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Sydney, Australia
My musings and meanderings on childhood - mine juxtaposed with that of my kids'. Everyday incidents and images from our life in Sydney turn my thoughts towards my own wonder years growing up in Bandra, Bombay, India.

24 June 2013

"Fried Farts and Dried Onions"

"Mum, what's for breakfast?"

This is the first thing C2 says to me each and every morning as he and his sister slip into our bed for Family Cuddles before the frenetic pace of the daily grind overtakes us. Now, my kids eat like sparrows, so their interest in the breakfast menu baffles me. Anyhow, depending on what day of the week it is, my reply is:
  • Bircher muesli
  • Cereal
  • Soojee (semolina porridge)
  • Toast with butter and jam (for C1) or Nutella (for C2)
  • Baked beans on toast
  • Quinoa porridge with dates and walnuts
  • Eggs with the works (weekends)
  • French toast (weekends)

  • What's for brekkie? French Toast with Rhubarb Compote

However, today I took a page out of my Nana Evelyn's book...
You see, when I was little and lived under my Nana's roof, my cousins and I would often ask Nana about lunch as she chopped and stirred in the kitchen. Our interest was piqued earlier on when the maid arrived to grind the masala for the curry. Sitting on our haunches besides her, we'd watch the ginger-garlic-chillies and assortment of spices and herbs being slowing but systematically being pulverised to a smooth paste on the black paata (grinding stone); mesmerised by the rhythmic back and forth, back and forth, back and forth motion....
“What's for lunch, Nana?” we’d inquire. 
  • Kichidi with vindaloo mince
  • Potato chops with pea pulao
  • Beef pepper curry
  • Chowli (black eyed peas) with cutlets
  • Pomfret or prawn curry (it had to be fish on Fridays as we adhered to the 'abstinence from meat' rule)...
But, once in a blue moon, just when we'd least expect it, Nana, in a deadpan voice would say, "Fried farts and dried onions."
And return to her cooking.

We'd look at each other a tad uncertain; a bit incredulous...
Had too much wax clogged our eardrums? Had our Nana just said "fart" out loud?? How could this be???
After all, Nana was the matriarch of the Pereira family who was very strict with our manners and morals. She went to church everyday while she still had her eyesight; she watched our Ps and Qs; she said five rosaries a day; she never had an ill word to say about anyone...
This coming from her was almost... blasphemous!
And then we'd see the twinkle in her eye and all dissolve in fits of giddy giggles.
And it even after 30-odd years, "fried farts and dried onions" still had the same effect on my kids this morning...

So tell me, what do you usually eat for breakfast – is it same-same everyday or do you crave variety like my family does? Do you recall anything about your grandma's cooking – good, bad or funny? Does your family have secret family recipes? Do you cuddle up with your kids before the day begins or while tucking them into bed at night?


  1. Dried farts & friend onions with a lot of E I masala !!1 try it out they ask for nomo !!!

    1. I wonder if Nana said this to all the grandkids, event the older ones? And did her children carry on the 'Fried Farts & Dried Onions' tradition??

    2. i like that 'dried farts and fried onions' oh its struggle everyday innovating something new for breakfast, but i try hard inspite of having to go to work, thanks to my amazing nanny who is srilankan and knows to cook indian food well, yes i tuck my kids most of the days, with lots of kisses and hugsss

    3. I have no idea how working mums juggle everything, Nancy, so hats off to you. I hope your twins appreciate all your "double" effort with them.

  2. Always a delight to read your posts, particularly about your dear Nana. Will never forget interviewing her for a class assignment. Wonderful woman. I never got to know my own grandmother's that well unfortunately. The few memories I have are worth a million. Love this.

    1. Thanks Abi! Oh yes, you did interview her! Totally forgot abt that. Don't worry too much about not getting a chance to know your own grandmas - you have so many wonderful sisters with whom you have such a special bond.

  3. Where I live in Pennsylvania, U.S.A., it's called fried farts and garlic. My Dad said it all the time in the 1940's and 50's.


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