September 27, 2011

As I smell it, am loving it all the more!

                                                              (image courtesy: homecookreceipes.blogspot.com)

Nothing like it. Hot steaming Sambar rice made with love. It smells earthy, spicy and wraps me up in happiness! Gifted by a good friend. I write gifted as I really cherish it when someone shares their food or drink with me. I consider the art of sharing food synonymous with gifting. Knock! Knock! on my door around mealtime, and there I get hopeful :)

Sambar is a great dish. But, Sambar rice is different as the ingredients mix so well and it complements fryums or pappadams. The soft, chewy Sambar rice with the crisp fryums! Yumm! This afternoon, Subha's Sambar rice takes me back to whole foods. And, just the way they do a world of good to our fragile bodies, they do good to our planet as well.

Just to dissect this whole food dish that I am devouring right now - the dal gets in the proteins. The colourful vegetables gets in all the vitamins and minerals. Rice promises a steady supply of energy to take me through the rest of the  day. The Sambar masala adds a definite twist and tango! Definitely satiating for the taste buds.

It feels good to see the vegetable gardens peeping out of the apartment balconies here. I see Spinach, tomatoes and even beans! And a whole lot of other greens and beets! A must member of the balconies here is Thulsi and Curry leaf. Seeing the little plant heads peeping out and dancing in the breeze is so heartwarming!

The other day as I was reading Savita Hiremath's post on Papamma, it took me back to the good old days when our ancestral folks found satiety and sufficiency in their own home gardens. I remember the many times when Mom shared with me stories from her own childhood.


It was the 'responsibility' of my grand mom to fend for her own vegetable needs. Vegetables and all related paraphernalia like ginger, garlic, turmeric, and spices came right from the kitchen garden. Ammachy's backyard vegetable garden was so bountiful all the year round with just the seasonal favourites. A few hours before lunch time, being her foot soldier, I would step into the green to pick the vegetables for lunch. I still remember being amused by a vegetable which looked like an ice-cream cone- green in colour- with a tapering stem and a bulb kind of growth at the other end!
(Last night I recollected its name- its called 'nityavazhuthana' in Malayalam!) Its aptly called Clove Bean as it looks just like a green Clove.


Home gardens are so much the need of the hour. Whole Foods too. I remember writing to the Editor of Kerala's leading daily about how they could really be the change agent with their powerful reach and advocacy. Just like how they started a rain water harvesting movement in Kerala with their 'pala thulli peru vellam' movement, the dreamer in me saw a home garden movement shaping up in my home state. This was at least 3 years ago. But recently, when I called home Mom told me about a packet of seeds that her neighbour shared with her. Which came free with a magazine from the media group! Small beginnings, but capable of sparking a great revolution!

As am writing this, I am dreaming of the day when I will step in to my vegetable garden to choose my pick for a meal! Thanks Subha for inspiring this post :)

20 comments:

chitchu&chikli said...

Very Yummy Post Minu. And with the pests and annual suply of produce and veg- there is nothing tasty left in Vegetables- or nutritious for that matter. Add to it the inflation- sure better to grow your own stuff these days!And have the thrill of seeing that little bud peepeing out, wondering whether this is the strain which flowers but does not "fruit"!

Tharuni said...

like to say Sambar saadham...:)Food made and served with lov.thats a lovely one da...nyse one Minu.

Samantha Corea said...

i really feel like having sambar rice now :)

Pushpa Emmanuel said...

Minu, good. but you gave all the credit of that kitchen garden to Ammachi. It was your grandpa who was doing all those things. She was a helping hand to him.

Gouri Karthika said...

Minu......I never had this Sambar rice.....But the way u described it, made me craving for it...... What u said is right....I too enjoyed the Puri- masala, andhra theeyal etc which my house owner used to give me when I was pregnant. Every time the bell rings in the morning, I know it would be house owner aunty with some special preparation...

Neeraja Bose said...

Hey Minu, though i am not very keen in any sought of mixed rices ,u wont believe after reading your blog i am all waiting to taste some ...beautifully written!!!

Rohini said...

