×
Home Companies Industry Politics Money Opinion LoungeMultimedia Science Education Sports TechnologyConsumerSpecialsMint on Sunday
×

Weekday Lounge Exclusive | Let your palate travel back in time

Weekday Lounge Exclusive | Let your palate travel back in time
Comment E-mail Print Share
First Published: Tue, Jul 22 2008. 02 04 AM IST
Updated: Tue, Jul 22 2008. 02 04 AM IST
So, what exactly is ancient Tamil cuisine? Chef Jacob Kumar Sahay, who hosts his own food show on Sun TV, and is currently visting The Park, New Delhi, takes us back to the basics of south Indian fare.
Sahay’s visit is part of The Park’s 10-day food festival focusing on ancient Tamil cuisine. The recipes used by Sahay are simple but the result is full of flavour. The dishes are prepared in the traditional style and the ingredients are all native to India. Surprisingly, this means no onions, which originally came from South Africa, no tomato which comes from Mexico, or even garlic, which is from China. “We never had onions, potatoes, tomatoes, chillis, cinnamon, or cardamom back then. Today, these are essential to any curry, but in those days, they were simply not available. Ancient Tamil cuisine is very pure without the addition of all these ingredients,” says Sahay, who was felicitated by former president APJ Abdul Kalam in 2007 for his extensive research on ancient cuisines of south India.
The idea behind the festival is to provide an opportunity to understand the flavour combinations and cooking styles from the past, and give an insight into the structure of meal as it was consumed centuries ago.
There is a a-la-carte menu, along with a vegetarian set meal, which includes two appetisers, two curries, one dal, one parantha, a sweet dish and curd for Rs750, while a non-vegetarian set menu includes fish and chicken appetisers, one non-veg curry, one veg curry, one dal, a portion of mutton biryani, one parantha, a sweet dish and curd for Rs850.
You can enjoy these delicacies at Fire, Park Hotel in New Delhi until 27 July. The restaurant is open for lunch from 12.30pm to 3pm and for dinner from 7.30pm to 12am.
And, here are two easy make-at-home recipes from the chef’s kitty:
Nallennai (sesame oil rice)
Serves 2-3
1cup cooked jeeraga samba rice
3 tbsp gingelly oil (sesame seed oil)
1 tsp peppercorns
1tsp white sesame seeds
A few curry leaves
1 tbsp roasted urad dal powder
1 tsp ginger powder
1 cup water
Salt to taste
Method:
Heat the oil and add the peppercorns, sesame seeds and curry leaves. Add water, salt and cook for 2-3 minutes. Add roasted urad dal powder and stir until thick. Add the jeeraga samba rice and mix.
Beerajji (semi-dry mixed vegetable preparation)
Serves 2-3
1 cup brinjal
1 cup cluster beans (guar)
1tbsp roasted Bengali gram dal powder
2 tbsp ghee
1tsp dry coriander leaves
A few curry leaves
1 tsp peppercorns
1 cup moong dal
Salt to taste
Method:
Heat the oil, add curry leaves, coriander seeds and peppercorn. Add cluster beans (guar), brinjal, water and salt. Cook until soft. Add urad dal and mix thoroughly. Bring to boil. Add roasted Bengal gram powder. Serve with either gingelly oil rice, plain rice or biryani.
Comment E-mail Print Share
First Published: Tue, Jul 22 2008. 02 04 AM IST