'Lord Livingstone 7000 Kandi'! What an odd name, thought many movie buffs. But then, we also knew that no one else other than writer-director Anil Radhakrishnan Menon would name his movie in such a unique way. His last release's title (Sapthamashree Thaskaraha) too got us to exercise our tongue quite a bit.
But such wackiness wasn't expected when I asked what was his favourite dish cooked by his mother Jayashree.
“I am from Ottappalam and Amma cooks everything; she is a great one at it. Obviously, I like everything she prepares, but if you want me to pick a favourite, 'moru ozhicha ayalacurry' (Mackerel curry with seasoned buttermilk) would be it,” Anil Radhakrishnan said to our amusement.
But buttermilk and fish are not supposed to be consumed together right? “Oh yes, I know they say that. But this one by Amma is 'onnonnara' curry! (onnonnara curry = one-and-a-half curry, literally put. 'Onnonnara' is a Malayalam slang used to indicate that it is way above the perfect).
The quirky dishes his mother makes do not stop with the buttermilk-mixed fish curry. Dried prawns with mango and moringa (drumstick) is another one of his dearest delicacies that comes from mother's kitchen.
“At home, we always have fish items. I am a big fan of Amma's fish molly and fish peera,” Anil adds.
The director had earlier said that it was his mother who helped him write his movie scripts in Malayalam. Now, we also know that she is a superstar in the kitchen too.
According to the filmmaker, his mother inherited these interesting fish recipes from his grandmother. “Not just Kerala cuisine, Amma cooks other dishes too—North Indian, continental and so on. She also bakes, makes tandoori items and barbecue; we do it all at home,” he says.
Upon insisting the director to name a dish made by his mother that he loved the most as a child, Anil Radhakrishnan recalls “The puddings that she used to make. Caramel custard is one of them”.
His mother has passed on the recipes to his wife Sharada who is also a great cook. “Amma now cooks whenever she feels like cooking something, mostly for special occasions,” Anil tells us.
Did he ever cook for his mother? “I cooked for myself when I was in Pune, I've have never cooked for my family yet. Maybe I should surprise Amma and my wife once by cooking something for them.”
Why not this Mother's Day? “Someday,” he says and we get that he does not need the tag of Mother's Day to express his gratitude to his mother for all that she is to him.