Thursday, January 11, 2007

Koli Kitchen (Thal Part I)

Welcome to the series on Thal :)

When I started this blog I never took it so seriously that I would be writting about my roots in such depths I guess its this media doing the trick. Yet it is just happening and I am surprised by it myself.


My Grand Aunt's Kitchen
This is the Ist post of a series on Thal where I will be sharing with you pictures and try to tell you more stories.


First of all meet my maternal Grand Aunt/ Aaji. She is my Mom's Mami. She is the one who brought up my Mom. Notice her earings and the elongated earlobes. The blouse she wears is called Choli. The piping on the Choli tells that she was married and the absence of the bindi tells my Grand Uncle is no more. When young she was very stunning and vivacious and who said she isn't yet. Ask her age and she will say may be 60 yrs. but I guess she must be 80 + yrs.


In the second week of Nov 06 when I was in Mumbai for my Uncle M I had the chance of visiting my Grand Aunt/ Aaji. I took some pictures. It was a bit akward don't know why. May be because I had taken everything there for granted. May be because Thal was going to be exposed to the world. May be I still wanted it to stay protected as a secret place. Just may be I am not able to understand why?
I read about the kitchen theme started by Ilva Beretta on Anita's also enjoyed reading Asha's post on her home too. Since the Kitchen I call mine is in Mumbai fully functional and waiting for my returns from Blr and I did not have pictures available here thought it to be a good idea to share with you my Aaji's Kitchen.


Though this house was built around 20 years ago it is old style like Aaji wanted. Our own home in Thal is modern though it was built even before Aaji's so you get to see typically Koli style kitchen in her home.





Aaji picking rice for today's meal on the Oti /porch. This is the entrance to her home.
Koli tools of the trade and the most important Kitchen tool, Kaathi. Its like a sickle but the outer edge is the sharp one and the wooden cutting board called Phala.

Here she is grinding the masala for today's curries on the stone grinder the flat stone is the Paata and the pestle is called Ghuna. Look at the amount of garlic she is using.
Here is her wealth her shiny brass, steel and copper water pots. There was a time when water was filled from the village well now she has a tap in the patio yet she keeps the pots filled just in case the drinking water disappears. Notice the thick rope pot placer holders below the pots. On the bottom left you will see 2 oil lamps which she need not use now but she has kept them just incase. The grey box on the left corner shelve is her Koli masala box. On the right bottom you see the tea jar and sugar jar.

Since she lives alone these are her limited tumblers, plates/ Taate and some cooking pots/ Taup.
Also check out Aaji's backyard open kitchen on Chavlachi Roti that I have updated today.
In the next part I shall write about the fare she made for us with help from my cousins.

38 comments:

  1. Thanks, what an interesting post!

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  2. This is one neat kitchen. I remember seeing gujjy kitchens in a suburban town in Gujarat - boy did their bras pots shine like gold - just like your Aaji's. Quaint too...all about slow food that we all want to get back to! :)
    And, can we also have the recipe with all that garlic?

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  3. I agree with Ilva - fascinating post!!

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  4. This is an incredible post! I love it!

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  5. What a wonderful post. Thanks for sharing your aunts kitchen.

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  6. Hi Anjali! Very interesting post - looks like you've documented some social history very well! I especially liked the pix of your great aunt and her pots. Saw your linked post too.

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  7. Thanks all for your comments.

    sra I felt like doin it because my world is completely different from my people in Thal. Its for my next gen I guess :).

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  8. wow what wonderful food your grand aunt must prepare ...everything from scratch ...that's the way I want to cook. I like her collection of water pots too.

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  9. Thank you for sharing your Aunt's home and life with us. This was very interesting.

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  10. I love how you open your heart up and offer us a view of what really matters to you. Thank you.

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  11. Your Aaji is lovely. I hope to be pounding masala like that when I reach her age!

    Interesting the way the shelves are built right into the house. Is that stone, or clay?

    And the water pots are beautiful. Your Aaji is clever for keeping the water pots full and the oil lamp. You never know when you might need them.

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  12. Sharing your family is priceless. Your beautiful Aunt has earned every line in her face. Thank you for sharing that with us. I am touched.

