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Then Indhiya Samayal Iravu -An Evening of South Indian Cooking

Anita Subramaniam, Ph.D.

Anita Subramaniam

Tradition, Tradition, Tradition!

"India is, the cradle of the human race, the birthplace of human speech, the mother of history, the grandmother of legend, and the great grandmother of tradition."

-Mark Twain

Anita Subramaniam

Anita Subramaniam

Differences within ethnicity
 

Rice eaters Spices- red chilies, green chilies, cumin, coriander seeds, asafetida, turmeric, pepper, fenugreek seeds.

Jaggery instead of sugar
Coconut and tamarind used for gravy

Steaming, pressure cooking, fermenting, boiling, roasting

Anita Subramaniam

North Indians eat whole wheat (chapattis and rotis), Maida (refined wheat) (naans, parathas)  Cardamoms, cloves, cinnamon, nutmeg, pomegranate seeds (ajmer)  Sugar more than jaggery  Tomatoes and onions for making the gravy  Frying, roasting, baking, marinating

Differences in South Indian Cooking
Kannadigas – jaggery, has sweet and sour taste  Telugus – extra hot foods  Keralites – a lot of coconut, coconut milk, use coconut oil for frying  Tamils – tamarind, coconut

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Madurai/Kancheepuram (idlis) Chettinad (mainly non-vegetarian, extra spicy) Thanjavore/Trichi (Rice Bowl of India) Tirunelvelli (Halwa) Palghat (coconut milk, elliseri, jackfruit payasam) Indo French cooking (Pondicherry, Cheeses) Anglo Indian cooking (soups (mulagitawny soup), breads, chips)
Anita Subramaniam

Malaysia. Madagascar.Tamil Society – Clothing & Food Tamils live all over the world. Sri Lanka. There are Tamils in Singapore. Anita Subramaniam . Thailand. UK. and US. Canada. Australia.

. there is no single way of preparation Anita Subramaniam .Introduction to Tamil Cooking         Today’s menu consists of home recipes A few of the innumerous items using traditional Indian vegetables and recipes Variety of items prepared for one wholesome meal Vary from laborious and very simple Vary from spicy hot to very sweet Healthy and unhealthy foods Combination of several ingredients to prepare one dish Many of these items are prepared in more than one way.

Tamil Nadu  Food Crops       Cash Crops           Rice Ragi Bajra Masoor Dal Moong Dal Cotton Sugar cane Jute Tea Coffee Rubber Plaintain Mango Tamarind Spices Anita Subramaniam .

food production is evident from Indus Valley period. farming was well developed. Earthworms grown to till the soil The Vedic farmers knew the method of improving the fertility of the soil by crop rotation method. Cow dung was used as manure.C. Intensive excavations at Kalibangan. one of the important pre-Harappan sites in Bikaner division of Rajasthan have laid bare a furrowed field showing in the third Millennium B. eight & repeated ploughing was done to acquire desired quality of the soil..History of Agriculture         Early Humans were good gatherers not producers In India. Agricultural Traditions are Maintained! Anita Subramaniam . Ploughing using oxen and bulls Six.

Parboiled rice is now available in other cities in India and in the US and UK    Anita Subramaniam .com/prof_n en.the main food crop   India one of the largest exporters of rice. firmer.nazricenfoods. ranking second in the world next to Thailand (Money Matters. 2003) Profile of a Rice Producing Factory : http://www.html Rice production for this year is going to be affected both in India and China due to poor monsoon season Rice grown in India is of different varieties  Kuttharisi (parboiled)  Ponni  Samba  Idly  Jasmine flavored rice  Rose flavored rice  Red rice Parboiled rice  Rice steamed with the outer husk before dehusking  This enables the rice grain to retain BVitamins that are usually lost during the dehusking process. and less clingy than white rice grains. converted rice = parboiled rice • Fast-cooking white rice • When cooked. Uncle Ben's is a well-known brand. the grains are more nutritious.Rice . 2004) India produces about 78 million tonnes of rice (rice consumption of the world is around 408 million tonnes) (Business Standard.

