Sunday, September 6, 2015


Make My Blog WIN for BlogAdda Awards

Our country is so rich in numerous languages and colloquial phrases, and not all of these are translatable.

And so , it was a challenge when a friend  from  a group called Rediscovering  Traditional Maharashtrian Cuisine (of which I am a member)  asked about the meaning of a typical Marathi word to describe certain foods after they are cooked. The word was "Khamang" (see below) , and the word has different meanings and connotations depending on what you are cooking.

Most Marathi speaking folks already know what it means. The friend who asked is a culinary expert, gardener, food photographer, mountain trekker, food consultant,  botanist, antioxidant researcher, traditionalist regarding food, is from Delhi and does not understand the Marathi.

So I wrote this for her......


It's the crackle of the senses.

So many dishes
participating in the
2015 FB Maharashtrian Food Fashion Saptaha

The mustard and jeera crackling
in hot ,
sometimes smoky oil,
and throwing up whoops of joy
at the arrival of hing,
as the red chillies fall in
inspiring the veggies to
blush and color
and do a lejhim
as they create a stir in the patela;

Sometimes it's besan,
besotted with the onions and garlic,
mindlessly changing color
sashaying back and forth on the tawa,
excited by the Pithla minute,
waiting for the showstopper water
to come and sizzle..

And the Poli,
kowtowing to the Rolling Pin,
bashful in some flour,
as she gets patted here and there,
folded, rolled and
then a trial by heat
as she takes a deep breath,
moves around a bit,
a bit angry here and there,
and suddenly its time
to let go,
as she gives a final bloom,
several kala tikkas in tow,
and exhales
in the hands that rolled her
and still comfort her
with toop fingers.

And all through this,
Grandma Dahi
unconcerned with new fangled fashion
quietly like all grandmas do,
to bring her special touch
wherever needed...

Its all about heat,
inside the food,
across the food,
complementing the food,
tickling the tongue,
delighting the eyes,
feeling the crunch of the food,
as they take a final walk
across the ramp...
Hotoil Mohan,
Kashihi FodNee,
Thaskaa Mirchi,
Kanda Kurkureet,
Danakoot Kumar,
all under a Kadhipatta Canopy.

1 comment:

  1. This was such a genius way to explain khamang :-) Thank you :-)