I had Puran Poli for lunch today and there is a story behind that which, I wish to share with my readers.
Yesterday was Pongal for us Tamilians and Makar Shankaranthi for Maharashtrians.
I am in residence in solitary splendour with the children away on vacation and Chutki our dog, away at a boarding kennel.
Our help Mangal came yesterday just to cook lunch for me before scooting back to celebrate Makar Shankaranthi with her family. She asked me what to cook for lunch and I promptly asked for Pongal as it was the festival day. She obliged and it was a grand meal that I had indeed.
Today when she announced lunch I was surprised to find Puran Poli on the table and I asked her what prompted her to make that. She confided that she had saved up some stuffing from the polis that she had made at her home yesterday and brought it to make Puran Poli for me today. And so, I had a grand festival meal today too!
I am blessed.
Many years ago in an organisation that I worked in, we had a lunch room which would serve nutritious lunches every day. Whenever I was in town, I would have lunch there. The peculiarity of this lunch room was that on Thursdays, it would offer sabudana khichdi along with the normal fare for those who observe a fast on Thursdays.
While most of my colleagues would restrict their intake to the khichdi, I would take everything else on offer as well as the khichdi, much to the bewilderment of the fasting fellows. I would tell them repeatedly that for them the khichdi may be fasting food whereas for me it was feasting food. I have always liked both the khichdi and the vada versions of this delicious Maharashtrian dish.
While Urmeela was as fond of the khichdi, our son Ranjan never took to it somehow and we therefore did not make it at home whenever he was in.
For the past few days, I had been longing to have the khichdi version which I had not had for quite some time now, and when Ranjan left for an outstation trip this morning, I suggested to Manjiree that we have it for lunch and that is what we did.
As I write this a good four and a half hours after the meal, I am yet to recover from doing more than justice to a fantastic preparation made by our help Mangal. A veritable feast indeed.