• They are the seeds of plants belonging to the family Leguminosae • Rich in Protein.Pulses – Main Protein Source • Peas. Carbohydrate. contains unsaturated fats • Some are high in iron and calcium Anita Subramaniam . Fiber. beans and lentils are known as pulses. Vitamins (C) • Low in Fat.

Anita Subramaniam . Fruits that we use are:  Papaya  Jack fruit  Different varieties of mangoes  Sapota  Guavas  Different varieties of bananas  Perichampazham  Pomegranate  Nagapazham.Indian Vegetables and Fruits The common South Indian vegetables are:  Snake gourd  Bitter gourd  Avaraikai (broad beans)  Thondakai  Drumstick  Raw plantains  Banana flower (Vazha poo)  Banana stem (Vazha thandu)  Taro root (Shepangazhangu)  Karamani (long beans)  Small brinjals  White pumpkin  Different varieties of greens  Yams (Karnakazhangu)  Kothavanrangai (cluster beans).

Some spices also possess strong anti-microbial and antibiotic activities. Spices possibly activate the adrenoAnita Subramaniam cortical function and fortify resistance and physical capacity.Chewing certain spices like cardamom. clove. etc. aroma and piquancy to and for seasoning of foods". in whole or ground form. since they effect many functional processes. There are over 80 spices grown in different parts of the world and around 50 spices are grown in India. Stroke frequency . Spices act as a stimulates to the digestive system and help digestion in many ways. The climate of the country is suitable for almost all spices. E) Asafotida Tamarind Til (Gingili seeds) Ginger Turmeric Cardamom Black pepper Vanilla Rose essence Saffron India is known as the 'The home of spices'. and blood pressure can be diminished or          . Some of them also possess antioxidant properties.. improves digestion and acts as a mouth freshener. cumin. Many of them possess medicinal properties and have a profound effect on human health. while others are used as preservatives in some foods like pickles and chutneys. According to the International Organization For Standardization (ISO). For good breath .Spices and Condiments                    Coriander seeds Curry leaves Mustard Cilantro Red chilies Green chilies Cumin seeds Fenugreek seeds (Vit. ROLE OF SPICES They add tang and flavor to otherwise insipid foods. The term 'spices and condiments' applies to such natural plant or vegetable products or mixtures thereof. There is no other country in the world that produces as many kinds of spices as India. as are used for imparting flavor.

Cooking Methods Anita Subramaniam .

Traditional Tools  Aruvamanai  Ammi. Attukkal Anita Subramaniam .

Cooking only after shower Must wear proper clothing No footwear Usually cooking done by women Although some households have male cooks Male cooks (only) for wedding and festive occasions Male and females do not usually cook together Feet always washed before entering the house (guests) (WHY?)       Vegetables are washed before cutting Hands washed after each activity Must not touch old food (if any) while cooking. if done. wash hands Utensils washed before use (even if washed before) Cooking area cleansed after every meal preparation Cooking area is decorated with kolams in the night Anita Subramaniam .Traditions in Meal Preparation           Always cooked the same day Cooks get to work very early in the morning – 5 a.m.

no fat • Several items cooked at the same time • Conserves time and fuel • Cooks food well • No loss of nutrients as water is not drained • Can be dangerous if not properly installed • Pressure can cause food burst and to be thrown out • Makes noise • May undercook/overcook food Anita Subramaniam .Pressure Cooking • Healthy.

Wet Grinding • Indian wet grinders use the same concept as used in hand grinding • Wet grinders are quicker than hand grinding • Wet grinders grind food for idlis and dosas better than food processors • Not useful for small quantities Anita Subramaniam .

