Wednesday, January 13, 2010
It's strange what new places away from home can do to you. Take me for instance - I never in my life as much as entered the kitchen while I was in Pune, and stuff like gulpoli and puranpoli? I couldn't even attempt to dream about preparing such delicacies!
Here in Bangalore though, me and my friend Neha got super enthusiastic during the 10 day Ganpati festival this year. Oh yeah thats another thing - all Maharashtrian traditions suddenly feel so amazing and so comforting when you are 800km away from home! But thats for entirely another blogpost...
So me n Neha : Day one, on Ganesh chaturthi, we just decided to go for the simple "tallele" variety of the traditional prasad for Ganpati - Modak. They turned out well enough, and we were suddenly struck by how much fun it would be to prepare a different sweet every day for 10 days as Ganpati sathi naivedya! With overflowing enthusiasm, even after coming home from office as late as 9, we made it a point to prepare one sweet, and do the arti. Here's what we managed during the week : Shira, khobryachya vadya, fruit salad in shrikhand (yes, that is a dish and its called burani :P ), karanji and one day just fruits.
Over the weekend we became more ambitious, and on Saturday we painstakingly removed the seeds from sitafal and boiled 2 litres of milk for close to 2 hrs and prepared sitafal rabdi. Yum! On Sunday, we attempted the insurmountable - ukdiche modak! Saran banavna tar enough soppa asta, but neither of us had even seen our moms prepare the ukad before. With the phone in one hand and a ladle in the other, we proceeded to prepare the ukad. Next problem - amchyakade modak patra vagaire kuthe asta! So we tried to find the smallest possible flat bottomed vessel, so that we could invert it in the cooker, and place the modak on it. Needless to say, the first batch went horrible wrong and the 2 modak fell in to the water inside the cooker. Now don't get me wrong - that did not spoil its taste one bit - but they turned all soggy and refused to stay together as one piece! We then changed cookers, changed the vessel, placed a plate on top of the vessel and what not! But it yielded results when we had a finished product that we could atleast claim was an "ukdicha modak" !!
This victory gave us added confidence - and we bravely attempted gulpoli on one weekday, and puranpoli for anant chaturdashi - another weekday. The gulpoli turned out ok in the end, but we went through a lot of stupidities and (as a result) hardships to get there! Puran poli was awesome, and anant chaturdashi was so much fun! We had invited over a few friends (Yes, we prepared almost 10 puranpolis :P ), we sang artis, and decided that in order for it to be a proper anant chaturdashi, dancing was inevitable :P
It was 10 days of eating entirely too much sweet, and ten days of nostalgia for the Ganesh festival back home :)