Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Right now...

...... I'm craving the food generally served at Maharashtrian Weddings. I was never a fan of this food when I was kid, begging my mom to take me out for a Pav-Bhaji instead whenever my sorry ass was dragged to a wedding.

(Long linktastic pointless post ahead. With the potential of being incomprehensible to Non-Maharashtrians. Do proceed with caution.)

But for the fact that I haven't 'attended' (they are always attended, never celebrated or enjoyed!) a proper Marathi wedding in years, I found myself craving the very same. Last night, I had a vivid dream about that thali. I drooled over the colors, could feel the flaky Puris and cold Bhajis* under my fingers. I looked down at my fingers squeezing a wedge of lemon over steaming hot rice and Sadhavaran* and could almost taste it. The dream was made more poignant by the fact that I haven't been able to visit Pune for some time and it doesn't look like I will anytime soon. The cousins and friends, in an ultimate act of revenge for me being annoying decided that the best season to get married was whatever season I'm not around. So I'm having me a pity party with visions of Basundi and Batatyachi Bhaji dancing in my head.

I miss...

The Pangat- Rows and rows of gleaming thalis, already glistening with a green chutney, pinch of salt, lemon quarters, bhajis, pickles, Koshimbir, broken pieces of Papad and snowy white Kurdayi*.

Fluffy puris, that release a cloud of steam on being poked.

Maharashtrian style Batata bhaji and Alu cha Rassa.

The Sadhavaran-Tup-Bhaat at the beginning of a Marathi meal. Sadhavaran is nothing but plain toor dal, unadorned by annoying tadka or masalas. Steaming white rice, shaped in Muud(mound) is slapped on to the thali, then some Sadhavaran is ladled out of a big bucket onto the mounds. Close on the heels comes a Ghee guy, guarding a small silver pot of tup/ghee, stingily doling out one teaspoon per person.

Usal- The only one qualified enough to make an appearance. Birdyachi Usal.

Mattha -Steel bowls of Mattha to wash everything down.

And to round off the meal...

Basundi-Thick, pale yellow, almost custardy Basundi, fragrant with cardamom and saffron, dotted with slivers of malai.

This is all I want from life. For now.

Bhaji- Pakoras
Sadhavaran- Plain yellow dal
Koshimbir- Salad, in this case it would usually be cucumber, chopped fine, mixed with curds, groundnut powder, and chillies.
Kurdai- Fried wheat snack, akin to papad


Varsha Vipins

U r from Pune??I was there for 1 year ,working .I still remember the last time ,that was for Ganesh Chathurthi,when my landlord,took pity on my poor lone soul n gave me a full fledged thali lunch.I loved the Dal n of course those fries r to die for..there were many other things..but cant quite remember the names now..u took me to those old pune days..Guess,I miss Pune..:)


I miss Pune too Varsha...

Sheetal Kiran

Thali. Just that word meant that my sister and I could start groaning and whining in general. And how we didn't really care for it. My parents of course never paid heed to any of it.

A decade later I can't wait to squeeze that lime wedge over my varan-bhaat. Scoop that batatyachi bhaaji in the folds of that golden, fluffed up puri. Have seconds and thirds of the basundi. Sigggghh. I could go on and on ...


Sheetal, your words are not helping the acute longing!!!!!!!!!!


I've never been to an Indian wedding but I would love to see one and eat all the wonderful food.


I hope you get to see an Indian wedding soon Jessica, and as for the food, all you have to do is hop over to Jersey City. I make a mean puri-subzi, I've been told :)


Waran, toop, baath was my favorite childhood meal.

We have been in the US for most of my life but I still remember our visits to Pune and Solapur.

My kaku in Pune made THE BEST puran polis...yummy.

Thanks for the (now vague) memories.

taste memory

what a lovely description of the wedding buffet! it's amazing when our palate longs for past taste memories: sweet spicy pungent savory....all that you described! lovely thoughts ~ thank you for sharing them


Desimom, varan-bhaat-tup is home, comfort, mommy...everything that is good and blessed.

Taste Memory, your writing inspires me so your words are precious. :)

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