Hey Minu,
Made me feel like making sambar. I love your thoughts and I can relate to it since we have a home garden here with okra, brinjal, canteloupe, curry leaves and pomegranate. I love when I can just go out to my back yard, pick what i want to cook and get it into my kitchen.
I am sure people will start realizing the taste of home grown vegetables and your dream will surely come true. My only concern in India is the space limitation. With more people living in apartments, it can be difficult but hey, those people can start on a small scale in their balconies too. Hope for a better future!!

Savita said...

Nice! The effect of this post: I am gonna make my own version of sambar tomorrow morning. :-)

anna's musings said...

Thank you for all comments. Food can be a great inspiration indeed :)

Proma Chatterjee Nautiyal said...

This is a beautiful post Minu! I am an absolute foodie and this article has left my taste buds tingling! My exposure to home grown food produce is very limited but whenever I go to the departmental stores and pick up those nicely wrapped, and larger than normal vegetables, shouting out "not even a speck on me!", I ask myself, '..can anything be more artificial?' And this is what we are eating day in and day out, artificially colored, increased in dimension, and not that great tasting vegetables and fruits. As I read through your article, I yearn for that day when I will have my own kitchen garden, from which I can handpick my favorite vegetables and cook a sumptuous and healthy meal..devoid of any inhibitions.. :)

Wild_Bill said...

My first visit here and I love it. We have had a garden that brings us vegetables year round even in our northern climate. We freeze a lot of our food, but canning would work well too. Thanks for the inspirational article.

€mmanuel said...

Learned abt dancing daffodils in school (or I think so), now hearing about dancing Thulsis and curry leaves..that's a first! good one - foodies will loved this!

anna's musings said...

It has been an absolute delight reading all the comments. I realize that with each comment, I learn a little bit more about whatever I write. Bill, little was I aware of vegetables growing even in Northern climates. I wonder how one does it! Winter is round the corner here in NJ and I was wondering if its the right time to start my own vegetable garden as I have been warned of snow in the balconies!

Rachitha Antony said...

yummy....feel like having sambar now.chehi,we are going to get a vegi patch soon in our new place

Remya Pramod said...

Oh! today I made sambar and rice separately, but i will mix it and make 'sambarice':D...btw, it is good to have a vegetable garden but a 'too much' always create problems! Like..I planted beans in my backyard of my house in kochi and when it grown i was so happy to pluck it and i made beans thoran, beans mezhukkupuratti, beans sambar, beans fried rice...then what..i fed up with eating all these beans items! I had given it to my neighbours, relatives,near by shops..ennittum micham!! ellaam koode padarnnu pandalichu oru kaadaayi ente veedu!! avasaanam chediyellaam koode parichu doorekkalanju! That's my vegetable garden experience. So when u plant something, put only few seeds!!

Emmanuel Mathew said...

U'll trigger a sambar revolution i guess!..i'm seeing people heading to kitchen to make sambar after reading this ;)

Prita John Peter said...

Nice work Minu Mathew. Makes me want to have my own vegetable garden!

Sini K Thomas said...

Hi Minu, I would like to call you the queen of ‘small things’! It really matters a lot. Small things that bring big changes! The spark in your writing as I understood is that you really narrate on small things that can catch even a child’s attention and connect it to the hard core reality of the green planet. The genius of the writer beautifully comes in that link. I am sharing the mind of a researcher who links two seemingly unrelated things and that of a journalist who observes the world around. Whenever I read your write-ups this blend of mine takes up a new shape as if in the mind of a child. It is the high time we speak like this as you see our earth is filled with pizzas, noodles, pastas and what not. Recently JNU banned sale of junk foods in the campus (it was part of a court order) and some student organisations organised a signature campaign against this. Their claim was that the administration did not define what is junk food! However, the ban is still on and no junk foods and carbonated beverages are available in the campus for sale. The ‘sambar rice’ made me think a lot...

anna's musings said...

Thanks so much Sini for your kind words. Small does matter. Every little counts. Great to hear about the JNU ban on junk food sale. Just the need of the hour.

susan said...

Nice one...though I am not much a sambar person, influence of your writing made me feel it yummy and am really craving for it. Good work minu.

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