Saturday, December 5, 2015

Chutney Manaat Ghusli .... चटणी मनात घुसली

 In an age where everything comes in a bottle, can or tube, the Lasoon Chutney made in a cast iron heavy mortar and pestle  is simply incomparable,  unmatched , and reigns supreme. 

When it is part of your childhood and you remember the rhythmic thud while  garlic , coconut and chillies go to pieces , with some sympathetic tamarind joining in,  you simply smell it all , and remember having it with hot bhakris of the griddle, white butter, and buttermilk to wash it down.

 My friend Shama Bedekar , recently posted her Lasoon-chutney  memories in a nostalgic post in Angat Pangat, a FB group dedicated to Rediscovering Traditional Maharashtrian  Cuisine.   Her photo of the chutney  evoked strong memories , and possibly inspired folks to get started again with chutneys of their own.

Good going !  Though it isn't really about the ingredients only.  Many times, it is about the hands that made it, and then sat you down indulgently at a table and had you enjoy a fresh hot meal...... 

मन भराय भराय ,
हिवळ्यातली न्याहरी,
लसुणा, खोबर्याची बत्त्याशी चालेली झटापट,
वरून साध्या पण आतून स्फोटक
अश्या लाल मिरच्यांचे
खळबळजनक पदार्पण;
ह्या महाभारतीय युद्धात
चिंचोके विरहित चीन्चेने केलेली
आत्मसमर्पणीत शिष्ठाई,
आणि मग
युद्ध विरामा प्रीत्यर्थ ,
सर्वांनी एका बरणीत केलेली चितन बैठक .

आणि मग
तव्यावर फुलणारी
"इश्श्य" म्हणत पापुदर्याचे कौतुक ऐकत
ताटात पडून
ताज्या लोण्याला खुणावणारी
"हाय , मेरे कलेजे के तुकडे हो रहे है "
असे म्हणत
चटणीकडे बघत
तृप्त मनाने लोण्याला वितळव्णारी
ज्वारीची दशमी ,

कुणा एका लेकीच्या
चेहर्यावर असीम आनंद ,
आणि एक आजी ,
लोण्याचा विरह सहन न झालेया
गोड ताकाला ,
जिरे मीठ लाउन
हळूच एका वाटीत ओततात ,
आणि म्हणतात ,
" जरा तव्यावरची दशमी भाजते आणि वाढते हो,
तो पर्यंत हे अदमोर ताक घे. ….
मन आणि अन्न ,
कसं विविध चवीनॆ भरलेलं असावं ,
आणि मग आयुष्य कसं

अगदी भराय भराय …. "
A mind
brimming with cheer,
a breakfast in winter,
and a tussle
Lasuna and Dry Coconut
in a Mortar-and-Pestle place.

Then a spicy entry
by some misleading
simple looking
but explosive Red Mirchis,
a tumultuous war,
a Mahabharat
with some Seedless Tamarind  
playing negotiator
and peace maker,
and a final "retreat"
enjoying each other
at the Barni Jar Resort.

And then
a Jowar Bhakri,
blooming in pride
on a griddle,
going "Oh! My, My !"
at folks admiring its layers,
then quietly signalling
to an innocent lump
of white butter,
that just melts
at the sight
of the Bhakri's full  heart
going to pieces
at the sight of the
flavourful Lasoon Chatni

A favourite daughter
enjoying it all
at the table,
and a grandma,
eyes full,
the Lady Buttermilk
recently separated from the butter,
applies a pinch
of cumin and salt,
and pours her
a bowl of buttermilk,
"Another fresh hot Bhakri
coming up !
Till then ,
enjoy the fresh buttermilk....
Your mind and your food
needs to
be brimming
with all the flavours.
That's when
you enjoy
a fulfilling life !

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