About two months after I had my daughter, back in 2014, my in-laws came to visit to meet their first grandchild. As I have mentioned, my mother-in-law is an amazing cook. Soon after she arrived, she started to work tirelessly, cooking for us to stock our fridge and freezer with some of the tastes we loved, knowing that we sometimes struggled to take care of our own needs after caring for our baby girl. Despite repeatedly imploring her to stop cooking and enjoy her time with her granddaughter, she would not and could not. And for weeks after they left, we reaped the benefits of her drive to feed those she loves.
As most first-time moms can likely attest, feeding myself was a second thought at best. My mother-in-law’s spinach pakoras proved to be a godsend. She left me a gallon-size bag of them in the fridge and another bagful in the freezer, along with homemade tamarind sauce. I ate them pretty much every day, at any and all times of day. A pakora is a deep-fried vegetable and as such is supposed to have a crispy exterior, but I relished even a soggy plate of them straight from the microwave. While I sacrificed that texture in order to have them ready to eat them more quickly, their well-rounded spiciness made up for what was lost. They nourished me while I was learning how to take care of my daughter.
My mother-in-law almost always makes us spinach pakoras when we visit. While I love them freshly fried, I still adore taking home a bag of them, and heating them up in the microwave—whether for breakfast, lunch, dinner, or late-night snack. The spicy, soggy patties always remind me of those first spectacular months as a mom.