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  • Category: Miscellaneous

    Where are the grandma recipes?

    Very recently I happened to taste what we call "Veththa kuzhambu" in a friend's house. It later transpired that it was made by his 82 year old grandmother. We often make it at home, but this taste was so different. It had such a fabulous taste with the small onion and drumstick in it.

    The old lady was so kind and merely said that she learned it from her mother. She further said that she missed the traditional village stove and explained that anything cooked through fire wood would taste so fine. This was Chennai and she used just the cooking gas. But managed to retain the taste of the good old days. She also explained that in today's generation, it would be impossible to see anyone having patience. This was readily accepted by the man's young wife, who said that she had to learn so much from the old lady.

    It just got better when the old lady went on to give further tips on every small thing. The young lady just listened so keenly. And it looked as if the younger generation was totally out of tune with the good old and superb ways of cooking.

    For the benefit of members who might wonder what the dish is all about, it is a variety of sambar, but one that does not contain any dall, but has oil and taramind base for the overall final taste. It is served in most South Indian homes in Tamil Nadu, but I have tasted variations of it in AP as well. It is a purely vegetarian dish.
  • #754198
    What the author has been shared recipe is the routine one and even my wife does it with just adding tomatoes and nothing else and it would be made too much concentrate so that if little added to the rice it becomes awesome to eat. Vetta Kuzhambu is made from the Methi seeds and uses black tamarind so that it has a good concentrate content. The main dal used is the Chana dal and that would be fried dry to have the effect on the taste. This particular recipe can be used for two or three days and the more days it is kept, the more the taste is added. Especially when this Kuzhambu is added to the thick curd rice, the taste would be unmatchable and those who tried this previously would never miss it. In Tamil Nadu, almost every house prepares this recipe at least three days a week and the concentrate is enough to long last.
    K Mohan
    'Idhuvum Kadandhu Pogum "
    Even this challenging situation would ease

  • #754211

    True. I agree with the author. The rate of heating will have a lot of impact on the taste of the dish. When we heat a particular item slowly the heat will slowly go to the core of the substance and as the heat is moderate the shell of the item will not get cooked fast. Even a dosa made on a coal-fired stove will have a different taste than the dosa made on a gas stove. On a gas stove, the dish's outer core will get cooked fast and the center core will not get cooked properly and that will result in a different taste altogether.

    My grandmother used to make tasty dishes and she used to make them on coal-fired or firewood-fired stoves only. But the time taken is more and these days people are not having that much time and they want fast results and that may have definitely some impact on the taste of the food. Even on a gas stove if food is cooked by keeping a low flame the taste will be different. These days we will not give much importance to food and we manage somehow filling our stomach,

    always confident

  • #754215
    What the author has presented regarding the preparation of the recipe is definitely true. Taste will be different altogether if it is cooked slowly especially using woods and the fires is to be maintained at a low rate. Coal fired stoves would also provide us taste if the ingredients are used pre roasted especially the channa dal but the taste would vary depending how it is cooked. Slow heating, using different ingredients and the proportions used in making the recipe would produce tangy taste. The taste will ultimately develop depending upon the experience of the cooker.

  • #754244
    In earlier times people used to cook food in home only and were doing it themselves and not depending on the servants. Most of the women were expert cooks and prepared all sort of exceptionally tasty dishes. At that time food prepared by the old ladies was relished by the family members and the daughter in law learnt the culinary art from the old ladies. So the tradition survived for quite some time. Unfortunately the modern trends have disrupted that stream and the culture of junk and western food and its easy availability through online home food services is being seen popular everywhere. Naturally in this situation very few houses could preserve the old traditional dishes with a proper dose of spices which could give an original favour to the dish and one would remember that taste after taking that dish. Still there are some households in our country where people are enjoying old traditional dishes in their original form and texture. If we visit some interior village we might encounter with such surprises in our lives by tasting some of the original dishes there.
    Knowledge is power.

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