Steaming • Idlis and many items used are cooked by steaming • Healthy • No fat used • Quick Anita Subramaniam .

gingili oil and coconut oil used a few decades ago  Ghee used for seasoning and desserts  Anita Subramaniam .Frying Less frequent than pressure cooking. adai. and pappadams  These are usually made once a week and saved  Frying also for Tiffin – afternoon snacks  Shallow frying more common than deep fat frying (dosa. appams)  Limited to festive occasions and social get together  Only vegetable oil used. steaming or roasting  Frying limited to side items such as chips like varuvals.sunflower oil most common in India. appalams.

Food Eating Patterns Anita Subramaniam .

html) Anita Subramaniam . While the rest of the household Instead of cutlery. don’t eat beef.htm) Mutton and Chicken are the most common types of meat consumed Region and religion affect Indian eating patterns Muslims are forbidden to eat pork and pork products. Indians often eat meals sitting cross-legged on a floor mat. most of the Hindu people. Cows are considered sacred in India and are worshiped by Hindus Pork is also not common (http://www. women serve the meals and wait until everyone has finished dining before sitting down themselves.bhc. though they do consume dairy products In addition. Indians follow restricted diets for pregnancy and mourning. as far as I know. the right hand is used for eating and a piece of fresh banana leaf or stainless steel plate (thali) serves as a plate.settlement. All Jains and some Hindus are strict vegetarians.Food Eating Patterns           One of the main influences on Indian cuisine is the Hindu religion Many Hindus are vegetarians In addition. There is also a selected system of fasting related to religious practices At home. ( eating.

the crow is served rice. no other beverage is served Leaf is cleaned by sprinkling water and brushing the water with fingers (left to right) Food eaten with hands –using only fingers not the palm Only right hand is used for eating Food eaten sitting on the floor on the full lotus position with erect back Seating is from left to right – no gaps The most important person served first Sometimes the first leaf is for “puthras” (ancestors) Usually in most Hindu homes. dal and ghee first outside the house Food served clockwise Anita Food served from top right corner of Subramaniam the leaf to left Traditions in Serving Food .              Food generally served on banana leaves Leaf is placed before the guest The corner of the leaf faces right of the person Water is served first.

laddoos and other items First Serving of Rice:  Rice  Ghee  Sambhar  Appalam Second Serving of Rice:  Morekozhambu  Second serving of all dishes that has been consumed Third Serving of Rice:  Rasam  Appalam Main Dessert:  Full cup of payasam Fourth Serving of Rice:  Yogurt Wash Hands and chew betel leaves Digestive:  Betel leaves with betel nut and Calcium Carbonate (lime)  Some men and women combine chewing tobacco with betel leaves Anita Subramaniam .Order of Serving/Eating Food Foods served first:  Serving starts with a spoon of “payasam”  Dhal  Followed by salads – vegetable and fruit  Vegetable dishes  Chutneys and pickle  Vadas.

serving food to guests is considered dharma (a generous act)  Hostess cleans the place with her hands  Burping is sign of contentment of food  Guest must sit for sometime before leaving  Betel leaf with lime and betel nuts served when the guest is seated with washed hands  Anita Subramaniam .Traditions After the Meal All food served must be consumed  Unconsumed food generally set in one side of the leaf  Leaf must not be folded  Guest gets up and washes hands  Hostess always takes away the leaf after ALL the guests get up  Concept of Dharma.

betel Leaves.Festive Occasions       Are many and celebrated with a lot of sincerity and regularity All members participate Certain festivals all extended family members attend Several gods and each god is revered Flowers. and. betel nut. coconut are sacred offerings for all the festivals Special items of food are prepared specific to each festival Anita Subramaniam . fruits.

tiffin items are served for dinner. Rice Rasam Sambhar Kootu Curry Appalam Yogurt Pickle Thokayal Podis Anita Subramaniam . podis   Lunch/Dinner items            Common Tiffin items:      Vadas Bondas Pakodas Savai Adais  In some households. chutney.4 Meals a Day!!  Common Breakfast items Coffee  Idlis  Dosas  Uppuma  Poori  Pongal Accompanied by sambhar.

