Warrier's College 03072020 : Let's Cook

 Warrier's Collage 03072020 : Let's Cook

Watch "Sanskrit Mealtime Prayers to Give Thanks for Food"

No time for Prayer !

Today's subject courtesy : Esvee (See G below)

M G Warrier

A. Tracing India’s Food Journey - From the Vedas

Ancient food habits...

B. Current Affairs

Responding to COVID-19 - Learnings from Kerala

A recent WHO report.

C. Traditional foods

Traditional and ayurvedic foods of Indian origin - 

Healthy foods

D. 9 Of The Oldest Food Recipes From History Still In Use Today

Where we started.

E. Cooking begins at home

When past experiences come to help

In the special circumstances, at home, all are participating in kitchen  . Those who are not very good at cooking may have to do cleaning work. Open the following link to see what my grandson Vihaan prepared for dinner last Tuesday:

F. Fasting foods


Fasting food recipes. Not to be confused with fast foods!
Though I was aware of a change from the normal food on Ekadasi or Thiruvathira in Kerala, the concept of "Fasting Food Shops" in Mumbai made me curious.

G.  Guest Column

South Indian recipes*

Lock­čöÉ Lunch­čśÇResplendent Rasam 

Sambar and Rasam, like Vasishtar and Vishwamithrar, are KulaGurus of Tamil’s lunches and dinners. Both have an army of admirers and at times one is substituted for the other. In marriage lunches, they go together and in our homes, for the day to day lunches and dinners, we either prepare sambar or rasam but less frequently both.

For Sambar in Palakkadu, they use grounded and grated coconut, whereas in Tamil Nadu, sambar powder is preferred. Availability of coconuts and pulses determine this and one is not necessarily superior to the other. However, for marriage lunches, arachuvitta sambar (sambar with grated coconut) alone is preferred. Sambar using sambar powder is looked down upon as if it plays for the B team. Rasam does not entertain such distinction. Rasam powder is universally used. Sambar has to face stiff competition from Morkhuzhambu, Vettakhuzhambhu, ghothsu and pitlai and it either over shadows or is overshadowed by them. Rasam fears no such alien threats save the competition from the Rasam specie itself.

Like Manchester United and Real Madrid Football Clubs followers, the Rasam protagonists are categorised into two fiercely competing groups - those who take their Rasam with the sediments ( kalakkivitta Rasam) and those who would prefer the sediments to remain in the container ( thelivu rasam). Orderliness demands that thelivu rasam group should have its serving first so that kalakkivitta Rasam group can have the rest to its heart' s content.

Lime Rasam dispenses  with tamarind and is healthy. However, pepper Rasam, jeera Rasam and kandanthippili Rasam have therapeutic value  and hence are prepared as medicinal prescriptions. They are taken to come out of certain ailments. Pepper Rasam is prepared for those whose temperature level is above 100 degrees. Mysore Rasam has all ingredients and it appeals to our palates. However, senior members of the family frown upon it, for fear that it might promote libido. If pure Rasam is like a Semmangudi swaraprasthara subtleties, Mysore Rasam, like modern day Dire Strait's "Sulthans of Swing", stirring the youngsters soul. For a few, garlic Rasam is the greatest. However, it has equally powerful enemies, though garlic wins bidding approvals from doctors.

Sambar cannot end our meals. It is not a finisher like Dhoni. Invariably it has to be followed by Rasam or dahi bath. Rasam is independent and can stand apart, alone. When someone is not well, Rasam alone is prescribed, a privilege that sambar looks at with envy.

Vadai soaked in sambar is known as vadai sambar, prominence being given to vadai. However, vadai soaked in Rasam is known as Rasa vadai, Rasam stealing the show. One can drink cupfuls of Rasam. If one tries to drink sambar in a cup, his sanity would be tested - another snub again to sambar.

As barbeque is connected with a grill and rotis and nans are linked to tandoors, sambar boiled in a kalchatti assumes a  significant flavour. Rasam boiled in Kumbhakonam made eeyachombu, lords over our lunches and dinners. 

When we take rice, quantity of Rasam dominates whereas in sambar, rice dominates, high quantity of sambar is frowned upon. 

In addition to its intrinsic merits, Rasam is also enjoyed for one more reason. In marriage lunches, Rasam is followed by payasam. If Rasam comes, can Payasam be far behind, a poet Shelley may have sung today.

Milagu Rasam in Western garbs has become mulagutawny soup in star hotels. In fact, Rasam is precursor to many modern day soups. 

Software techies from South India would enjoy their cupfuls of chosen Rasam even while embarking upon their coding endeavours. 

No wonder, one sighs, Rasam is resplendent indeed!

(Author unknown....)

*Received via Group email from S Venugopal, Ex-RBI, Chennai


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