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Monday, December 16, 2019

Vatha kuzhambu

Image from ticklingpalates.com
After living two and a half years in college with a friend circle that predominantly consists of people who are not from the South, I got a fair insight into what they actually know about Tamil food. Idli, dosa, sambar, uttappam and medu vada seem to be widely popular. But, others like paruppu vada, masal vada, keerai vada, bonda seems to be in the shadow. Some people know of rasam. One day they made aviyal in college, and I was so excited. It was made nicely and a lot of my friends really enjoyed it.

Every time, I hear one of them talk about Tamil food, I feel really tempted to not only tell them how many beautiful dishes they have no clue about, but also make them taste it. However, it's very difficult to find good South Indian places around my College, and even if we do find one I'm always skeptical about making them try the pongal or rasam or adai, in the fear that they would consider that to be the standard of the dish.

My love for thayir sadham (curd rice), or generally most South Indians', is something unheard of there. How would I ever make them understand the happiness that a "thalicha thayir sadham" can give? It is an experience that needs to be had. And, my favourite side to have with curd rice is the vatha kuzhambu. 

There are many south Indian dishes like sambar and rasam. But only one dish can make a cup of curd rice disappear instantaneously. This one dish is the golden drop Vatha Kuzhambu. Vatha Kuzhambu is a broth made with thick tamarind pulp. The best way to eat it (obviously, according to me) is to take a handful of curd rice and top it up with a couple of drops. The subtle taste of seasoned curd rice topped by a drop of the spicy and tangy vatha kozhambu is so soothing and tasty that we wouldn’t mind another cup of curd rice for it.

None of the other side dishes can match the home-made Vatha Kuzhambu which tickles the taste buds and leaves you wanting for more. Vatha Kuzhambu can be used as a side-dish or can be mixed with rice and eaten. There are two reasons for it to be called the golden drop. One, it has a deep, slightly brownish colour of gold. Second, it is supremely favoured by all tamil foodies. A drop of this dish takes you to the seventh heaven.

And, there are so many more dishes I would want to make them eat- idiappam, set dosa, adai, morkozhambu, all our karis and kootus, and so on. I hope one day they get to taste it all, for it is an experience in itself!

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