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  13. Anjali,

    Thanks for visiting. This is such a spectacular post. Wonderful pictures. I wish I could be there. I love the little detail about her blouse

    Rinku

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  14. All I can say is WOW! I would LOVE to taste the wonderful dishes she cooks there!

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  15. Very moving, this kitchen. Everything lined up. Thanks for sharing this.

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  16. Veron, Sally, Sandi, Rinku, labelga, Vanessa, Thanks for your comments.

    Shelly youre right we all want to be like her at the ripe age of 80+. The shelves are stone and held on by concrete.

    I shall try to share some of her recipes but as you know if you want the real thing you have to come over right to her home to taste the amazing stuff. All you guys are invited :).

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  17. Wow Anjali,what a nice and interesting reading your post made!It reminded me of my great grandmother's(Mom's maternal grandmother)kitchen.Love the photo showing the water pots.

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  18. Someone please whack that tpraja! He's been spamming my blog and now I see him here, too!

    Anjali, what a super post. Your Aaji is beautiful! Her modest kitchen is really quite spectacular! The Kaathi - is it like a 'koitha'? My mother had a similar tool and we used it mostly to crack open coconuts.

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  19. Manisha there tpraja is gone I didn't even notice...about kaathi yes it is like koitha with outer edge sharp instead of the inner one of the curve.

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  20. Hi Anjali,
    This is Mrinal. Marathi. My mother-in-law's birth place is thal. I got married 10 years back, since I m hearing abt thal a lot. Last year, my husband had bought a house there. so in next two days, i m leaving for Thal's visit. Your writing makes me excited about the visit. moreover, i felt very happy that u r loving ur roots so much.

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  21. Mrinal

    Wow. Wish I cld go to Thal now my cousin is getting married next week.

    Hope you enjoy the visit and share your experience here.

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  22. Hi Anjali..........Its 2.20am and I cannot stop browsing thru your site, everytime I read about Kolis, I feel excited and the photos of your aaji has touched my heart by bringing back my memories of my late aaji, though I do not have much memories about her as she passed away when I was very young around 4-5 years.

    I am far away from all the not only from my Koli samaj,Mahim or Mumbai, but far away from India, as I migrated to sweden, europe, as I got married to a swedish guy...
    But I am still proud to be called Koli and any article about koli makes me feel proud and I am thankful for the appreciation.
    With love,
    Cindy Prarthana Lundberg

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  23. Cindy I could sense your excitement.

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  24. Very very interesting - I can see the simplicity of it and that makes it so beautiful!

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  25. oh my! this is the best post i have come across so far!!!!!!!!reminds me of my grandmother's place back in my hometown!!!!and i miss my grandmother so much!!!!

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  26. Wow! I love to eat different varieties of food, my mother always cooking different for me in my home.
    Now I'm staying hostel so I miss my Mom!

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  27. Very very interesting...

    http://vijay-vijaygeneral.blogspot.com

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  28. Hi Anjali,

    Do you have a recipe for the koli masala? If yes, please share it. Thanks!
    -Joyce

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  29. Anjali, this post brought tears to my eyes! I miss my Aaji so much, she also used to keep brass/steel pots filled with water just in case running water ran out and the chatni made on paata varvanta is just out of this world! Today's mixers can never recreate that taste nai ka :(

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  30. Sonia hugs to you, wish they lived longer. I lost this aaji last year. aga hona tyanchya haat chi chav hi

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  31. Thank you for giving information on one of unique culture of the country.

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  32. Hi Anjali,
    I grew up at a place called Kalwa where there was a sizeable Koli population.I remember the Bharla Paplet and Bombil Fry that my Koli friends to get for me every Sunday Morning.Amazing food!!

    I love your Blog..Keep going!!!

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  33. Thank you Anon, would have loved to know your name. Keep visiting and do leave a comment once in a while.

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  34. It's really a nice and helpful piece of information. I'm glad that you shared this helpful info with us. Please keep us informed like this. I want to say it would supply up to !

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  35. I notice really quite a number of blogs that look interesting and really worth a read. There’s nothing worse than browsing through limitless blogs simply to locate a couple which keep your interest. Thanks. Good job!

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  36. I recently came across your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I don't know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog. I will keep visiting.

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  37. I recently came across your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I don't know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog. I will keep visiting.

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  38. Thank you for sharing your Aunt's home and life with us.

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