I am a day late with this post, but better late than never 🙂
I was planning to write this one about the yummy thalipith pitla I ate at Swati Snacks yesterday. Swati Snacks is a kind of street food for NRIs, firangis place. The food tastes great, it is sufficiently spicy to be Indian, but not so spicy as to send you rushing to the bathroom. And it costs a bomb, for extremely small portions. I mean 100 rupees for a bhel puri and 90 for chaas is something I think can make sense only if you have dollars to burn.
But I think I will write this post about my long time love affair with curd rice, ‘thayir saddam’, thachi mammam. I think its practically a community identity for us, South Indians, particularly Tamil Brahmins. This was practically the only item I carried for lunch, throughout my school days, and also, when I started taking lunch again with me to work. My Delhi born husband finds it hard to believe I used to carry such a messy item to school, but we were all from the generation, which used to have a separate basket containing the food, water bottle, spoon and a napkin. This is apparently something which never happened in Delhi (or so he claims), and my husband would carry a tiffin box in his school bag. So he had to make sure the item was not messy and would not ruin his books.
I cant really explain the charm of this item to a non curd rice fanatic. I mean, its a simple item to make, it has a largely bland flavor. It does not tickle multiple parts of your tongue. It does not even have an appealing aroma. It should be eaten at non-hot temperaturs (not even cold or freezing like ice cream).
On the plus side, it is creamy, you can eat it with minimum effort. It is supposed to be loaded with good nutrition, but i dont think that is the secret of its attraction. In fact despite the tamilian obsession with curd rice, I guess many tamilians dont have a great opinion of its nutritional value, and there is a derogatory saying in tamil (Muttalukku Moonu velaiyum Mor saadam), which translates to a fool eats curd rice three times a day.
I think my own fascination with curd rice is because I find it very calming to eat that. Eating it genuinely makes me feel peaceful and content with life. I am not proposing that if more nations started eating curd rice, the world would be a more peaceful place, but if such an idea were proposed, I wouldn’t find it hard to accept it.