mom home, where other members of our family and relatives were waiting. I was pleasantly surprised to learn that most of the staff knew almost all of our family and relatives. Now, that’s some bonding at work, which is rare in today’s times.
It was also her birthday that day so once the colleagues left after a round of snacks, ice cream and more good wishes, we took mom to her favourite restaurant these days: Mint Route. The owners, both friends of Prash, are darlings who make every visit of ours special. We ordered our favourite dishes but decided to try out a different starter/entree this time around. It was a tandoori platter with grilled potatoes, paneer, mushrooms and cauliflower.
Two days later, I was about to leave from work when Prash called to say he is cooking Tandoori aalu and mushrooms for me 🙂 What can I say? An ordinary day just became special. Here’s Prash’s version of grilled potatoes and mushrooms with mint sauce, dedicated to the years of service dedicated by my mom 🙂
Tandoori aalu and mushrooms with mint chutney
(Grilled potatoes and mushrooms marinated in yoghurt and served with mint sauce)
Baby potatoes boiled 500 gms
Button mushrooms 250 gms
Yoghurt or hung curd
Roasted chana dal (You can also use roasted besan/gramflour)
Kashmiri chilli powder
Chaat masala or a pinch of amchoor
Mint chutney ingredients:
Mint leaves 250 gms
A handful of coriander leaves
Peel the baby potatoes and prick them with a toothpick or a fork. Keep aside. Clean the mushrooms and cut them into half. Keep aside. Grind the roasted chana dal. In a bowl, take some hung curd, add the ground chana dal or gramflour, ginger-garlic paste, salt, chilli powder and chaat masala. Mix well. Marinate the potatoes and mushroom in this mixture for about 15 minutes. Pre-heat oven and grill the potatoes and mushrooms. My oven runs on auto-grill mode so I really do not bother with the temperatures. I suggest you grill the potatoes and mushrooms till they are nicely crisp and brown 🙂
For the mint sauce, mix all the ingredients and serve with the ready potatoes and mushrooms.