Dine with Danika


Indian Spice Palette - Vamana Guntalu pitta/Pallanguzhi/Mancala Wooden Board Game

wooden Spicebox

I have a new favorite thing in my kitchen now.

My Spice Palette{Pallanguzhi(Tamil)/ Vamana guntalu pitta(Telugu)} 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 “ Vamana guntalu pitta/Pallanghuzhi”.

Pallanghuzi [palla- many; kuzhi-pits] is a wonderful indoor board game. The game is played by two players, with a wooden board that has fourteen pits in all. There have been several variations in the layout of the pits, one among them being seven pits on each player's side. The pits contain Cowry shells, seeds or small pebbles used as counters.

I used to play in every summer holidays when I used to visit my grandmothers place.  A time when young girls giggled often and talked shyly  while talking to adults. A time when lazy summers were spent on swings chatting with friends or playing games like hide n seek, catch, chain cut and hopscotch. Going out meant going to our neighbors house to play. Oh, such uncomplicated happy times! Wish they should come back.

I can play Pallanguzhi for hours on end even now with my cousins when I visit India. After so many years later, I spot this Pallanguzhi at an antique shop while shopping for some kanchipuram sarees(sis wedding) in India.

I bought this as a present for my myself. 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!

In frame from top left spices i used:

  • sesame seeds
  • Kashmiri red chilli powder
  • Cardamom pods
  • Tumeric - Home grown
  • Coriander Seeds
  • Peanuts
  • Curry leaves
  • Dried red chilli
  • Urad dal
  • chaana dal
  • Jeera
  • Mustard seeds
  • Methi seeds
  • Ajwain/ carrom seeds
  • Cinnamon sticks
  • Peppercorn
  • Cloves

Shop Vamana guntalu pitta here