Wednesday, August 1, 2012

The case of the magical Doodhi .....

In a world where eating out is acceptable and even routine, you will never find this proletarian, light vegetable being served in restaurants. Bottle Gourd, or Lauki/Doodhi, as it is called in various parts on India, and my blogger friend Shruti Nargundkar of Melbourne writes a wonderful blogpost  ,  describing this vegetable preparation of her childhood.

 Which incidentally is exactly the way it was made in my childhood and still is.

It probably will not make it to Masterchef anywhere (India, Australia and so on);  but no amount of fancy "plating", presentations, and secret ingredients can beat a simple doodhi sabji with chana dal and peanuts, garnished with coriander and shredded coconut, and eaten with a piping hot phulka, which sheds its tears of happiness as melted golden ghee.....

(Photo by Shruti Nargundkar)

The paneerized Mercedes man
rough shod
on smooth table tops,
changing gears
on sighting
tandoorized chicken
spicily grooving amidst
red sizzling
tamasi forests,
moves on
to emerge
out of the ghat tunnel
and takes the Right Turn.

An old cottage,
an older Mom,
an even older lap
to lay his tired head on,
and he stops,
switches off, and
lunches on
hot phulkas with
Chanadal Doodhi Bhaji,
with a glass of chhaas,
watched indulgently by the
approving Kothimbir,
and Mirchi ladies
and dashing Kadhipatta,
who helped with it all.

Yes, they serve best
who only stand and wait.....

1 comment:

  1. A great life lesson in a lauki! I have often wondered at why this versatile vegetable is scorned by the restaurants and the connoisseurs alike. We have it at least twice a week if not more, in various avatars.