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This morning I had craving to eat Sheera-puri or Sheera-Chapattis. Today I prepared this based on  KGCA( Konkani Gourmet Cooking Artist) Pratibha-Rao. I followed strictly all the steps shown and came the dish very delicious and in proper sweetness (not too sweet and not too flat!!!). I had all the ingredients except raw cashews. Then, I have plenty of Bibbo (raw cashew with brown skin) which I always bring here whenever I visit Mumbai or my ancestor native place (such as Mulki, Brahmavar or Palimar, etc.). I and my wife like Tendle (Tindora) – Bibbe upkary very much. In Mumbai, they are available at any Malwani-Ratnagiri store at Lalbaugh or Shivaji Park area or occasionally at Mangalore store in Matunga. I got an idea to make blanched cashew (raw white cashew) by heating in Microwave for a few seconds and brown skin comes off easily, that way I do not have to run early morning  to some Desi Grocery store or Iranian Ranch Market near-by. I could not do that same trick to whole almonds (in dry form) which I bought them at Henry’s Super Market when they were on sale. All the steps were followed strictly to the word and no variance except I added a few strings of  Kesar (Saffron). Hats-off to Pratibha for this good and delicious recipe. Next time I may substitute sugar with Slpenda to take along with group vacation as some of my friends prefer low or no sugar diets for health reasons. Here are my photos:

Spinach and Walee

Spinach is commonly called Palak among Indians as North Indian dishes are mostly use this Palak in various preparations. This Spinach is available globally and heavily used in many recipes including various forms of salads.

Walee(Konkani word) is called also Malabar spinach, Taiwani Spinach(Chinese Market), Mulayama (Marathi-Ratnagiri and Mumbai side). Konkani household prepare 2-3 popular festival dishes from this Walee. One of the most popular being simply Walee Aambat or very popular in season is Walee-Paphasphalaa (raw Papaya) Aambat . This recipe is explained in details beautifully  in many Konkani recipe Blog –Artists.

I was curious to find different names for both types of Spinach and find actual these two vegetable. Luckily I found both of them in two different locations. Palak was easy to find so I bought a big pack of Spinach at Costco Wholesale Warehouse store. Since Walee is rarely available in many Indian grocery stores, I tried my luck at 99-Chinese Supermarket  in Irvine. To my surprise, it was available in plenty (also whole Jackfruit) and must be in season and they call it Taiwani Spinach. But I did not find raw Papaya to make Walee-Paphasphalaa Aambat (my wife’s favorite, raw or ripe specially Hawaiian ripe papaya is very sweet)  but I was more than happy to get one bunch to make Aambat as this dish (and take a picture) many Konkani’s favorite. Here are my pictures of Spinach(Palak) and Walee:

Spinach-Palak-1Spinach-Palak-2Spinach-Palak-3tomatoOnVine-1tomatoOnVine-2tomatoOnVine-3Walee-1Walee-2Walee-3

Today I tried with Cream of rice (Idli Ravaa) and without onion. First bhakari was disaster may be due to high heat on Tavaa(griddle) or too much water or rice pieces were not sticking together. As I tried to flip over it crumbled into pieces. I lowered the heat to low flame and added one tea spoon of chapati flour and mixed thoroughly for 2-3 minutes and Bingo! it came ot good looking round w/o break and easy flip over and delicious. Here are pictures:

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This article on celebration was written two years ago and was published in KhabbarKonkani News magazine also, If I find some pictures I will upload them later. Since change of time and technology, this social tradition is slowly forgotten, specially in  foreign country such as in US  where older generation such as parents and grand parents are in native country in India. Younger generation is helpless and sometimes ignorant.

Gurbini-Kaappad, a Konkani Tradition   (A baby shower Konkani
Style
)

On February 8, 2009 we celebrated Gurbini Kaappad for Deepa
, wife of  Rajesh  who is my cousin (with generation gap).
Deepa’s mother has flown from Udipi for “Baalaanteere” (a Konkani tradition
during daughter’s delivery time,  arrival of baby at home). During my childhood I used to attend this type of events with my mother as a child. This was exclusive events for females only except future Baby’s father in old days. In those days everything was nearby, walking distances or within easy reach by available transportation. Even in Bombay moving around by rail or bus or by taxi was easy those days. Because of difficulty in commuting, (even in native places like South Kanara), in Bombay nowadays, it is like a whole day family affair. In present days in big cities, ceremony like Gurbini Kaappad is almost a full day ceremony; and many times it is held in rental halls with catered food, Konkani or Punjabi style.

When Deepa called a few weeks before February 8, I and my
wife were excited as I had not attended a typical Gurbini-Kaappad for a
long time and wanted to witness authentic ceremony. I changed my flight and
made plans to fly that weekend from Bay area to Orange County ( I work in Bay area and fly every other week to my home in Orange County).   Konkani Folks in South Kanara and North Kanara still celebrate this event with the same tradition for generations when
Konkanis settled in Goa and migrated southwards along the Konkan and Malabar coast.

On that day, after an early bird Konkani snack in the
morning, the ceremony began at about 11:30 am. Rajesh and Deepa were seated on a
pair of chairs (tradition is Husband be seated right side of the wife). We being
family members, my wife had a first privilege
(being elder) to do “Aunthee” (blessing with rice sprinkle on both of them) and
Aarti. “Aunthee” plate is a large steel or copper plate (called Poleroo), and
four coconuts on rice bed are placed inside. On top of those coconuts, Sari
(Gurbini Kaappad) is placed and then silver or brass five sided oil wick lamp
is placed. My wife made alternate Aarti and sprinkling rice (called Akshataa) to
Rajesh and Deepa five times then followed by Deepa’s mother. This step is like
blessing to arriving child and his (gender is known nowadays) parents. Thenmy wife
presented a new Kaappad to Deepa. Per Tradition, Deepa went inside and
changed her sari with the new Kaappad she was presented. Again this step of
Aarti is repeated by all other ladies present in the house. This is the only
time males in the family  can watch but cannot take part in the Aarti step. In authentic case (as I remember during my mother’s days), ladies start sing songs related to this occasion, but Deepa had  a recorded DVD songs sung by her Grandma from Udipi. Rajesh played that video  during the Aarti.

This was followed by sumptuous and delicious Konkani lunch
(jevan) prepared by Deepa’s mother. Highlight was Daalitoy, Devastahna Saaru, Khichhdi
(Go..di, sweet) and Kuvale Khadi (sweet dish).

Everybody dispersed by 4 pm and I was on the way to LAX to
catch a flight to Oakland.

I thought on the way what a memorable family event and worth
every minute to enjoy!

Ubbati(Puran Poli)

 

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