Wednesday, January 4, 2012

In loving memory of Maria

The reason I have been absent from blogging for a while is because on New Year's Eve, I lost one of my best friends, Maria, after her two-year battle against pancreatic cancer. Before she got sick, I used to talk about turmeric and other spices and their antioxidant properties. She used to laugh about my home remedies. When she come to know about the disease, I went to visit her. It was an emotional visit as expected, but in the middle of all those emotions, I couldn't help laughing after seeing turmeric tablets in her medicine arsenals. If this many pundits are raving about turmeric and spices why not include them in your daily intake?

During her two years of battle with cancer, I used to visit her regularly. Each time before I visit, I would call her and ask what I could bring. The answer was always the same, lemon rice.  From time to time, I would joke saying that I published a cookbook with more than 260 recipes and lemon rice is not the only thing I can make. But her request would be the same each time- lemon rice. After going through all that radiation and chemotherapy, she would lose all of her appetite, but when she saw the lemon rice she always had a little appetite for lemon rice. It might be because of the sharp taste of lime flavor was stimulating her taste buds, or the anti nausea effect of ginger, and other spices used in this recipe. Whatever reason might have been, lemon rice always brought back her appetite and a smile on her face. 

Towards the end of her life, I used to cut down on chilies to make this recipe.
You can read about turmeric and get the recipe for lemon rice here.

 I don't know what causes cancer exactly, we can blame it on pollution, over processed food or lack of fiber in our diet and so on.

For now, how about eating a low fat, high fiber diet and exercising regularly for better health?

Needless to say I will miss making lemon rice for my sweet friend, Maria. 

For more memorable centerpieces, tablescapes, and recipes (including vegetarian, gluten free and vegan recipes), please check out my book, Entertaining From an Ethnic Indian Kitchen, at my website

I am joining Tablescape Thursday and Foodie Friday.


  1. I am so sorry for your loss. It's always heartbreaking especially when you have been through the process together. The Lemon rice looks fabulous and I will be making this! xo marlis

  2. I'm so sorry for your loss. I look forward to making the lemon rice.

    You've been awarded the versatile blogger award, stop by the market to learn more.

  3. What a lovely story you wrote about your dear friend Maria. I'm sorry for your loss; I'm sure you'll miss her dearly. I hope she left you with a sweet memory so that each time you make Lemon Rice you think of her--forever. I hope your memories of her make the loss a bit less painful. ~Zuni

  4. Hi Komali,
    I am also very sorry about your loss. The elder we get the more friends we loose that way. But they go just a bit earlier the way, we all will follow once. So lovely that you joined your friend Maria and could help with some natural medicine. I am sure she enjoyed your friendship during her illness very much. The lemon rice looks really tempting.
    Best greetings, Johanna

  5. i m must be having hard time...ya we can always make small improvements in our daily life and that would certainly be useful in the long run...

  6. My heart goes to you and to your friend and her family. I'm so sorry for all of you. My best friend died from a rare form of cancer when she was 26 years old. It was horrible for all of us. Although its been almost 20 years, I still miss her every day. How lucky your friend was to have you and your lemon rice. My friend could only eat honeydew melon, which to this day reminds me of her. I have read about the benefits of turmeric and try to include it in my family's diet. I can't wait to try this recipe.

  7. How hard to lose a special friend! You were a dear friend to her, especially during her illness, making her favorite dish. Thank you for the link to Lemon Rice!

  8. I am so sorry about the loss of your friend. It is a very sad way to start the New Year. A dear friend lost her husband to pancreatic cancer at this time last year. I pray that they find a way to stop that horrible disease. I am glad she found comfort in your company and in your lemon rice.

  9. Sorry for your loss, Komali. Your post was a nice tribute to her. I love your Lemon Rice -- how wonderful that it brought your friend some happiness and much-needed comfort.

  10. So sorry about your friend. It is the one cancer they say there has been no improvement in 40s more people need to donate for research. What wonderful recipe. Love pomagranites. Cant wait to try the recipe.


  11. Hi, I read your blogs like every week. Your writing style is awesome, keep up the good work!