Mooli Memories

Every now and then I change the cover image of the Chef at Large group and write a small description – usually whatever immediately comes to mind. Here’s what I wrote earlier this morning. Do visit this post to see what others shared about their trysts with mooli. Some are quite interesting and our culinary cultural diversity continues to amaze me.

My earliest and fondest memories of radish / mooli is from the redi / cart outside school where this chap would have a stack of mooli on one side and a big jar of green chutney. During break or at the end of school, he’d peel them, cut them in half lengthwise, and smear a spoonful of that piquant, spicy and delicious chutney on the flat side with a spoon. We’d buy it for, maybe 50p.

That first bite of mooli would be a shock to the senses, usually somewhat cold, the flavours of the chutney shocking the palate, and God help us if the mooli was ‘strong’, sending a shock up the nostrils, sometimes leaving us gasping for breath. Every so often today, I break my fasts with a platter full of mooli and a katori of chutney. Quite a few nutrients in there, plus one of the few dishes in my list that are from childhood, low carb and satisfying too.

Then there are parathas stuffed with shredded / kaddu-kassed mooli, drenched in white butter, again with some dahi and green chutney on the side. Indu makes these parathas as two separate rotis with the stuffing in between. One side will first be lifted up causing a pillow of hot steam to escape, exposing the shreds of white mooli, speckled with red chili and dotted with bright green coriander. while butter is diligently applied all over the paratha while it cools down a bit. We rarely eat stuffed parathas these days, so each such occasion is a memorable indulgence.

Sid Khullar

Sid Khullar is the founder of Chef at Large, a blog that began in 2007. He enjoys cooking, writing, travelling and technology in addition to being a practising Freemason. Health and wellness is a particularly passionate focus. Sid prefers the company of food and animals to most humans, and can be reached at sid.khullar@chefatlarge.in.