There may not be a stronger connection to family than food. The taste of your mother’s cooking and smell of your childhood kitchen are undoubtedly etched in your brain, and hopefully some of the dishes she made make their way onto your table today.
Here at SEEMA, we’re honoring our mothers this Mother’s Day by sharing some of our team’s favorite recipes from our moms. We hope they’ll inspire you to get cooking—or to call your mother to say “Happy Mother’s Day.”
Skillet Potato Roast from Seema Kumar
“I love this simple recipe for several reasons: This is a family recipe first made famous (within our family) by my mother’s oldest sister (Pattu Periamma), who taught my mother to to make it often. It’s the perfect recipe when you run out of other options—it is quick, filling, tasty, and filled with carbs. It can also be stretched to feed many hungry young mouths/kids—and while I am an only child, we had a boatload of cousins.
Potatoes have a long shelf life and are available year-round—we always had potatoes in the kitchen. With my Periamma’s and my mother’s open-door mindset, we always had unannounced guests stop by to say hello. They typically arrived hungry or said they were (secretly salivating for a taste of my mother’s quick and delicious meal), and occasionally, they arrived bearing gifts: fresh eggplant they had found in the market, or good-looking green peppers that were begging to be cooked. But more often than not my mother found herself cooking an unplanned meal in a hurry to feed hungry visitors, and with no time to go to the market, it was it was always easy to rustle up a basic potato roast.
Even today, the trusty old potato roast is my go-to when all else fails and I have no time or options left in my refrigerator and pantry. I have since adapted the basic potato roast into hundreds of variations, and my guests always ask that regardless of the menu, that I always make Seema’s famous potatoes. Today I add all kinds of spice blends, both Indian and spices from other cuisines. There are no limits to elevating and dressing up the basic potato roast, except your imagination!”
1 pound small baby potatoes
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
1/4 cup canola oilSalt and pepper
4-5 jalapeno peppers, sliced
4-5 shallots, sliced
1. Boil the potatoes: Wash the potatoes, then put them in a plastic grocery shopping bag and throw it in the microwave for about 8 minutes or until fork-tender. Take out, cool the potatoes slightly, and pee them. It is the easiest way to do it, and you’ll have no dishes to wash. Save or recycle the grocery bag.
2. Heat the oil in a skillet or frying pan. When hot, add the potatoes to the skillet, and to the extent possible keep it in one layer. If it’s a deeper pan, try to cover all potatoes in oil. Don’t crowd the potatoes—do them in batches if possible.
3. Add salt and chili powder and toss carefully to not break the baby potatoes. Remove from pan and arrange in a platter.
4. Stir fry the jalapenos and/or shallots until slightly cooked but still crisp, adding salt at the end. Remove and garnish potatoes with it on top.
Indian Pancakes from Vruti Patel
“As great as the idea of pancakes and waffles sounds, I’ve always preferred savory foods — even in the morning. When I was a kid, my mom whipped these up for me one morning, and I’ve loved them ever since. My mom’s idea to use the ingredients we had at home and make them into something I would specifically like is really thoughtful and is what has made this stick. To this day, there will be random mornings when I come downstairs and my mom will ask, “Should I make you Indian pancakes?” Hungry or not, the answer will always be, ‘Yes!'”
1 cup Belgian Waffle Mix (or any pancake mix)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ginger paste
1/2 teaspoon onion paste
1/4 teaspoon chopped green chilis
Optional: chopped cilantro
1. Follow the instructions on the pancake mix box to add water.
2. Mix in the remaining ingredients.
3. Heat a lightly oiled griddle or frying pan over medium high heat, and pour about 1/4 cup of the batter onto the griddle, spreading it very thin so it ends up crispy.
4. Brown on both sides and serve hot.
Red Pepper Feta Dip from Caitlin Lamb
“I love this recipe because it reminds me of an incredible opportunity I had with my mom years ago. I was invited on a European tour for music students in high school, and my Mom came along. We went all over Europe, but at the end of the trip we got to spend three days in Greece with a much smaller group. My mom and I spent several days wandering around Athens and several Greek islands, ordering meals off of menus that we couldn’t read and trying all sorts of foods that neither of us had ever heard of. She is an incredible cook, so when we got home, she immediately began looking for ways to incorporate the ingredients and recipes we had enjoyed. This red pepper feta dip is something she’s made for a quick, tasty snack ever since!”
8 ounces feta cheese (crumbled or cut into chunks)
1 roasted red pepper, chopped
1/4 cup olive oil (can use garlic olive oil instead of adding fresh garlic
2 tablespoons of red wine vinegar
Garlic, to taste
Combine ingredients in a food processor and blend until fairly smooth, with no large chunks of feta. Serve with warmed pita, pita chips, or fresh veggies.
Home-Style Bananas and Cream from Anika Sharma
“My father was in the Navy so my siblings, my mom, and I were always on the move. Home was wherever the Navy decided it was. So childhood was made up of ability to make quick friends, holding onto stolen moments and resilience. One of my childhood memories is a simple dessert that my mom made. Those days we used to boil the milk so this was made with the fresh heavy cream layer that formed on top. I still make it and hope to pass on this simple joy to my two kids! It also always reminds me that it can take very little to make a joyous memory! Thank you, Mom, and Happy Mother’s Day.”
Fresh cream that comes out of full milk
Beat the cream with a spoon and your hands till it has a consistent texture. Cut bananas into horizontal slides. Sprinkle a couple of spoons of brown sugar on it. Mix the bananas, cream and sugar together, and there you have it!
Pasta With Ham, Peas, and Cream from Karen Palmer
“When I was going into fifth grade, my family moved from New Jersey to Milan, Italy. Even though I was still very young, the food there was a revelation: The vegetables tasted fresher, the cheeses smelled more pungent…and don’t even get me started on the pizza and pasta. One of the dishes that became a regular in my mom’s weeknight repertoire was pasta with heavy cream, ham, and peas. The cream there was thicker and more flavorful, and its rich smoothness was balanced out by the saltiness of the ham and the sweetness of the peas. When we moved back to the U.S. two years later, I would often request it for my birthday dinner. It’s one of my childhood favorites that I would still make for a special occasion. Love you, Mom!”
1 pound farfalle (or other short pasta)
1/2 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 cup thick-cut ham (or prosciutto), cut into thin strips
1 cup frozen or fresh peas
1 cup heavy cream
Kosher salt and fresh-ground black pepper, to taste
Parmesan cheese, for garnish
1. Bring a large pot of heavily salted water to a boil and cook the pasta until al dente. When draining, reserve 1/2 cup of the pasta water.
2. In a skillet, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the ham and cook until slightly crisp, about five minutes. Add the peas and just warm through.
3. Add the heavy cream to the skillet and bring to a simmer. Cook until the cream thickens slightly, about five minutes. Stir in the lemon juice, salt, and pepper.
4. Stir in the pasta and the reserved cooking water to coat. Serve with freshly grated Parmesan cheese and more black pepper.
We hope you enjoyed these recipes. Do you have a favorite mom recipe? Please share it and tag us: @seema @seemanetwork @seemafood