Tuesday, August 21, 2007


It is perfectly normal that we have two daughters as contrasting as chalk and cheese. The older Smita digs her teeth into anything that is edible, as long as it is vegetarian. She also relishes the not so frequent egg. She is not very particular about the levels of spice, salt etc., and all she needs when very hungry is a plain, crisp dosa with dollops of milagai podi sprinkled liberally with oil, on one side of the dosa. She however makes faces if we even accidentally mention the name of thayir saadham in passing.

The second one – Sweta is a perfect antithesis to Smita. She never ventures beyond the traditional paruppu saadham. Hot rice, a spoon of ghee, boiled and mashed toor dhall, some salt, a just that wee bit of rasam to add some spice – that is her breakfast. Then she has the same thing for lunch. The evening is a bit of a variation – the rice is not exactly hot. And for the dinner, literally the same menu. The add-ons that are compulsory are the goldfinger (which we call rings) deep fried in oil, and kept ready even before the rice and dhall is mixed. You should see the long faces she makes if the rings are missing from the table. The only concession she makes to the rings is if potato curry or ladiesfinger curry is available – and that too only after cajoling and sweet talking.

She also ventures into some uncharted territory when she on an impulsive remembrance of what her teacher advised – eats a bit of beans or cabbage, or has bread and jam, she has also ventured into the rare two idlis dunked into hotel sambar (never at home), some chapattis and jam, but has not done the variations enough to convince us that she is a complete eater.
This is one reason that we also do not dare to venture out beyond the South of India. For all the wonderful sights we would see across India, Sweta will be missing the sight of her staple rice-dhall-ghee-salt-ring combo. Something she says in Kannada as Anna, Saru, Uppu, Thuppu (a variant of Thuppa - Kannada for Ghee) and Thavvi (Boiled and mashed Dhall).

We are still waiting – waiting for Sweta to turn into not exactly a gourmand – but as someone who makes the occasional foray into something more than home turf.


Blogger Ranganath Eunny said...

Anna, Saru, Uppu, Thuppu, Thavvi!

Wonderful! I used to say something same as a kid whenever my grandpa asked me what I had for lunch

Annam pappu kura charu perugu (Rice, Dal, curry, rasam and curd)





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