...... 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.
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.
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