The bowl matters as much as the soup4 min read . Updated: 29 Nov 2014, 12:55 AM IST
What you eat with is as important as the dish you actually eat in
I grew up in a home where we ate on stainless-steel plates. My grandmother’s idea of a festive dinner was to lay banana leaves on the floor and have a small army of topless dhoti-clad men race down serving spoonfuls of various dishes in a prescribed order: first payasam (kheer), then paruppu (dal), then pappadam, then pachadi (raita). Then came an array of dishes that are pretty much untranslatable—kootu, avial, olan, kaalan, kosumalli—and pretty much inedible according to my husband. If you were lucky, the meal would include an “English vegetable" such as potato or plantain fry. By the time you opened your mouth to ask for a second helping of plantain fry or whatever it was that your heart longed for, the bare-torsoed men had scurried to the end of the banana-leaf line. The men had names, surely, but we didn’t know them.