Monday, 26 November 2007

guarding bitterness---read write poem

readwritepoem asks us to eat, drink and write a poem. So I write one about a vegetable which leaves a bitter taste in our mouth. However, if cooked the right way, turns out very tasty!

tapering ends, bloated middle
elongated cylinder
with a rough skin.
scrapping clean that surface
I cut it lengthwise-
washing thoroughly.
marinating it salt water,
I prepare the fillings.

chopped onions, tiny piece ginger,
two pods of garlic
also chillies few,
one raw mango, a few spices too-
all ground coarsely
fried in oil until
mouth-watering aroma
pervades my pores.
adding salt to taste,
I let it cool.

taking a handful
I stuff, cut bitter gourds,
taking much care with
white threads, toothpicks,
I bind them. In a sallow pan,
in a very low flame-
I fry them crisp.
all done, I serve with hot sauce!


  1. Reading this makes me hungry. Not a big fan of the bitter gourd ('ampalaya' in Filipino) when I was young. But, now, I look for it in native dishes of mixed vegetables. (Soaking it in water w/ salt really lessens the bitter taste. Yay.)

  2. A very well written recipe, much more fun than most.

  3. i have no idea what you are making,, but it sounds delicious!!!!

  4. Not something I've eaten before, but it sounds tempting, very very tempting.

  5. I'm going to try out that reipe, it soulds delicious...

  6. The care required to transform some foods is remarkable. Inventive response to the prompt!

  7. Great descriptions of the process. Excellent sense of detail!

  8. Yummy. The narrator of this poem is a loving chef.

  9. Poets + Pans - don't you just love cooking!

  10. as prolific with words as ever, Gautami!

    i really love this poem!

  11. Bitter-gourds my favorite..though I can never cook it like mom!! But sounds like you can, oh now I am indeed missing home, Gautami. Thank you.