A Typical Meal Rice Rasam Sambhar Kootu Poriyal/Curry Yogurt Ghee Plain cooked Dhal Sweets on occasions only One or two of the below: Chutney Pickle Pachadi Appalam Salad Anita Subramaniam .

nenthranga Omapodi Murukku Thattai        Mysore pakku Cashew nut/Almond cake Athirasam Kesari Halwa Jamun Payasam Usually prepared on festive occasions Anita Subramaniam .Snacks & Sweets        Ribbon pakoda Muthsarai Mixture Chips – banana.

Some Traditional Recipes Anita Subramaniam .

Anita Subramaniam .Traditional Juice Panagam (PAAnagam)  Jaggery  Lime  Ginger  Cardamom Served before food Only beverage served with food is water.

Traditional Beverage        Coffee Made from fresh decoction Decoction made through filtration Freshly ground coffee powder (powdering usually done in coffee mills – shops specifically that powder coffee) Add coffee powder to the top compartment of the filter Add boiling hot water over a spoon Consumed with milk and sugar Anita Subramaniam .

s/he usually consumes buttermilk          Yogurt consumed at least two times a day 2 cups Thick form Made from whole fat milk Sometimes from cow’s milk (yellowish in color) Buffalo milk – whitish in color The cream of the yogurt is collected to make butter Butter prepared by churning with hand Churner tied to a rope Anita Subramaniam .Yogurt      One of the most important sources of Calcium Yogurt is consumed more than milk in some households Yogurt used in cooking preparations Always the last item to be consumed in a meal If one does not wish to eat rice and yogurt.

Ghee Prepared from butter  Ghee is prepared by boiling butter until it turns transparent and dark brown sediments begin to form  Ghee is served with rice except when rice is served with yogurt  Ghee reduces the spiciness of food  Anita Subramaniam .

Anita Subramaniam .Ghee and Yogurt Ghee  Melt unsalted butter and let it boil until a light brown sediment is formed  Store ghee in a cool place  No refrigeration required Yogurt  Boil milk  Let it cool  Add some old yogurt (about 2 tsps.)  Let it set in room temperature  Once set. refrigerate.

cilantro and salt  Heat 4 tsp of oil. rice flour. and 3 tsp of ghee in a pan and add it to the above  Now add chopped onions.pakodas Ingredients  Channa flour (besan) 2 cups  Rice flour 1 cup  Onions 2 chopped length wise  Ginger a small piece grated  Green chilies 4 chopped  Red chili powder  Cashews 1/4 cup  Curry leaves a few  Ghee (melted butter) 2-3 tsp  Cooking Oil 4 tsp  Cilantro a small bunch washed and finely chopped  Salt 1 tsp  Cooking Oil for frying Method  Mix channa flour. Anita Subramaniam . green chilies and mix everything well  Make small irregular balls and deep fry in oil. chili powder.

idlis Ingredients  Par boiled rice 3 cups  Urad dhal (Black gramdeskinned) 1 cup  Salt 2 tsp Method  Rinse and soak rice and urad dhal separately in water for 2 hours  Grind the two separately. and mix them together with salt  Let it ferment overnight  Make idlis using idli trays  Steam (no pressure). Anita Subramaniam .

rice Jasmine or Raw Rice  1 cup  3 cups of water  Pressure cook using pressure cooker  Or use rice cooker  Or cook in an utensil using excess water and drain the water  Anita Subramaniam .

