Tamil Nadu Cuisine:
Tamil Nadu Saapadu. Tamil Nadu Cuisine. Tamil Nadu Meals. Tamil Nadu Vegetarian Meals.
Vendaikai Poriyal(okra fry)
Kothamalli thokku(cilantro pickle)
Indian Cuisine is varied and diverse, each State has its own uniqueness in serving the meals. In Tamil Nadu certain traditions are still followed.
Guest is welcomed by both Man and the lady of house...'Vagha Vangha'(Welcome welcome, please come in)a warm welcome by the lady of the house is very important.
Guest is first honored with comfortable seat. The host makes sure that all is guests are well-seated, and then he and she sits in front of them.
The guest is greeted with chilled water or butter milk, during summer. Plain water followed by warm tea during winter. Even if it is midnight...the question 'have you eaten?' is taken as a sign of welcome! Whether its a poor home or rich home, offering plain water is mandatory.
This tradition of welcoming, greeting with cold beverage and seating arrangement are practiced between not only among friends and family...but also to unknown stranger who has just stepped in and even to enemies/foes.
Tamils start their day with early breakfast and an elaborate lunch. It is usually a wide array of vegetarian meals...kind of sampling more than 7-9 course.
Disposable, fresh cut leaves are still used either in formal or informal dinning. Only the whole banana/plantain leafs are used. The apex of the leaf is placed to left hand side of the diner. However, in formal dinning...a metal plate is mounted with leaf for convenience purpose these days.
Before even the guest has arrived in the dinning hall...water is served. Serving water is mandatory in Hindu meals(through out the course)its an important tradition, as the guest empties the tumbler...host serves the water promptly. People get offended...if the food is not accompanied with water.
On the left exterior of the leaf/plate...salt is given, followed by pickle. If the person needs extra salt for taste...he can mix it with convenience.
The first course is always sweet. Its like beginning the meals with sweet and conclude it with another sweet:)
The second course goes on by sampling wide array of vegetable stir fries. Please refer the picture to see where the poriyal, kootu, vadai goes on the plate. There is a specific procedure to give certain items first.
The main course is rice, divided into small portions. Each portion is mixed with curries, soups, dhalls...and taken.
The host/server stands aloof from the dinning area...but observes which side dish/food is empty and serves them promptly. If the host doesn't have enough servants in the house...he/she won't dine with the guest...instead they will serving their guests.
The host always asks the question very politely 'little more,please' but Never Ever utters the words like 'do you want this?' its a bad sign of a host. It is very impolite to ask 'do you want some more?' The polite way is to tell 'have bit more, please':)
Conclude with kheer, fruit salad and an ice cream:)
Never wash your fingers in the plate. Its always polite to take the plate to the sink/ offer to clean. But the host will never allow you to clean the dish:):)
Enjoy Tamizhar Virundhu:)
Happy New Year Friends:)