Sunday, April 26, 2009

10 Recipes from South Indian Temple Kitchens

South Indian Temple Cuisine:
 Temple towns in India act as the fountainhead of culinary innovation. Palani invented the Panchamirtham Rasagullas & Rice Kheer were perfected in the Puri Jagannath temple. Udupi, the abode of Lord Krishna has given birth to a huge hotel industry, spawning innumerable hotels across the country.  The Tirupathi Laddoo, Sabarimala Aravana payasam and Ambalapuzha Paal payasam are so unique and popular that over 30 tonnes of Aravana payasam and over 150,000 laddoos are distributed to devotees every day  on festive days. Food cooked in temples do not use onions / garlic as they are believed to stimulate baser emotions. Asafetida is used as a substitute. ‘English’ vegetables (that were introduced to India in the last few hundred years) like potatoes, tomato, cauliflower, beans, cabbage etc are not usually used. Ultra orthodox temples still use pepper (native to India) and not chili (introduced later by the Dutch). Many temples use only fruits / vegetables grown in or around the temples. So, though a variety of rice is served as Prasad, tomato rice is conspicuous by its absence ( as tomatoes are not native to India). 

This cookbook lists 10 prasadams ( divine offerings) from South Indian Temple kitchens, graded from easy to tough. They are greatly simplified so that a first time cook can easily cook them. 

1.: Udupi Kosambari  (Soaked lentil salad)

2.: Palani Panchamirtham (No-cook Jam)

3.: Lemon rice   

4.: Thenga Sadham (Coconut Rice)

5.: Sundal ( Spiced Chickpeas) 

6.: Muniyodharan Pongal (Rice – whole gram porridge) 

7.: Dadhiyojanam (Yogurt Rice ) 

8.: Pulihora (Tamarind Rice) 

9.:.Kesari (Semolina pudding)

10.: Sakkara Pongal  (Jaggery rice)

1 comment:

Niv Mani said...

Funny isn't it? Most orthodox folks reject onions/ garlic, but happily use asafetida which derives from a variety of Fennel (soambu), another MAJOR no no in traditional cuisine!

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