Sunday, 4 March 2018

Date and Banana Shankarpaali

Date and Banana Shankarpaali

Even as a kid I used to love reading recipes in magazines, behind the pages of the Kalnirnay, on food packaging, newspaper life style sections... 

The style of writing recipes in those days was very simple - no precise measurements, paranoid instructions and elaborate steps - which made a dish sound so easy to make.

Take for instance, if I had read the recipe for these date and banana shankarpaali (which I haven’t) it would have probably read like this:

दोन- तीन पिकलेली केळी, एक कप बिया काढून बारीक कुस्करलेला खजूराचा बलक, चमचा भर खसखस, चवीपुरतं मीठ आणि दोन मोठे चमचे तेलाचं मोहन. त्यात मावेल तेव्हडी कणीक घालून पीठ घट्ट मळून घ्यायचं. तास भर झाकून ठेवून मग जाड पोळ्या लाटून शंकरपाळी कापून घ्यावी. कढईत तेल तापवून मंद आचे वर शंकरपाळी तळून काढावी.  गार झाल्यावर घट्ट झाकणाच्या डब्यात भरून ठेवावी.

Now imagine if one of my girls were to read this recipe:

Once they got past the Devnagari obstacle, the battery of questions would begin:
·      One banana or two? 
·      What on earth is ‘balak’? 
·      What sort of ‘chamacha’is this – teaspoon or tablespoon?
·      Who the heck is Mohan?
·      How much is ‘maavel tevhdi kaneek’?
·      If kaneek is flour, then how come dough is also kaneek?

Then finally, out of obvious relief that the ordeal of reading the recipe was coming to an end, a sudden flash of humour in Marathi to qualify a statement -

Dude – it should read, “गार व्हायच्या आधीच घरच्यांनी ती येताजाता भरून संपली नसल्यास, गार झाल्यावर घट्ट झाकणाच्या डब्यात भरून ठेवावी!”

And for all those on whom this is lost in translation, here's the recipe in English:

Sugar Free - Date and Banana Shankarpali

2-3 over ripe bananas, peeled and mashed
1 cup pitted dates, mashed or puréed
1 tablespoon poppy seeds
½ tsp salt
2 tablespoons oil
2 ½ - 3 cups atta (no fix measurements here)
Oil for deep frying


In a bowl mix all the ingredients, except the atta. Slowly add the atta and knead a gradually into a firm dough. Keep covered for about half an hour. Then roll out large discs and cut into squares using a fluted pastry cutter. Heat oil in a kadhai and deep fry the shankarpalis batch by batch, on medium heat.

Remove on absorbent paper. Keep in an airtight container when cooled.

These taste best with a cup of tea.

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