onion sambhar Ingredients  Tur dhal 1 cup  Coriander seeds (Dhania) 3 tsp  Channa dhal 2 tsp  Red chilies 6  Fenugreek seeds (Methi) 1/4 spoon  Pearl Onion (1 frozen pack)  Tomato 1 (optional)  Tamarind paste 2 tsp  Grated coconut 3 tsp  Green chilies 4  Turmeric 1/4 tsp  Cilantro a small bunch washed and finely chopped  Curry leaves a few  Mustard 1/2 tsp  Cooking Oil 2 tsp  Salt 1 tsp (or to taste) Method  Cook Tur dhal and turmeric with extra water. and cook this in the tur dhal water with salt  After it is cooked. and little onion. add tamarind paste and cook for a few minutes. Anita Subramaniam . and add this to the sambhar  Garnish with cilantro and curry leaves. splutter mustard. and finally add the ground paste  After this is cooked add the cooked tur dhal  Heat little oil in a pan. Drain water and save in a separate container  Scrap coconut  Fry channa dhal. red chilies. methi. dhania. Grind this mixture with tomato and coconut  Peel onions (if fresh raw onions are used)  Fry onions and green chilies in a pan for a few minutes.

curry leaves and 1 red chili in ghee and add this to the rasam.cumin and pepper rasam Ingredients  Tur dhal 2 tsp  Cumin seeds 1/2 + 1/4 tsp  Pepper 1/2 tsp  Red chili 3  Tamarind paste 1/2 tsp  Turmeric 1/4 tsp  Curry leaves a few  Water 3 cups  Ghee 1/2 tsp  Salt 1 tsp (or to taste) Method  Dry roast tur dhal and pepper without oil for 1 minute  Soak this in water along with red chili & cumin seeds for 10 minutes  Wet grind to a smooth paste  Boil tamarind in water. Anita Subramaniam . and add the above mixture until the flavor comes out  Fry 1/4 tsp cumin seeds. turmeric. add salt.

splutter mustard seeds  Add curry leaves. and fry this for a few minutes  Now add the ground paste and the remaining butter milk to the above and bring this to a boil on a low flame  Simmer for a few minutes  Garnish with cilantro. Anita Subramaniam . with coconut and little salt and butter milk  Heat some coconut/vegetable oil. salt. If using okra.moor kozhambu Ingredients  Cumin seeds 1 tsp  Red chilies 4  Green chilies 2  Rice flour 1/2 tsp  Asafetida (hing) a small pinch  Coconut 4 tsp  Coconut oil 1 tsp (optional)  Sour cream or butter milk 4 cups  Turmeric 1/4 tsp  Mustard 1/4 tsp  Salt 1 tsp (or to taste)  Curry leaves a few  Cilantro a small bunch washed and finely chopped  Vegetables . red chilies. or zucchini or squash Method  Cut vegetable into big pieces and cook in water. little hing. turmeric and the vegetables. need not cook but have to fry a little  Grind cumin.White pumpkin or okra. rice flour.

splutter mustard and urad dal  Add curry leaves  Add hing. salt and diced potatoes  Simmer the stove and let it cook until the potatoes turn light brown.potato roast Ingredients  Potatoes 1 pound  Turmeric 1/4 tsp  Asafetida (Hing) a small pinch  Chili powder 1 tsp  Urad dhal 1/2 tsp  Mustard 1/4 tsp  Curry leaves a few  Cooking Oil 5 tsp  Salt 1 tsp (or to taste) Method  Boil or microwave peeled potatoes with turmeric and salt. turmeric. chili powder. Anita Subramaniam .  Peel skin and dice them and keep aside  Heat 5 tsp of oil in a kadai/wok.

Anita Subramaniam . turmeric powder.Taro root roast Taro root  Chili powder  Curry leaves  Salt  Turmeric powder  Asafetida  Besan  Rice flour        Boil taro root in a pressure cooker Peel skin Dice cross sectionally Mix chili powder. Dip or sprinkle on the diced taro root Deep fry in oil. rice four. salt.besan. asafetida powder and curry leaves (finely chopped).

