A familiar face in Indian households, Amrita Prakash started her acting career when she was four years old. Since then, she has appeared in numerous television commercials and serials. At 14, she co-anchored one of India's first reality shows with Sonali Bendre, and has shared screen space with Amrita Rao in Sooraj Barjatya's Vivah. The common element on all of Amrita's shooting sets has been Kadhi Chawal, a dish her mother, Rashmi, lovingly prepares each time.
Catch the mother-daughter duo make the recipe of Amrita's favourite kadhi chawal with Chef Pallavi Nigam Sahay on Amma Superstar on Living Foodz. The episode airs on July 10 at 2.30 pm. Watch the repeat telecast at 5 pm and 8 pm.
Amrita's relationship with her mother's kadhi chawal goes back to when she was a child as she impatiently waited in the kitchen for the kadhi to be ready. "It is a staple dish in my house. It is something I have grown up eating," says the 31-year-old. Recollecting her earliest memories of the meal, she talks about annual summer vacation visits to her maternal grandparents in Jaipur. "Flights were not that common at the time so after a long train journey, when we reached my grandparents' house, kadhi chawal was the first thing we were served with." Going back generations, Rashmi picked up the recipe for kadhi chawal from her own mother. "There are different types of kadhi," says Amrita, "The one that my mom makes is the Rajasthani variation."
The delicacy followed Amrita in school when Rashmi learned that she was refusing to eat anything else that was packed in her school tiffin. "When I am unwell, mom makes kadhi. She knows it is the only way to get me to eat. It is my go-to food," says the Mumbai-based actor. When Amrita was in Kerala for a shoot, she happened to tell her mother that she wasn't liking the set food. Voila! Rashmi took the next flight to Kerala and reached Amrita's set with a hot meal of kadhi chawal. Amrita says Kadhi Chawal is her comfort food. And wouldn't we all want our comfort food to accompany us where ever we go? There's nothing like comfort food to instantly take us back to a feeling of familiarity and make us feel at ease.
As Amrita's favourite kadhi chawal began accompanying her everywhere she went, it started attracting more fans. "Initially, when it's a new set and I don't know anyone, I carry a small dabba. Eventually, when we start having lunch together, the dabba size and number of dabbas begins to increase. Before I know it, I am taking dabbas for my entire unit," she says. Sharing a running joke from her sets, Amrita says, "Everyday I take a massive lunch basket to work. The joke is that I have more khaana in my basket than Bangladesh!" After all these years, Amrita is certain that if it's her mom's kadhi, the dabbas will be "licked clean". In fact, it's such a favourite that echoes of "aaj kadhi aayi hain" spread like wildfire on Amrita's sets.
Through Amma Superstar, Amrita wanted to give her mother a platform to showcase her expertise. "Loving, feeding and nurturing people is her expertise and I wanted her to be appreciated for it." While Amrita picked up her mother's love for cooking, she says she will never learn how to make kadhi. "So that she can always keep making it for me..."
Watch Amma Superstar on Living Foodz every Tuesday and Wednesday at 2.30 pm. Catch the repeat telecast every Tuesday and Wednesday at 5 pm and 8 pm.
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