Thursday, September 17, 2009

Tamilian Food

By the food habits of the tamilians, one can easily assume the nature of the particular communities movement. The food habit depends on the lifestyle, environment, livelihood, social status, economic level of the people.

There were the tremendous changes in the food culture of the peoples over 100 years. Nowadays the tastes of the foods are taking in count rather than the health care factor. So the good health care village recipes are forgotten by the modern culinary world. Boiling, Steaming, Frying, deep frying, grilling these are the common cooking methods used by the Tamil peoples.

The word ‘Cooking’ means preservation. The tamilian houses would face any directions, but they are more particular of the directions of the house kitchens, their kitchens should face either northeast or southwest directions.

One can identify the truth if closely watch the food habits of the tamil peoples. Frying, boiling, grilling, deep frying are the cooking methods commonly used by our people. The deep frying stuffs have been seen the rapid growth since 60 years. In Tamilnadu, the groundnut oil highly used for the deep frying was introduced by the vijayanagara dynasty. In this generation, the people are more eager to taste the deep fried dishes, so that cause the dishes prepared by steaming, boiling and without oil are diminishing fastly nowadays.

There was a food script of peppercorns, ghee, tamarind, spinach and meat in sangam literature. The historians witnessed the food script of Italika (Idli), Dosa, Adhirasam in the vijayanagara regime inscriptions. In ancient devotional literatures speaks on sarkarai pongal, paniyaram, Ilavattam (ladoo), Appam, ellurundai etc., the famous tamilian cooking method Steaming was introduced by the Indonesians at the time of their voyage.

The hard food substances are boiled. Adding jaggery, palm jaggery to the boiled grains called as payasam. Mixing heat molasses to the pounded flour, gives desire shapes and taken as sweets (Ma urundai). Grinded and Pounded flour are cooked in the steaming process (Idiyaapam, Idli, Kozhukkatai etc,).

Sugar molasses are poured into the flour and after that deep frying dishes like Adhirasam, munthiri kothu are prepared. Adding spicy masalas to the flour and it has been made to deep fry called as Bhajji, vadai etc.

The word “KaiKari” includes both the vegetables and chillies. In15th century AD chillies are imported from the Chile country. At that period tamilians used black pepper corns (Karunkari) to enhance the spiciness, pepper corns are highly used in the meat preparation, so that still now the meat preparations are called as (Kari) in tamil. Vegetables, meat products etc., are flavoured with the spices and tempered it later; it can be used as curries or as accompaniments.

Lala Mithai Stall introducing new sweet dishes to the Tamilnadu. They are the hindi speaking peoples brought to Tamilnadu by the Nayak kingdom of Madurai. Sugar, wheat, ghee, gram flour are the main ingredients of their sweet preparations. The Nadar community peoples are using jaggery and palm jaggery instead of sugar for their sweet preparations, their sweat stalls are called as Mithai kadai.

Friday, September 4, 2009


Puli Kai

(Juicy vegetables in hot tamarind sauce)

It’s a village style preparation. Farmers use this as a dip of their food, while going their farmland. It’s a good match for ice biriyani.


Gingelly oil - 2tbsp
Urad dal - 1/2tsp
Garlic cloves - 5 nos
Red chillies - 3nos
Small onions - 50g
Brinjal - 2nos
Ash gourd - 50g
Ladies finger - 50g
Chilli powder - 1 tsp
Coriander powder - 11/2 tsp
Salt - to taste
Tamarind - Small lemon size


1. Cube the vegetables. Dissolve the tamarind into thick paste.
2. Heat oil, temper it using first 3 ingredients, add the small onions & garlic, and stir it. Add the masalas, fry it for few seconds.
3. Add the vegetables. Pour the tamarind puree in it. Season it with salt. Cover it and simmer the fire.
4. It has been well cooked after five minutes, serve it hot with rice or ice biriyani.
5. Garnish with fine Cilantro.


It’s a delectable one, the tangy taste and juicy vegetables added in the curry goes well with all kind of South Indian food. Ice Biriyani I mentioned here the water added in the remained boiled rice in the house before go for the sleep at night that has to be used for the next day meal. It has sour taste.

Mushrooming Catering stalls / Institutes

Yes, you could see that while you walk around the streets and bazaars!!! Still you baffling, I mean the minnow catering institutes mushrooming every nooks & corners of the cities. With little equipments easily obtaining the approval and starting the catering institutes, even though don’t have any basic necessity. How the examining body tendering recognition to the worthless institutes..????...!!!, it’s one of the standing questions …

Beauty of such institutes are getting awesome admissions every year, institutes offering various sops to grab the admission. I don’t know how the student’s are easily trap on their words, without viewing any originalities. Products of these institutes are being short in all basic etiquettes, in this cause, hospitality world suffering for the effective manpower.

Model facilities and good infrastructure catering colleges are now in pitiable conditions. All are well placed, then where the students are??? Alas..!!!

Fabricated stories about the catering course, one of the key ground for the downfall of choosing the course among the students. Hotels would be flexible on their policies on recruitment especially on the basic remuneration.

Hospitality industries urging, “Effective sources” then assist the catering colleges/universities on setup the training modules through forming the forum. It has to be compiling on their modern day needs.

It’s very hard to hear for me, teaching is the place for rest. We are the teaching community sole accountable for producing the hoteliers. We are ten fold more action then how we had been in the industry. Still rounding the old basic sauces, training modules & manuals etc, update the current trends and equipped them on it. Internal bias between the tutors resulting ward off the significant teachers from all the movements. We are the people only calling Catering as a professional course, but our community has not done anything for that.

Oh God…… Save the catering art from the hands of all the odds…..

Tuesday, September 1, 2009


Last week I was invited by my friend to his village, the reason they were offering to his household deity. I went with him, it’s a temple in the bank of Thamirabarani river. Very serene location, swinging roots of huge banyan tree,mesmerizing gentle breeze. I really attracted by the location. My chum and myself sat on the bolder over there, start chatting while I turned back a granny and few ladies of my friends family preparing for some food stuffs.

Peeled the small onions, grinded the coconut with few spices use of the grinding stone in the temple. What kind of the preparation, I asked that women, they answered, it is the Kozhi Kulambhu (Chicken gravy), which offered to the deity. I start watching, because they have very few spices and ingredients in their platter.

Fried the shallots in the gingelly oil, added the pasted coconut masala, Country chicken pieces, little turmeric powder, few tomatoes in it. No chilli powder, coriander powder in this gifted recipe. It’s a very fast preparation. Just covered that one, after few minutes they removed the lid. The aroma of the chicken blended in the wind and tingled my nose. Finish this curry with tempering.

It’s not much spicy. I really wondered of the speedy preparation and the masala used in it. That day I had a plateful of rice and nearly ½ kg of chicken.

mmmmmmm……. I am coming to my point. After I turned to my place, I shared my experience to my team mates. Karthic said, this recipe and the masala used in the curry is totally new. We will dish out that recipe in our kitchen. At once my smile arises, my territory flooded with the action. We dish out that new village recipe.

Taste, aroma of this curry made all my team mates to lick his own fingers. At the end they are in the mess of the name of this dish, I named it as “Padappu Kozhi Kuzhambu”.