Life without "thayir chadam"...

Discussion in 'Jokes' started by aarthi, Apr 7, 2006.

  1. aarthi

    aarthi New IL'ite

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    dear IL members
    I enjoyed this article very much. As i love thayir chadam very much i thought to share this article along with comments also. happy reading.. spread thayir chadam msg worldwide...
    love always
    aarthi

    Pazhai chadam [the previous day's rice] and thayir [curd]," my Paati (grandmother) would always advise. Paati had everyone under her radar. No one could escape Thayir Chadam. It did not matter what time of the day it was, she made sure it was always available. My dad had it three times a day and mom had it several times, while my friends dreaded it! Paati, however, believed in it firmly.
    My Paati was short, with salt and pepper hair and a face that was heavily lined. Despite having borne 11 children, there was nothing weak or feeble about her. Her face was a reflection of her inner strength. When she spoke, her words were strong and stern. She was orthodox and believed in following our customs and traditions. Paati rarely smiled but when she did, it conveyed the depth of her feeling. Her hands were strong, even though they now trembled with age. Her fingers had darkened with numerous tiny cuts and her palms were rough. These warm hands had worked hard; they had also wiped away many tears.

    Paati could prepare Thayir Chadam in a jiffy. She would dip her hand in the leftover rice, which was always over-cooked for easy digestion, and pick a handful. This rice would then be mashed in another vessel before it was mixed with curd and water. Sometimes, the rice would be soaked in water overnight.

    Years of experience had made Paati a Thayir Chadam expert. Thayir Chadam had various forms -- it could be solid, semi-solid or liquid depending on the urgency and the time of the day. Sometimes, it would be served with Vadugu Mangai (Spicy Mango Pickle) or the Red Bullet as I liked to call it. If you were in a hurry, she would mix it in equal proportions of water and call it Thayir Chadam Karaich. This was more popular than Coke in my home when Paati was around. The feeling of this salty mixture on a hot day could give beer a run for its money.

    She believed in the nutrition of her product and found no reason to explain what it did to the consumer.

    The West has only recently realised the benefits of consuming curd. Scientists now believe the live bacteria in yoghurt are beneficial to health; they stimulate the human immune system as well as kill harmful bacteria. Yoghurt is widely known as an outstanding source of protein, calcium, potassium, phosphorus, vitamin B6, B12, niacin, folic acid and potassium. The US government has now set aside $ 90 million for the International Institute of Analysis and Research into Yoghurt and Allied Products. But our ancestors knew this 5,000 years ago when they settled down with their kamadhenus on the banks of the Vaigai and the Cauvery.

    My fondness for Thayir Chadam increased as I grew older. Now that I am in the US, though, I have to compromise -- I am happy with thayir in any form if I cannot have the conventional Thayir Chadam. To me, a meal is not complete if there is no form of thayir to end it. So, every time I go out with my friends, I search for Raitha (chopped vegetables in curd) or any similar curd substitute.

    No matter where in the world we Iyers wind up living, it is important for us to maintain our 'Iyer' identity -- to recognise it in each other and to share it with others.

    One way we do this is by sharing our love of south Indian food. For many of us south Indian-Americans, our traditional foods have become our strongest metaphor for what it means to be an Indian. For me, Thayir Chadam, Idli Sambhar, Dosais, Adais and those wonderful Nai Appams I was raised on are a metaphor for so many things -- family, togetherness, warmth, a welcome to friends and neighbours and, yes, a welcome to strangers too.

    To me, Thayir Chadam at the end of a hearty meal symbolises not only the oneness of the south Indian experience, but also our individual and regional preferences -- curd is never eaten in exactly the Iyer way in any other part of India. After these years of living in the US, my parents still remind us to have curd everyday and have passed on this tradition to our son.

    My mother has now taken over the mantle from my grandmother. She makes Thayir Chadam in her own unique way, and her flavour is different from the ones made in other nearby homes. Any day you come to our home invited or uninvited, you can always tuck into a refreshing bowl of Thayir Chadam!

    - ramachandran chittur
    source: rediff.com

    comments of above article........

    I am surprised to see the thayir chadam receiving public attention from several readers. It is the one food that I like very much and would always prefer to start the day with. It is wholesome and good for the stomach. Thise south Indian food, especiallly those prepared by our elders in the earlier generations,have always found favour with many. With good wishes for this southern delicacy and its wider acceptance.

    Thayir Chaadam (as referred to by the author) is referred to in different ways, depending on the family traditions - like ThayirunJaan, ThayirSaan, etc! The "Chaadam" sounds more Palakkad style!
    Apart from oorugai one of the better dishes that go with Thayir Saadam very well is Moar Molagai! Forget the Americans...lets first make thayir saadam popular all over India guys!



    the thayir sadam article was really very good and interesting. it had an iyer`s touch!! i really enjoyed reading it. i remembered my patti`s thayir sadam, the moment i read the article. thanks a lot.

