It’s that time of the year again when Mylapore is flooded with roadside doll shops, Vijaya Stores is thronged with customers out to buy “Seap-Kannadi-Kumkumam-Manjal,” (Comb, Mirror, Kumkuma and Turmeric) and items for gifts, and the shopping spree is ever so rampant. It’s also that time of the year where the sale of pulses and lentils reach an all-time high! YES, you guessed it right (Or just figured where I was going at after reading the title.)
Golu Season is here and so is the nine days of protein filled healthy food! Navagrahas are the nine planet deities who are said to impact the lives of human beings. It is a common practice to appease these divine beings by offering grains and lentils. So, during Navrathri, sundal is offered each day in remembrance of these brazen deities to appease them and hope that all good things will reign! It’s not only the Navagrahas who are happy during Golu, it’s every mami, mama and child who leaves a house with at least one packet of this healthy and tasty (Yes, finally both manifest in the same food) snack. Here are 9 varieties of Sundal you can make this season!
From setting up the golu steps, to brushing up on your Carnatic music, (Or saying, “Enakku paada varaadhu, aunty. Akka paaduva!” From giving gifts and getting gifts in return, the 8 day, 9 nights festival is truly special.
This nicest thing about Navarathri, however is the element of surprise. You wonder what Sundal your mother is going to make that day, what Sundal the pakatha veetu mami is going to give you and how much you are going to collect that evening! The smell of the asafoetida and curry leaves wafting through the house as you come back from school is absolutely divine. It is not every day that you find foods that are healthy as well as tasty (No, Maggi’s “Taste bhi, health bhi” doesn’t count.*MSG*) BUT SUNDAL DEFINITELY IS THAT FOOD.
You can order sundal and much more on moremilaga.com 🙂
“A South Indian soup, traditionally prepared using tamarind juice as a base, with the addition of tomato, chili pepper, pepper, cumin and other spices as seasonings” – Wait what? Is that all Rasam means to us? Of course, not! To a South Indian household, it is one of the staple diets. It might be called by different names, Chaaru, Saaru and Kabir, but the comfort that it gives us hasn’t changed overtime. On a cold wintry afternoon, you couldn’t possibly imagine anything better than a hot steaming cup of Rasam or hot rasam rice with ghee! Every time you fall sick, be it a cold, sore throat or a fever, the number of times hot hot rasam sadham has come to your respite is uncountable and the relief it provides, immeasurable. Rasam isn’t just a “south indian soup,” it’s a lot more than that. It’s something that your mom makes every day, it’s probably some secret recipe passed down for generations; It’s a constant.
Although it’s a constant, it has its own variables. There are atleast 15 different types of Rasam. The Top 9 are:
1) Paruppu Rasam: This is the one we make at home regularly. Easy to make and extremely tasty, this rasam is also called Thakkali(Tomato) Rasam.
2) Poondu (Garlic) Rasam: Garlic has been a natural antibiotic and a blood cleanser which helps in lowering blood pressure. This rasam is not only nutritious but also incredibly tasty!
3) Jeera (Cumin) Rasam: Jeera is known for its digestive properties. This is made frequently in many households to keep stomach ailments away!
4) Pepper Rasam: It is prepared with cumin seeds, pepper and garlic. It is very comforting and effective when taken during fever or cold.
5) Lemon Rasam: Tangy and sour, this rasam is made by many who want to cut down the use of tamarind! It goes well with hot rice and ghee along with any vegetable stir fry!
6) Pineapple Rasam: This is a twist in the normal rasam. Sweet and refreshing, this rasam is something completely different and is totally worth a try!
7) Mysore rasam: This is different from other standard types of rasam because of the use of coconut and a lot of spices!
8) Vepampoo (Neem Flower) Rasam: Neem flower has many medicinal properties and are used in treating intestinal worms. They are said to purify blood and remove toxins from the body. Although neem flower has a bitter taste, this rasam is absolutely delicious and the bitterness cannot be tasted!
9) Kandathippili (Long pepper) Rasam: This is the all in one medicinal rasam. It helps to cure cold, soothe cough and also helps with digestive and stomach troubles. This rasam is a testament to the fact that nature has a solution for every problem!
On a cloudy evening, sitting in the balcony, legs on the rails with a book in hand and piping hot Rasam. Bliss, isn’t it?
If you have difficulty preparing any of these nava rasas, either ask your mom/ grandmom or just order from www.moremilaga.com or 9884721737 🙂
For all those who have called our helpline and wondered who it is at the other end, meet our Operations and Customer Engagement In charge: Ragini Murali
A housewife turned enterprising professional and a mother of two bright engineers, Ragini’s the goto person for all situations.
“I have always kept myself engaged by the way of Sloka classes and community service, and Moremilaga provided an ideal platform to explore a different facet of me” says Ragini whose husband is a Senior Manager in a PSU bank.
In case you don’t find her answering the helpline, you can safely assume that she’s either at Venkata Narayana Temple doing service to the Lord or at the Sathyam Theatre 🙂
Gone are the days when making vadam was a family event. From buying ready made packets in stores and then directly into tiffin boxes, kids these days don’t know the emotions and sentiments attached to their every day foods.
Given below is a step by step ’emotional guide’ to the vadam making process.
Step 1: Paati would make the maavu, called vadam koozhu. Just like how we all attack the cake batter before it goes into the oven, the kids (currently, our parents) had to literally be driven out of the kitchen for the same!
Step 2: Paati would spread out the vadam koozhu in different patterns on thatha’s dhoti (which he desperately searches for, in the upcoming week!) and leave it out in the sun to dry.
Step 3: The kids then become the legal guardians of the “out to dry” vadam. They sit out in the sun all day, pretending to study and drive away the birds that come to eat their precious accompaniment to any food!
Step 4: BLAME THE CROWS for the missing pieces of vadam. Always blame the crows.
The crisp sound catches your attention very easily, but it’s the making that enticed kids from the 90s. Many a times, kids are found in the terraces and rooftops trying to shoo crows away. Sometimes it’s a squirrel or a small animal trying to get a nibble of some nicely ground and spiced up batter left to be dried. But, no. The kids would never let the animals win.
“I remember how my mother used to keep the vadam under lock and key. But most of the fun was in eating the semi dried maavu… That was totally in our control,” says Latha, a teacher. Change is the only constant and nothing is immune to it. Not even one of the tastiest traditional snacks of Tamil Nadu. “Nowadays, there’s just no time. Chillies have replaced the children as guardians, Thatha’s dhoti has become plastic sheets [good for thatha, but traditions?] and the packet vadam is still raw,” exclaims Shyamala Gopal, an IT professional.
Such a joyous occasion has been lost to the tides of time. Making Vadam koozhu is a ritual engaging the grandparents and the grandkids when the generation in between is out to work. Such bliss is incomparable. Unfortunately, it is now unrecognizable.
Get back the nostalgic feeling, order your homemade Vadam koozhu and much more, only at www.moremilaga.com