Audio, Video, Disco

Audio, Video, Disco - Latin for "I hear, I see, I learn"

Sunday, April 30, 2006

An Iyengar recipe

Since this is my first posting, I thought I would begin with a few words about my childhood days. I grew up in a joint family, consisting of several grandmothers, grandfathers, aunts, and uncles, all of them idiosyncratic, some of them eccentric, but all of them great fun. We had a cook , who made the most delectable dishes. But my father's aunt insisted that once a month we should have what in Iyengar lingo is called 'pathiya thaligai.' It's realy difficult to translate that into English. It could loosely be translated as those dishes made from an array of herbs and spices, which are supposed to have curative and healing properties. And of course, pathiya thaligai is almost entirely fat free. The dishes weren't meant to please the palate. They were intended to soothe our overworked digestive systems. Here is the recipe for one of the dishes we had as part of 'pathiya thaligai.' It is called Kanda tippili satramudhu. Satramudhu in Iyengar lingo means rasam. Rasam is what the Brits call Mulligatawny soup. Actually that is a corruption of milagu thanni. Milagu in Tamil means pepper corns, a key ingredient in rasam. But there is much more that goes into rasam.

Recipe for Kanda tippili satramudhu:


1. Kanda tippili - 4 pieces
2. Red chillis - 2
3. Pepper Corns - 1 tsp
4. Asafoetida - small piece
5. Tuvar dal - 1 tsp
6. Cumin - 1/2 tsp
7. Tamarind - the size of a small lime
8. Salt - to taste
9. Curry leaves - 5
10. Mustard seeds for seasoning - 1 tsp


Disssolve the tamarind in 2 cups of water. Strain the tamarind water. Dry roast ingredients 1 to 6 on a low flame for 2 minutes. Grind the roasted ingredients to a coarse powder. Add the powder to the tamarind water, add salt and bring to a boil. When the water begins to boil, switch off the flame. Heat a pan, add mustard seeds. When the mustard seeds begin to splutter, add the curry leaves, dry roast for a few seconds and add to the tamarind water. This is taken with rice and it serves 4. It can even be drunk like a soup.

N. B. Kanda tippili is available in shops which sell herbs and medicinal plants.