Tuesday, 26 November 2013

Imli, The Tamarind



Well, it’s a pod like fruit and is used very extensively in cuisines across the world. Oh! I love those tamarind chutnies and pickle so much. Out here in India, people usually know it by the name Imli. Tamarinds are generally very sour and when people put it inside their mouth, their face grimace from the sour taste. When ripe, it tastes unusually sweet as well. The sweet and sour taste of Imli can mesmerize anyone, especially people who are addicted to sour things. It looks so damn tempting whenever someone uncovers it by removing the protected shell, especially when it’s totally ripe. Some people find it so attractive that they feel like eating plenty of them, but as soon as they put the first piece inside their mouth, it horribly stimulates almost all the organs. One piece of Imli is capable enough to make our teeth extremely sensitive towards every possible eatables for the next couple of days, especially those hard stuffs which we have to crunch. But whenever people look at any ripe Imli, particularly in it's half nude state inside the pod, they get very much tempted. 

Now, Imli got a very special significance in Bollywood since a long time. As a child, I was very much influenced by the true Imli knowledge. Last weekend after lunch, I simply browsed through the TV channels. I stopped at an 80’s Bollywood movie and enjoyed a relaxing moment for a while. After sometime, one typical scene appeared. Well, the daughter in law showed some extra interest in having Imli and in no time I understood that's actually a happy moment for the family. During my childhood days, I was such an expert in those kind of Bollywood facts, that I couldn’t stop my mouth and always used to showcase my talents. While sharing my knowledge, I never bothered about the kind of guests and quite often my parents had to feel the embarrassment. I still remember that on few occasions, my Mom didn't even allow me to watch TV along with some of the guests. Well, the Imli theory doesn't always bring happiness and particularly when the concerned lady is an unmarried one. In that case, her obsession towards Imli could be very vulgar and parents wouldn’t hesitate to change the channel in front of the kids.

I remember one incident when I was in my 6th standard. We went for a family picnic at the banks of the mighty Brahmaputra, along with several other families. Most of the kids were very much interested about the big tamarind tree nearby. We could see a plenty of attractive looking pod-like fruits hanging all over the tree. Few of the girls simply went crazy and they even tried many desperate attempts by throwing stones at the goodies. I and few of my friends were older enough and already started to feel the North Pole - South Pole attraction. We thought that was a great opportunity to show our talent and immediately climbed up the tree. Oh! as a child I just loved to climb trees, but also as I climbed higher and higher, my heartbeats used to accelerate as well. That was a big damn tamarind tree and we plucked hell lot of pods. Later, people enjoyed those fresh tamarinds with salt and green chilies. It was so tempting and also the smell was simply magical, but I was so much influenced with the great Bollywood Imli story that I didn’t dare to taste it. 

Time passed by and several years later when my wife Anjali gave me that good news, I was so much happy. But I was also little confused, as I never noticed her eating Imli. One day, as I was about to go to the market, I asked her "Should I bring some Imli for you?"

She replied "What will I do with Imli?"

I said "I think you would feel better if you have Imli"

"Are you mad? Go and come back soon"

Well, Anjali had craving for so many things those days, like Ice cream, fish, etc. But I really missed those Imli. I remember one day when she was kind of determined to have Ilish fish(Hilsa). We went to a fish market but couldn’t find any Ilish there and then we visited a different market. That was a tough day and even after few hours of extensive search, we couldn’t find even a single piece of Ilish fish anywhere. Later we went to a well known mall where they still sell wide varieties of fish. But, what the hell? We didn’t get it there as well. Anjali was so upset that moment and she even discussed about the tragedy with few of the customer care executive out there. They politely apologized for the unavailability of Ilish fish and said that the supply was inadequate for the last few weeks. They took her number and said they would call her as soon as the very next Ilish supply comes. After a few days, they actually called her and Anjali prepared the typical and yummy Ilish fish recipe with mustard, that day.  



