"Food for me was a connecting link to my grandmother, to my childhood, to my past. And what I found out is that for everybody, food is a connector to their roots, to their past in different ways. It gives you security; it gives you a profile of who you are, where you come from." - Lidia Matticchio Bastianich
Today is Janmashtami. It is birthday of Lord Krishna. In Mumbai, we have dahi Handi - human pyramid to break "handi".
I told Gudiya story of Sudama and his fistful of pohe. As a kid, it was one of my favorite Krishna stories. After my grandfather's story telling, my grandmother used to sing several Krishna songs for us on this day.
"Sangta vastrayan, ayka diunu kaan
kara Devale smaran tummi....." (A Konkani song)
"Krishna mhane maatela, amhi jato vanat Yamunela,
Kahitari de khayala, laadu athava kanavala" (A Marathi Song)
"Bharjaricha peetambar deela fadun, Draupadi si bandhu shobhe Narayan....
(A Marathi Song)
"Kurkure kaanha, gayi mhash gyelyo raana...." (A Konkani song/lullaby)
and this fun filled evening would end after devouring my grandmother's delicious meal. She would make panchakadaya, kallya undo, gul pohe & swet yogurt for naivedya. Somehow, all these dishes taste the best on these festival days.
Jaggery with pohe
2 cups thin pohe
1/2 cup grated jaggery or jaggery powder
1 cup freshly scraped coconut
A pinch of salt
4-5 cardamoms, peeled & crushed to powder
1 tbsp clarified butter/ghee/toop
1. Mix all the ingredients together.
2. Keep kneading till the warmth of your hand melts the jaggery and the mixture comes together. It still should not be a mush.
1. Use thin pohe for this recipe.
2. You need to use plenty of sajook toop/clarified butter and fresh coconut to moisten the thin pohe. These pohe are not meant to be washed with water.
3. Use more or less jaggery per taste.
4. If pohe is not fresh, you can lightly roast it. But make sure they have cooled down completely before mixing.