My mother was a fabulous cook, it was from both her and my father, who loved his food and who was a hobby cook that I learnt to love cooking and the magic that can be created with spices. Mom made amazing curries, traditional vegetables, idli's, dosa's and chutneys. We were spoilt as far as food goes, because even the day to day food she cooked, was awesome.. And to think I used to be a poor eater when I was a kid...such a waste. Now I crave for the same stuff.
The two ingredient's mom was most generous with were time and love. Spices were always freshly ground, where roasting spices was required...she would roast each spice separately till our whole house would be permeated with wafting aromas of them. Most of our food was coconut curry based, which already requires time for grating and grinding, yet, for some dishes she would grind ingredients separately or add ingredients in phases. There were times I used to tease her about it, since everything is going to be mixed anyway, why do this at all? Her logic was that the flavors come out better, and it did..