cumin seeds. and red chilies and add this paste to the boiling vegetables  Cook until the flavor comes out  Heat some coconut oil in a pan. potatoes. curry leaves. peas. OR  Squash OR  Nool Kohl OR  Zucchini Method  Wash and dice vegetables into uniform pieces  Cook them with a little salt and turmeric  Wet grind coconut. splutter mustard and urad dhal. cabbage. etc. OR  Chow chow OR  Spinach OR  Snake gourd.. Anita Subramaniam . 1 red chili. and add this to the kootu.kootu Ingredients  Coconut 1-2 tsp  Cumin seeds 1 tsp  Red chilies 5  Turmeric 1/2 tsp  Urad dhal 1 tsp  Coconut oil 1 tsp  Salt 1 tsp (or to taste)  Curry leaves a few  Vegetables:  Carrot.

salt. green chilies. Anita Subramaniam . channa dhal.Chutney Coconut chutney Ingredients  Coconut 1/2 cup grated  Roasted channa dal (Pottu Kadalai) 3 tsp  Green chilies 2  Salt 1/2 tsp Method Grind all the above ingredients. red chilies. Cilantro chutney Ingredients  Urad dhal 4 tsp  Channa dhal 2 tsp  Red chilies 2  Green chilies 2  Cilantro 1 bunch  Hing 1/4 tsp  Tamarind paste 1/4 tsp  Salt 1/2 tsp  Oil 2 tsp Method  Fry urad dhal.  Wet grind the above with chopped cilantro. and tamarind paste. and hing in oil.

Roast methi seeds and dry grind it and keep it aside. Anita Subramaniam . and keep it aside for 4-5 days. and hing and let it cool. pickle Ingredients  Mango 1 large or 2-4 small  Red chili powder 1/2 cup  Turmeric powder 1/4 tsp  Fenugreek seeds (Methi seeds) 1/2 tsp  Mustard 1/4 tsp  Hing 1/4 tsp  Salt 1/4 cup  Cooking oil 1/4 cup Method Cut mango into small dices. add salt. Heat oil in a pan. Add red chili powder to this mango and mix it well. and add the roasted methi powder. removing the pitt. and add mustard. mix it with the mango. When the above oil becomes room temperature.

5 tsp  Cilantro a small bunch washed and finely chopped  Salt 1/2 tsp (or to taste) Method  Splutter mustard. and add hing. Anita Subramaniam . and mix this with yogurt  Garnish with chopped cilantro. green chilies  Add tomato in oil and fry for 510 minutes  Add salt. curry leaves.tomato pachadi Ingredients  Tomato 1 big and a few small ones washed and chopped  Yogurt 2 cups  Curry leaves a few  Mustard 1/4 tsp  Asafetida (hing) a small pinch  Green chilies chopped 2-3  Cooking Oil 1.

1 cup  Ghee . Anita Subramaniam .2 1/2 cups  Water .  Pour this into a pan and cook in low heat.  When it is still hot. sugar and water smoothly. Add all the ghee in this manner. light and crisp.1 cup  Sugar . Add cardamom powder.  Make a syrup with sugar and water to one string consistency.spread and level.  Grease the inside of a large bowl with ghee and pour the cooked mixture on this large bowl. Continue stirring Add melted ghee simultaneously.2 1/2 cups  Cardamom (optional) Method 1  Dry roast the gram flour to a golden color.          While stirring. Leave it to cool.  Do this until the mixture turns into a non-sticky paste. Method 2  Mix gram flour. Cook till the mixture leaves the sides of the pan. While still warm cut into diamond shapes. Mysore pak should be porous. Keep aside. Smear a plate with the ghee. Pour in the mixture .  Keep ghee in another vessel in low heat and add this ghee to the gram flour mixture in steps and with constant stirring.mysore pakku Ingredients  Besan flour . cut into cubical pieces by drawing parallel lines on its surface. slowly add the gram flour.

com/  Saroj’s cookbook  URL: http://www. htm  India tastes.html sites with interesting recipes   Thamizhar Pakkam  URL: http://www.html Anita Subramaniam .com  URL: http://www.

com/cook/cookery.Websites…  Dhinakarn Recipes  URL: http://www.htm Anita Subramaniam .dinakaran.