Sarika tells us how she was born two months too soon to share her birthday with St. Valentine. The author reminisces and romances her birthday celebrations, the simple joys, her growing up in a small city, in Assam, the people who departed as she moved on with her journey of life. How her husband serenades her with love and gala dinners. A poem her son composes for her – the beauty and splendour of life. How she baked rice chocolate cupcakes (gluten free) for her class kids. Life is full of beautiful moments. Make the cupcakes she made at home and enjoy love in your own way. Here’s the recipe, in the weekly column, exclusively for Different Truths.
Apart from all this 14 February Halla Bol, it was my birthday too. Yes! Probably my parents had no clue about the importance of the day, but as time passed they realised the importance of the day and felt good.
The best part is my friends and relatives hardly missed my birthday.
According to Maa, I was supposed to born on April, but I popped up suddenly, almost two months before. While the medical terminology is ‘a pre-mature baby’, I see that I was in a hurry to be born of the day love is celebrated, the world over.
During our childhood days, birthdays were about delicious payesh – a rice pudding, my favourite dishes and a new dress. I always looked forward to baba’s gift – a thing so close to my heart! And a small party with my friends.
After my marriage, my husband tries to make it the best possible celebration. So, he has rightfully clubbed it my birthday with the Valentine’s Day celebrations.
This year also he took us, my son and me, for a gala dinner. My son wrote a beautiful poem for me. What more can I ask from life!
Every birthday reminds me of many people whom I lost during my journey into life. A few days ago, one of my uncles, whom I know since childhood passed away. He was 85. Death is natural. Still, every loss creates a void.
That uncle used to talk about his motherland – Bangladesh. Though he left it when he was in his teens. Jethu, as we called uncle used to share his childhood stories, his schools, college, teachers, and most important, the food he loved. He spent more than 70years in India, still he was very much attached to his roots. That’s where his soul was!
Roots are very important for everyone. It is very important where we are born, where we grew. These build the lasting foundations of our life.
My early age might not be filled with fancy gifts or chocolates or pizzas but it was filled with lots of love, care, unorganised time, nap, drenched-in-the-rain, festivals, homemade food – where life has been way simpler! Born in a small town in Assam, where people didn’t care about how much rich a person is, which religion he belongs to, where trust is something that everyone has had. That small town upbringing really helped me to settle anywhere on the earth. It also reminds me a quote by Tom Stoppard, “If you carry your childhood with you, you never become older.”
Coming to my birthday celebrations, like every year, this year also I took off from my school and decided to celebrate with my small family. Next day, without any fail I baked some rice chocolate cupcakes for my class kids. They loved it.
Am sharing the recipe here.
Rice Chocolate Cupcake
Prep time: 20mins Cook time: 15 mins
- 1 1/3 cups rice powder
- 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 3 tablespoons butter, room temperature
- 1 1/2 cups sugar
- 2 eggs
- 3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 cup milk
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 C)
Line a muffin pan with paper.
Sift together the rice powder, baking powder, baking soda, cocoa, and salt. Set aside.
In a large bowl, cream together the butter and sugar until fluffy.
Add the eggs one at a time, beat well, one by one and then add the vanilla.
Now, add the rice powder mixture alternately with the milk; beat perfectly.
Fill the cups and bake for 15 minutes in the preheated oven, or until a toothpick comes out clean.
Enjoy delicious cupcakes!
Footnote: A gluten-free diet is a diet that excludes gluten, a protein composite found in wheat, barley, rye, and all their species and hybrids. This recipe is gluten-free as no wheat has been used.
©Sarika Sarkar Das
Photos by the author.
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A teacher, day dreamer, random experimental cook and some hit and miss photography, and at last love to call myself a full time mother.