Sunday, 28 September 2014

The turmeric plant

In a village called Avantipura, there lived a turmeric plant. He grew green and tall with beautiful leaves. The garden, which was his home, was small, yet cosy and comfortable.

He was an innocent and happy plant until one day a passer-by made a remark. 
He was strong and green...

“Hey, look at this plant! He looks so green and strong, yet he bears no fruit or flowers!”

The remark of the ignorant man left the plant very sad. A lemon plant that took root near the turmeric plant tried to cheer him up, but to no avail!

Soon the turmeric began sulking and brooding...
Day after sad day the turmeric brooded over his useless existence. He had no way of ending his misery. He started becoming pale and weak.

He would look at all the other trees around him that bore fruits or flowers and would continue sulking. One day a small young boy came to the garden looking for a lost ball. He crawled through the plants trying to locate the ball. As he crawled he upset the soil around the turmeric plant, revealing the beautiful yellow stems that grew underground.

Soon the boy called out to his parents and shared his find with them.

His grandmother, on hearing the commotion came out of the house. She gently firmed up the soil around the young plant and explained the various uses of turmeric to the boy.

She told him how turmeric plant serves people selflessly as a medicine, as a dye and as a spice. Even the leaves of turmeric are used to make a sweet dumpling known as patholi.

Both the boy and the plant listened with a deep intent.

“When will you make patholi for me, grandma,” the little boy asked innocently. His grandmother chuckled mildly and told him that she has to take permission from the plant to use his leaves!

By now, a very happy and relieved plant, the turmeric shed one of his leaves for the young boy’s sake!

After they all left, the turmeric turned to the lemon plant and said,

“Is it not so strange that you have all your talents lying right under your feet and yet you are the last one to realise it! The journey to a successful and happy life begins when you are humble enough to bow down and look right under your feet!”

The lemon tree was mighty thrilled for his friend!

The lemon was proud of his friend!

Author’s note:

Patholis are made from rice flour, coconut and jaggery. It is usually made during the Ganesh Chaturthi in the Konkan belt.

Mix rice flour and a pinch of salt in water to make a thick paste.

Grate coconut, powder the jaggery and cardamom and mix them well.

Wash the turmeric leaves well. Smash or scrap the thick central vein of the turmeric leaf, so that it is easy to roll it.

Cover the leaf completely with the rice batter. Add the coconut/jaggery filling along the centre of the leaf, over the rice paste.

Fold the leaf vertically along its vein. Cut the leaves to a comfortable size.

Steam the leaves over an idli plate for about 15 minutes. Once they are steamed, gently remove the cover and spread the leaves over a plate. While still hot, remove the turmeric leaf.

Patholis, the pride of every turmeric leaf!
Patholis taste best with ghee or milk!