Saturday, May 28, 2011

My best friend's wedding

It's a morning of hope.
As I look back, I see her
in Jr-Kg group photo:
Two thick plaits, kohl-smeared eyes, a huge grin.

I remember the times we laughed to tears,
Her signature eccentric quips
That gave a whacky perspective
To many a life-changing things...

Tomorrow, you will be gone:
Mrs. doesn't sound as fancy as Ms.
But I know you will live it all up
In your flamboyant, who-cares style.

Remember me even as you get engrossed
in the journey ahead, let it be fruitful.
When you look back, I will always be there;
And it's only old friends who can call a spade a spade.

For S.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

And all shall pass

When the storm subsides
And the wind stops howling,
Listen to the silence;
It will speak to you.

Hang in there just some more,
This too shall pass.
The fear will fade;
You are brave.

When love restores your faith,
And trust births in you again;
He will absolve you of all
That now crowds your guilt.

Some more faith,
Some more love,
And all shall pass.
And all shall pass.

-Gauri Gharpure
May 15, 2011

Tuesday, May 03, 2011

Golya Cha Sambhar / Maharashtrian cuisine

I wanted to learn how to make this gravy since long. My aaji makes it sometimes, and today, I saw the recipe on a cookery show and decided to finally try it.

Golya cha sambhar consists of small, round dumplings made from chick-pea flour, lots of spices and tamarind or lemon for the tang. We add some jaggery too, but some prefer it completely hot.

Ingredients and method to make the dumplings:
About 4 cups besan (I assume it's chickpea flour in English. A friend is convinced I call it gram flour instead :)
1 cup of finely chopped onions
Finely-chopped coriander (optional)
1 tablespoon oil
Generous amounts of red chilli powder, dhana-jeeru powder, salt. And a pinch of turmeric, asafoetida, sugar.

Adding very little water, make dough using the above ingredients. Then, make small round dumplings as shown in the photo. Keep aside.

Ingredients and method to make the gravy:
1 cup finely-chopped onion
2-3 tablespoon grated fresh or dry coconut (I used dried coconut)
Oil, pinch of mustard seeds, cumin, turmeric, asafoetida, raw green chillies for tadka
Goda masala (A typical maharashtrian garam masala, easily found in Pune / Mumbai)
Coarsely-crushed black pepper
A lemon-sized ball of tamarind, soaked for sometime. Use the extract.
1 tablespoon jaggery (Optional)
About 700 ml water (Adjust depending on the number of dumplings you have made)
Chickpea flour to adjust consistency of the gravy. Use as required.

Heat oil in a heavy-bottomed pan. Add the ingredients mentioned for the tadka, in that order, and then add chopped onions. Saute for a minute or two and add grated coconut. Saute for about five minutes, or till coconut turns slightly brown. Add goda masala, dhana-jeeru powder, red chilli powder. Add water and bring to boil.

Add the chickpea dumplings to the boiling water and cover the vessel with a lid. Put some water on the lid so that the dumplings are steamed faster. It will take about 15 minutes for the dumplings to cook. The dough should be tight, otherwise dumplings may break apart when added to water.

Add a tablespoon of chickpea flour to the gravy is required. (On my first attempt, the gravy became a little more dense than is required, but tasted just fine) When the dumplings get cooked, they float above. Now, add tamarind paste, jaggery, salt and black pepper. Adjust spices as required. Let the gravy boil over once and switch off the gas. Garnish with finely-chopped coriander.

1) Golya cha sambhar 2) Apple, grape and walnut salad in fresh cream 3) Mango pickle 4) Tomato aam-papad chutney

While eating, crush the dumplings with you fingers and eat with rice. Also goes well with chapati / bhakhri.