Friday, August 21, 2015

Great "Expectations"......

At a time when politicians and power hungry types are excelling at dividing the country by pitting states vs states,  religions vs religions,  and  lies vs truth,  a bunch of ladies on FB form a group for discussing Traditional food,  welcome ladies across all the states, regardless of language, and suddenly find there is so much common in the food they imbibe, perhaps prepared a bit differently and called by interesting different names..

Waran Phal in Maharashtra, Dal Dhokli in Gujarat, and something called Dal Pithi in UP, is all about comfort food;  flat pieces of rolled out wheat dough , floating and cooking , in spiced dahls and then enjoyed by the bowlful,  with dollops of ghee and possibly, slurps...

You also end up learning some new nomenclature based on the shape and architecture of the dhoklis floating in the dal. :-) . This particular nomenclature , "Dulhan",  native to eastern UP. 

At the end of the day, regardless of the geography, it's comfort food ......

Tomboy Atta bai
wild in doughy teenage,
slowly settling down

under the guidance
of the
supremely shapely rolling pin.

Kabhi square and conservative,
kabhi folded,
secretive and stuffed,
she comes to life
in a dal
boiling in excitement,
tickled golden with spices,
and sometimes
in the company
of seasonal veggie ladies.

And then,
a coming of age
as Dal Pithi,
with ghunghat covering
the Dulhan face,
and lovely lentil paste
maturing inside
what is simply
the pregnant dulhan,
fluttering her
kadhipatta jeera
at the stirring spoon
to the tune of
"Konitari Yenaar yenaar ga..."***

*** Marathi for "Hamare ghar koi mehmaan ane wala hai...."