57 comments:

  1. good one!! i lost somewhere in my memories...

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    1. Thanks Kranti :) Glad U enjoyed the post and could refresh Ur good old memories !!

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  2. Hahaahah..Your Bollywood theory didn't went well in your real life I guess.. :-P
    Nevertheless I really hate Imli because of it's sour taste--I don't know why people love them

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    1. Yes Harsha :) We missed the Bollywood side of Imli. Even I can't eat Imli but looks tempting sometimes!

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  3. LOL :) That was a good one :) Yeah bollywood movies usually associate Kaccha Aam and Imli with "good news" in the family :) When I was pregnant, I loved eating Imli chocolates but now I can't even bear to look at them ;)

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    1. Aha! U loved to eat Imli in some form those days. So, Bollywood is not fully wrong :) So glad U enjoyed the post !!

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  4. Hindi films really have a way to grow on us and as kids I think we feel that all that happens in movies is so true. Coming to think about this even I never felt the imli craving. As a kid when we used to watch movies and the famous imli scene would come, my mom would say " she is pregnant", after a while when the lady would be shown with a big belly, I would be so surprised and say " Mom how did you know". I was in my 7th when I understood how she found out. Good post and as usual the humor was at its best.

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    1. Yes, Bollywood usually have a deep impact on kids. I think now days the industry is matured enough. Nice to know that even U also have a Imli story as a child. So glad U enjoyed the post Sheeba !!

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  5. Jahid, I already made my Shirt( read correctly not the Pant) wet. The very name of Imli( we call Tentul) did it. There is a proverb " Aam e Dhan, Tentul e Baan" mean The year with plenty of mangoes, Paddy shall be plenty and the year of Imli is marked by Flood. The affinity towards the taste of organic acids during pregnancy varies. It also may be due to several other factors. I saw Ilish fish always at Total Mall, the one just opposite to Cloud Nine hospital near Indiranagar. Your wife must be Bengali or from Assam. We like Illish like mad. You are a good climber. But your talent possibly rusted in Bangalore. Very nice gripping narration, Like a good sweet dish or well cooked Illish I licked it off course with flood of water in my mouth.

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    1. Haha.. Pradip :) really enjoyed ur comment. We usually buy fish from SPAR(now Auchan). So glad U enjoyed the Imli story. Well, my wife is basically a north Indian, born and brought up in Shillong and did her graduation from Assam. Thanks a lot for visiting out here !!

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  6. Very well-written post, you are such a good writer :)

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    1. Thanks Aunt Mary :) That's so nice of U !!

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  7. Enjoyed reading this post Jahid. Imli brings back a lot of memories for me too. Since i grew up in Bangalore, my friends and I used to pluck it off the trees in our school (Sophia's .. had a lot of tamarind trees). Fun read :)

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    1. Thanks Pallavi :) glad U enjoyed the post and could refresh ur childhood Imli memories. U must had great fun during ur school days !!

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  8. Enjoyed the imli story and your belief through Bollywood. Couldn't help laughing at your wife's reaction to your suggestion.

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    1. Thanks KayEm, glad U enjoyed the imli story and had a laugh as well. Thanks a lot for visiting out here !!

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  9. Nice, Jahid. There's an Odia fish dish that's prepared from Imli! Yummy! :)

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    1. Thanks Anita, glad U enjoyed the post. Nice to know about Odia fish dish :)

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  10. Imliiiiiii....I just love it hahaha but u r not the only one for the Bollywood typical scenario! it just reminds me of time when I used to tell few seniors in my boarding school... Oh imli...jii machal raha hai kya????hahaha

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    1. Haha.. U are correct :) Bollywood usually have a deep impact on many of us. U must had a great time in Ur boarding school !!

