aubergine chips with smokey tomato compote

{aubergine chips w/ smoky tomato compote} via chevrons & éclairs

“Ba” n. grandmother in Gujarati

She is 87. She is one of 4 sisters and one brother. I used to peek through tired eyes in the morning as she impressively braided, twisted and secured her hair in a bun every morning. So perfectly intact and not a single pin in sight. Her patience is something I acquired and I’m quite fond of. She was also a young mother of three kids and was a teacher in Zambia too so she has opinions and perspective that she doesn’t waver from. She is both private and loquacious in a way I can’t quite describe, but she makes friends wherever she goes and is so, so endearing. Sometimes, however, she was a bit passive and reserved. I guess everyone has those moments, but those are the times that I spent sitting in her lap oftentimes sucking my thumb and getting tangles on the edge of her sari.

I spent much of my childhood by her side, tugging at her sari and playing with those three gold bangles. She probably could even recite the lines of “Honey I Shrunk the Kids” as it was played over and over again. She used to sing to calm me down, a song I hum and sing at times of distress or miss her most… like recently.
 

{aubergine chips w/ smoky tomato compote} via chevrons & éclairs
{aubergine chips w/ smoky tomato compote} via chevrons & éclairs {aubergine chips w/ smoky tomato compote} via chevrons & éclairs

a little more about her…

When I visited her a few years back she needed to hold my hand when she got up after sitting for too long or read her the fine print. Sometimes I even needed to remind her of who a visitor was, one of her closest and oldest friends. Before I left I gave her an envelope with a few photos for her to keep by her bedside including a picture of me at age 4 in her lap. Living far from family is hard and harder is when you see something so unexpectedly and you immediately think of someone you absolutely adore.

I bring my grandmother up on this post because she absolutely loved aubergine. My grandfather, on the other hand, was quite the contrary when it came to what appealed to his palette. But his flavor combination, he lapped it right up. When my parents were away in the evenings, my grandmother would slowly roast a whole aubergine and carefully spice the slightly charred and surprisingly sweet membrane with cumin, ginger and garlic and topping it off with a fresh tomato. The flavor composition has become a bit of nostalgia layered into it and now reminds me of my childhood, but more prominently, my grandmother. PS – I will be visiting her in just over a month!
 

{aubergine chips w/ smoky tomato compote} via chevrons & éclairs
{aubergine chips w/ smoky tomato compote} via chevrons & éclairs {aubergine chips w/ smoky tomato compote} via chevrons & éclairs

pro tip
squeeze just a bit of fresh lime juice and sprinkle with some fresh coriander
for a bit of freshness and authenticity!

 

{aubergine chips w/ smoky tomato compote} via chevrons & éclairs
{aubergine chips w/ smoky tomato compote} via chevrons & éclairs
{aubergine chips w/ smoky tomato compote} via chevrons & éclairs

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  • Sarah

    I love the story behind this recipe. You have such a gift to write, Supal xxx

  • @queenhorsfall

    what a greta recipe. I need to try it

    http://www.queenhorsfall.com/

  • Paige Allison

    YUM! I never had a relationship with either of my grandmas (both still alive actually) because both my parents hated their mothers. How’s that for American dysfunction? Luckily my mom and I are close and she flies in often to spend time with her grandsons. I hope they get some beautiful memories like you have!

  • What a touching post about your grandmother =o) I know how you feel about living far from family, mine is all in the Czech Republic while I live in Chicago. It can be hard but when you are with them you some of the best memories =o)

    http://dreamofadventures.blogspot.com/

    • Thank you so much and so happy to learn a bit more about you! We can definitely relate with the cultural differences and with family so far away. Do you visit the Czech Republic at all?

  • Tiffany {A Touch of Grace}

    What beautiful memories you have with your grandmother. Reminds me of some of the memories I have with my great-grandmother.

    • Ah that is so sweet! I wish I got to spend more time with my great-grandmother. They both lived in India, so wasn’t too easy to hang out with them!

  • I’m so glad you get to visit her again soon! I know you will get so much from that trip. I definitely remember meals that my grandmother (granny) would cook and what I would give to eat those again. I’m so glad you cherish her.

    • They are the best, aren’t they?! So much more comforting. I think I would hate aubergines if it wasn’t for my grandmother haha.

  • laurie

    this looks amazing and you are a really good writer xo