Wednesday, July 15, 2015

The ‘coolest’ summer meal!

It’s summer time! Happy, vacation times for the kids.

During our childhood days, in summer, we always travelled to our maternal uncle’s place in Andhra Pradesh. The train journey from Goa to Vizag itself  took a day and a half.

Invariably, we had to buy lunch the next day at one of the train stations, though my mother used to pack a lot of snacks for us to keep us busyJ. I remember vividly that every time, on the  next day of our journey, we bought thali meal (rice with dal and other side dishes), pulihora and daddojanam  packets at Hubli station. My mother always ensured that the daddojanam packets were on the list. Thus, I was introduced to the special dish – daddajonam, curd rice with seasoning!
The coolest dish!

Being a South Indian, I invariably end my lunch (whenever I am at home) and dinner with rice mixed with curd and a dab of salt – it is a custom in my family and I continue to follow it, diligently!

As the temperatures are soaring - 26 degrees centigrade and upwards, this is an apt time to resort to the one pot meal – daddadojanam. Preparing this dish is rather simple. Curd (the natural unsweetened variety) is mixed with rice and salt. It is seasoned with mustard seeds, urad dal, curry leaves, red chillies, green chillies (in moderation!) and a pinch of asafoetida.  Lo – your cool and complete meal is ready! Sometimes pomegranate seeds are added to this dish too, to render a sweet taste. This dish is the most preferred meal to be packed and taken on long journeys especially a train journey…..As it remains unspoilt for around 8-10 hours.

Most of the South Indian households make curd (called yogurt too – the unsweetened version) at home. It is a sort of tradition. I too prefer to make curd at home as it is more healthy and economical!
Curd rice or yogurt rice, known as Daddojanam in Telugu is also offered as prasadam (holy offering to devotees) in some of the temples. It is known as Thayir (curd) sadam (rice) in Tamil and Thayiru in Malayalam. A blended curd rice dish has been mentioned even in Rigveda (one of the most ancient  written texts in the world) as kaaramba.

The microflora in curd replenish those in the lower intestine, thus aiding the digestion process and warding off infections.  Indeed, a very healthy dish! No wonder it is sometimes referred to as jewel rice!

Curd rice eaten alongwith a dab of pickle is true comfort food!! Nothing seems to be more satiating than this wonderful dish on a hot afternoon. I simply adore this meal!
On the path to Food Nirvana…..

 “Nothing will benefit human health and increase the chances for survival of life on Earth as much as the evolution to a vegetarian diet.” - Albert Einstein

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