I have a new favorite thing. My Spice Palette which I brought back with me from my recent trip to India. But first let me tell you a little bit about a very traditional game called “ Pallanghuzhi”.

Pallanghuzi [palla- many; kuzhi-pits; in my native Tamil language] is a wonderful board game I used to play in what seems like a bygone era. A time when young girls giggled often and talked shyly when spoken to by adults. We were so naïve and untouched by the stresses that seem to afflict today’s children. A time when lazy summers were spent on swings chatting with friends or playing games like hide n seek, catch and hopscotch. Going out meant going to your neighhors house to play. Oh, such uncomplicated times!           

                       

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 I would play Pallanguzhi, a game similar to Mancala with my cousin on the front Verandah of her house. We filled the pits in the game board with improvised counters like cowrie shells, tamarind seeds, smooth rounded pebbles or my favorite, beautiful red seed pods called Manjadi, that resembled ladybugs.

Fast forward years later, I spot this Pallanguzhi at an antique dealers’ while shopping for old Chettinad furniture. I bought this as a present for my mother. Fast forward ten years further I acquire it back as my parents are downsizing. When I held it in my hands I had this vision of filling it with spices and setting it on my kitchen counter top. Nostalgia for another time meets today’s passion for cooking. How perfect!                   

Thanks for dropping by,

Best, S. 

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