My Aji is in Pune for some time. She is staying with aai till my newly wed brother’s wife has her first Mangalagauri Puja.
There is quite a lot going on at home. Aji is there to help and guide my mum with all the preparations. It’s an auspicious occasion when all the young married women in Maharashtra religiously pray to Goddess Gauri. It is for the well-being of their husband and a happy married life. The women celebrate this event for the first five years of their wedding. A guruji(priest) is called to perform the puja. Invitations go out from families to at least 5 young married women and other girls can join in the fun. During the puja, the deity is covered with different patri( leaves) like tulsi (basil). Rangoli, flowers, lamps, fruits, haldi, kumkum all add to the charismatic environment every Tuesday of Shravan month. The puja is performed by the 5 ladies and the whole family joins in to listen to mangalagauri Katha….as always the katha begins typically as …aat pat nagar hota. The most dramatic moment in this puja I remember is when, the girls create a sooted vessel into a Shivaling( a long vessel is held against the ghee lamp and the soot collected is mixed with cold ghee and applied to eyes kajal! I have never used kajal and I thought I looked really scary after every mangalagauri Puja I performed :).
Anyways, back to the story, after the lunch, the girls go back home only to get back in the evening. They gather in lovely attires some in nauvar sarees for a gala time singing, dancing playing jhimma and phugdi. They have fun all night when all kinds of games and ukhanas(its a kind of addressing one’s husband in the form of mini poem) Gosh, I had a terrible time doing that!! This ritual carries on in turns and next Tuesday they go to another house. To complete this post here’s my ukhana:
Fulanche toran ani ranganchi rangoli aj aplya dari,
R cha nav ghete shravanachya mangalwari!! 🙂
My aji prepares lovely dishes. I relish her chutneys the most. All the dry chutneys she prepares are out of the world. Since she is at aai’s place, I asked her if she could share her Pud chutney recipe with me. She gave me the measure of a cup of dals and the rest of the ingredients can always be adjusted if you desire.
Urad dal 1 cup dry roasted and ground( not into fine powder)
Chana dal 1 cup dry roasted and ground(not into fine powder)
Sesame seeds (dry roasted and ground) 1/2 cup
Dry coconut(I used dessicated coconut) 1/4 cup.
If you are using coconut half, place it on the gas burner and roast it till it changes colour.Cut and grind. If using dessicated coconut, dry roast it and just add.
Coriander seeds 1 tbsp(dry roasted and ground)
cumin seeds 1tbsp(dry roasted and ground)
Dry red chillies 1/2 cup(roast in a little oil and grind)
Tamarind (size of a lemon)(dry roast and crush…yes it’s to be roasted..takes a little while though and is hard when done) Give it a grind into powder. I sieved it before adding to the chutney. This gives a bit of black colour to the chutney. So add as little as you can…just for that typical tamarind taste.
Jaggery grated(as per one’s taste)
salt(as per taste)
Curry leaves(dry roasted and crushed)
Mix all the ingredients after grinding(remember dals are not be ground to fine powder)including the curry leaves. If you wish you may add red chilli powder to this chutney additionally in the tempering. Prepare the tempering with mustard seeds and asofoetida. Let it cool. Add this tempering to the chutney mix. Give it a nice mix and taste for any adjustments with salt, jaggery and tamarind powder.
Store this dry pud chutney in an air tight jar. It lasts for a month. It can be added into yoghurt or eaten dry with chapati and makes delicious kalavlele pohe.
Well, for those who do not know marathi language, the meaning of my short poem is : There is a flower garland and a colourful rangoli at our door today, Here I name R on Shravan’s Tuesday!! (That was a bit funny translataion…I can’t help laughing..have fun)