Sunday, August 12, 2012

Life and Times of the Coconut Paneer Barfi

My blogger and FB friend Shruti Nargundkar of Melbourne,  has a wonderful food related blog, where she often intertwines her childhood memories and ethos  of the cooking , and creates wonderful pictures .

She recently posted  something about a coconut paneer barfi , something to be made on the Rakhi Poornima/Coconut Day celebrations, when sisters tie Rakhis to brothers (see foreground of the plate), and fishermen offer coconuts to the Sea , in gratitude and worship.

It is often fun to attribute a life to all the ingredients.

I tried. Originally in Marathi, the King'(Shivaji)'s Language .  Then , an effort in what is called, the Queen's.

पोर्णिमेच समुद्रस्नान चकवून
घरी आलेला तो नारळ ,
स्वताहाच्या अश्रूंमध्ये बुडलेली
त्याची बहीण साखर ,
 राखीचा सोहळा
बघायला आलेल्या पनीरला
आग्रहाने बोलावतात ,
इलायची इलायची  खूप खेळल्यावर ,
ओलसर उबेत चिंब भिजल्यावर,
दुधाच्या कोरड्या पंचाने
पिठी साखरेच्यासह पुसून
एका मउ गुळगुळीत ठिकाणी
सगळे आरामात  पहुडतात .....

आणि कधीतरी
सोनेरी क्षणात ,
निरांजानासाम्वेत ,
ताम्हनात बसून
कोणा एका हसर्या चेहर्या समोर
शेवटची गिरकी मारून
आत्मसमर्पण .......

तसे क्षणभंगुर ,
पण किती परोपकारी  हे
बर्फीचे आयुष्य  !

A run-away coconut,
playing truant
from the
Fishermens' Full Moon Festival
offering to the sea;
Lady Sugar,
in her own syrupy happy tears,
and they invite
Paneer Kumar
to join in the celebrations....

Wild games of Cardamom-Cardamon,
all stirred up
and warmly entangled
in excitement,
they rest,
in a cool place
a wrap and scrub of
some tough dry
no nonsense
milk and sugar....

And then
in one golden moment,
of the puja thali,
the final flare
of a glowing sweet life,
as they
slowly circle
around a happy brother's face,
to offer their lives,
to see joyful faces
around them.

A short life this,
but what a giving one .....


  1. That was an interesting journey of the runaway coconut from the fishermen's full moon festival to the final flare of the puja thali. Loved the beautiful play of words.

  2. Aren't you just phenomenal! I am truly astounded by your mind's ability to quickly jump to the aid of your heart and whip up beauitful words at command! And the astonishment is laced with great pride when my post happens to contribute in some tiny bit! Thank you Suranga! Ahobhagyam!

  3. You are a dreamer and words are your pets Suranga. This is just brilliant.

  4. Wonderful to recite as one reads - sounds great!!

  5. I don't like coconut, but I like paneer. Your poem has made me want to taste this cpcpnut paneer barfi and figure out where my likes and dislikes lie. Hmmm...

  6. You should make a separate category of recipes in this blog, for they offer such easy to follow recipes in the guise of verse.

    Loved the King's verse more than the Queen's :)