Flavour Bombing Spices: Vandita Dharni

Vandita Dharni
Those childhood days revelled in the insatiable,
intoxicating spices of a mother’s love.
‘Ma’, as we called her lovingly, has conjured up a chessboard- 
her altar of sacrifice, her battleground over the years,
She carefully analyses war strategies, placing a regiment of pawns
in their exquisite, exotic burst/ blend of aromas.
Chiseling an epicurean knife, she dices her inhibitions 
into virgin-white onion boats and cherry blush tomatoes.
The flush of a citrusy dawn ignites her Teflon sky
as a dollop of devil’s dung splatters through. 
The tangy tamarind contorts its pulpy bosom
 resisting. grimacing, wafting its talisman into a saucepan 
while mustard seeds and curry leaves writhe, splutter,
sizzle in a release of fortitude.
Ma showers this heady concoction with jaggery kisses,
letting them simmer in oil long enough to coagulate.
The carmine lipped chillies factor in other flavours
pirouetting on a bed of dusty brown ginger flakes
and they surrender like the mortifying cloves of garlic
the canvas of an indulgent connoisseur.
After spooning and tossing the ingredients,
the labour of love is ready- 
A chutney, redolent of a mother’s heart
embracing itself in tastes of home, heaven and hearth. 

*Devil’s dung is asafoetida.

1 comment :

  1. Thoughts are brilliantly established 👌


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