The Untold Art of savouring a South Indian Meal
Have you ever been to a typical South Indian marriage or for that matter a Tamil wedding in the interiors? It need not be a wedding to witness the gymnastic frenzy of the rice ball. Confused aren’t you?
Well here I refer to a typical Tamilian sitting cross legged in front of a plate or banana leaf with a heap of rice. The curry (sambar/ kuzambhu) or rasam is poured over it and it very much might flow off the leaf but then experience teaches you to control it. Rasam is prepared using tamarind pulp, tomato and spices like pepper and jeera. This preparation is a very good digestive aid and is an important item in the meal. It is preceded by the sambar followed by moru commonly known as buttermilk.
|Here you can see a meal of rasam rice picked from chefinyou.com|
The rasam is then mixed by crushing the rice in your palm and then rolled into a ball with is then deftly tossed into the mouth from a distance. The ball is chewed noisily for few seconds and then swallowed. People enjoy taking a ladle of rasam in their cupped palm and drinking it off with a slurp. The rasam might trickle down the forearm but then that’s fine as the element of fun mixed with the pungent taste of rasam wouldn’t compromise for mess. Be it the rasam or the moru!!! Remember watching the King Khan on the screen licking his fingers dipped in curd and noodles and later smacking his lips in the dud movie Ra One as Shekhar Subramanium. Well its the trademark south indian practice 🙂
As an entity outside the south Indian circuit you might find it weird or for that matter uncultured but then that’s how my uncles and grandparents brought up in the Dravidian soil prefer to have their meals. I have seen them having their lunch and dinner over the last three decades. The satisfaction having a spread in a banana leaf filled with the various delicacies of the main course to the desert that would normally be payasam can’t be compared to anything. At times I crave for it and feel like digging my mouth into it.
I am off in a fortnight to the lands of the Cholas, Pandavas and Cheras. If you want to experience it you ought to be there.