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  11. Love your memories of imli. Personally, I can't stand eating it raw with salt even though it grows in abundance in my village. Love imli ka chutney and teekha bhujiya. You should try it sometime :)

    P.S. I am hosting a giveaway with some amazing prizes on my blog http://munniofalltrades.blogspot.in/2013/11/a-fantabulously-fantastic-giveaway.html. Hope you participate!

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    1. Thanks Khushboo Ji :) Glad U liked the Imli story. i also like Imli chutney and pickle as well. Oh! U r giving prizes!!

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    1. Thanks Gowtham, glad U enjoyed the post !!

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  13. I love imlis..and coincidentally just had a few yesterday:-)..

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    1. Oh! U like to have Imli these days. Everything OK na? :)

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  14. Imli brings amazing memories back from my childhood days. Outside my school, we had some sort of "chooran" guy who would give imli with variety of salts. :D Yummy it was, though my mom always yelled at me after I had them.
    This a beautifully written post. You have woven various time spans of your life very well. :D

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    1. Nice to know about Ur childhood Imli story. Glad U enjoyed the post and could refresh Ur good old memories !!

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  15. Ilmi is stringed with our hearts... <3 It's something my mother and my grandmother would talk about with utter excitement. :)

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    1. Hehe.. quite true Namarata :) Thanks a lot for dropping by !!

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    1. Glad U enjoyed the post Noopur :) Thanks a lot for visiting out here !!

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  17. Your curiosity based on typical bollywood scenes was really funny but also cute. It’s rare when we get to know the husband’s side of story in the happy days and it was refreshingly nice.

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    1. Haha.. Yamini :) Bollywood theories influenced many of us. Glad U enjoyed the post !!

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    1. Hehe.. Shwetabh :) Glad U enjoyed the post. Thanks a lot for visiting out here !!

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  19. You have a great blog. I have nominated you for the versatile blogger award. Collect your award here. http://theconchblower.blogspot.in/2013/11/versatile-blogger-award.html

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    1. Thanks Kiran, so glad U like my blog. Congrats for winning a versatile award and thanks a lot for nominating my blog for the award. It's a pleasure and an honor for me !!

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  20. A good one to read.. The picture of fish curry at the end looks so delicious.. it might have been so mouth watering..

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    1. Thanks Swati :) Glad U enjoyed the post. Yeah, it's the famous fish dish and really mouth watering !!

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    1. Thanks Mukhtiar Bhai :) Glad U enjoyed the post !!

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  22. Your post and Mr.pradip's comment are quite informative and interesting.Even Imli will be proud of this post!

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    1. Hello Vijai, Glad U found the post interesting. Yes, Imli would would be proud of this post :) Thanks a lot for visiting out here !!

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    1. Thanks Rahul, glad U liked the post. Thanks a lot for visiting out here !!

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  24. Wonderful Imli post! I love Imlis and whenever I use it to prepare sambar (I am from Mangaluru), I usually taste a small piece of it :) Mm... !

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    1. Aha! so U'r Mangalorean. Yes, many girls can't resist imli I guess :) So glad U enjoyed the imli post Sindhu. Thanks for dropping by !!

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  25. Good One. Very interesting and wonderful post jahid

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    1. Thank you so much. Glad U enjoyed the post and thanks a lot for dropping by !!

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  26. Hahaha, can see how bollywood influences people, good one Jahid

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    1. Yes Jhashar, Bollywood often influences us a lot :) Glad you enjoyed the post and thanks a lot for visiting out here !!

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  27. hahahaha..jahid...totally sympathyse with your wife... I was obsessed with ketchup...on everything...including strawberry icecream...today I am totally cured of strawberry icecream...my son loves ketchup though

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  28. You reminded me of my college days. There was a tamarind tree in front of the entrance of my college. There used to be a crowd of girls under the tree, as everyone wanted a share of imli. I used to enter the college only when I got my daily dose of imli :D Now living in metropolitan city I feel bad for my children as they hardly ever came to know various trees and vegetation. As a result my daughter loves to eat imli toffee ;/
    Very interesting post.

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