Friday, February 22, 2013

It's Bharli Wangee, Mate !

My friend, Shruti Nargundkar of Melbourne, on a recent visit to the land of her birth, and childhood, lugged back a few traditional vessels to her modern Australian Kitchen. One of these , called Langdi, (see picture below) , goes back a long way and is typically used whenever you make Bharli Wangi, or spicy stuffed baby aubergines/eggplant/brinjal.

Do read her memories and her recipe here

Long after the aubergines disappear, the real fun starts. Wiping and scraping of all the spicy goods stuck to the langdi, with a no-nonsense mixture of rice and ghee, which is then imbibed and licked off , with a great sense of satisfaction......

Bharli wangees often inspire poetry . Once in Marathi. Then again in English,  for the aubergine types. :-)

All photographs by Shruti Nargundkar.


लंगडी, रोवळीताई, परात अम्मा ,
फिर्कीताम्ब्याताई आणि कढईबाई ,
माळ्यावरच्या अनेक पंचवार्षिक वनवासानंतर
अचानक प्रगटल्या,
आणि कुणा एका

माहेरवाशीण लेकीला बघून
भाकरी , भरली वांगी, मसाले भात
कढी वगैरे चे दिवस त्यांना आठवू लागले.

हट्टाला पेटून लंगडी परदेशी गेली,
तिला अगदी अंबेजोगाईहून मलबार हिलला
गेल्या सारखे वाटले …

चकचकीत सफेद प्लेट्स ,
पारदर्शक नक्शीवले बाउल ,
पदार्थ न चिकटणारी पातेली,
आणि काट्या चमच्यांचा संसार .

अचानक एके दिवशी ती ओट्यावर आली,
आतुरतेने शेगडीवर गेली,
आणि छोट्या छोट्या भरलेल्या वान्ग्यांबरोबर
तीळ ,खोबरे , दाणे आणि कांद्यात
अगदी रमून गेली.
चुलीवरचे दिवस,
मधूनच फडक्यांनी हलवलेली लंगडी ,
खाली आडमुठेपणाने चिकटलेला मसाला,
सगळ डोळ्यासामोर तरळले

जेवणे झाली ,
मंडळी उठली, आणि
आवरा आवर करता करता
लंगडीला नेहमीचा जुना भास झाला …
थोडासा भात तिच्यात घालून
चापून चोपून मसाला पुसून
माहेरवाशीण डोळे मिटून
तृप्त मनाने घास घेत होती.

इकडे माळ्यावर
पराताम्मा आणि कढइबाई
अगदी कृतकृत्य झाल्या

 Traditional langdi vessels
along with
those with wide brass expanses,
and slopes
and threaded adorned necks,
rushing down
from a family loft
to welcome home
a prodigal daughter
from Down Under.

the incorrigible langdi,
tagging along
with the daughter
on her way back.

A bit intimidated
by a world
of china, crystal,
forks, spoons
vessels shooing away
sticky food,
she took her time
to emerge.

On the stove
one day,
immersed in deep conversation
with sesame,
and onion minions,

in and out
of the sizzling baby aubergines,
she dreamt of her days
on a mud stove,
someone holding and shaking her
using a cloth,
and some spices
sticking loyally to her.

The meal over,
folks left
to clear up
and she thought
she felt something.
That took her back
many many years....

The prodigal daughter,
was wiping her
remaining sticky spices,
with a decent dollop
of rice and ghee,
and imbibing it all
licking her clean,
with single minded

Back home,
all her friends
from the loft,
now in retirement,
sort of nudged each other
and couldn't contain a smile.....

The Langdi had arrived Down Under !


  1. wonderful, as usual!!! i cant stop being amazed at how you manage to make each photo seem so much more than it is!!!

  2. Suranga Tai - you continue to pamper me with maherpun from across seven seas! :)


    1. Dont laugh. But it just occurred to me, that with all the weird names of outback type places one hears of in Australia, BharliWangi may be an excellent name choice, should you decide to stay in the outback. :-)

  3. Your imagination flies all the time, Suranga! Do you ever sleep peacefully?! All the surrounding things must be speaking to you!

    I love brinjal in any form!

    1. I guess it happens because I keep flying on that broom....... :-)