    Your article is one with which any 'Iyer' can easily empathise. Life would be grossly uninteresting and mundane without our Paatis, Thayir Chaadam, Vadagu and Kanni Mangais. Thank God for having created 'Paatis' and bestowing them with culinary skills that have, and will keep churning out unbelieveable delights. I have seen my mother's transition from amma to Paati and do everything a paati does for her 'peyran'. I am sure, some time, when my son remembers his Paati, he will fully understand the essence of the lines you've penned.

    Brilliant essay on what is arguably the best South Indian cuisine, and set forth in such a fond style
    I can vouch for Thayir Chadam's taste. Mr. Ramachandran has forgotten to mention the pickle called 'Mahani kizhangu' a root similar to Ginger picked with Curd & Red Chilli powder
    the result if taken with a thick curd rice, will be mind-blowing
    it is nice that people never forget those little childhood likes and dislikes. On a scientific note, just to satisfy the ever - skeptical Westerner, Thayir Chadam is a great antacid after you hv gorged on spicy tadkas, curries etc.& a great balancer
    Millions of South indian farmers owe their strength and stamina to this wonderful but least glamorized of all Indian cuisine


    One should taste atleast once the thayir chadam. The taste of it is unique if you prepare it with previous day's water soaked chadam. Fresh Curd (prepared out of Fat milk) is mixed with chadam. If you add pieces of ginger well and good. The chadam is mixed well with the curd. While taking the chadam, have a trickle of elumicham (lemon) urugai (pickle); the taste is unique. The beauty, the taste, the strength it adds cannot be described unless you take atleast one kavalam (one mouthful). Have a good day with thayir chadam.
    (While reading the article, I got the feeling of tasting the thayir chadam)

    Apart from the thayir saadham mentioned in the article, the same ingredient makes Pazhedhoo (contains pencillin) i.e. left over food is preserved with water, the next days mixed with more(liquid curd) is very good to eat and/or drink. During summer holidays when families come together. In the afternoon everyone assemble and the paaty will give them thayir saadham or pazheydu by hand and everyone will take in their hand one by one like pani puri. This thayir sadham when combined with maavado or vethakozhamboo is very good to eat and is also very during the hot summers.

    My paati's thayir saadham or pazhedhoo is best


    Man, you got me hungry here. It is breakfast time, I'm reminded of my summer time early mornings with Old rice+curd with "vadu maanga" (small mangoes).

    How much I miss that :)

    Thayir Sadham gets an "O".

    Ram forgot one other variation of 'thayir chadam' - sitting on the roof top on a hot summer day, with pati recalling her young days and serving the 'chadam' by hand in the form of rice-balls one at a time to all the children sitting around her. I miss those simple pleasures of life. thanks rediff/Ram.

    Thayir chaadam is the South Indian Fastest Fast Food.I Have a cousin who would reach home even late night, to have thayir chaadam served in hand.


    I enjoyed your article and it brought back memories of childhood. Even now, when I am abroad, and its below sub zero temperature outside, and people advise me to stay miles away from curd(for fear of catching cold), I cannot resist the temptation to mix a little rice with one of these yoghurt brands one gets here that so much resembles our 'thayir'. That completes my dinner. If I dont have it at night, I would hear my stomach grumbling and complaining all the time.
    Its something I cannot live without, maybe even if I were in Antartica.

    Undoubtedly thayir saadam is the prince of iyer food...it's something I dreaded as a kib but LOVE
    today...and I intend passing on the mantle to my kids too!!!
     
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  2. meenu

    meenu Bronze IL'ite

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    essay on thayir sadam!

    Dear aarthi,
    i enjoyed your essay on curd rice. although i love curd rice with vadumaangai. i never imagined we can write an enjoyable essay on it.
    thank you,
    meenu
     
  3. sunitha

    sunitha Gold IL'ite

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    Dear Aarthi

    I used to hate curd/buttermilk or anything even close to it.Then my mother used to make more kozhambu or avial just to mask the flavour of curd and without knowing what it is,I used to eat it.Slowly I started taking a liking to raita too.But even now,I don't like curd rice or buttermilk as it is.When I was pregnant,the doctor asked me to take buttermilk.I used to dilute it as much as possible,add hing and salt and just gulp it down..immediately followed by a glass of water!!!

    Even though I hate curd rice,I still enjoyed reading your essay!!

    Cheers
     
  4. Kamla

    Kamla Super Moderator Staff Member IL Hall of Fame

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    More on 'mor'!

    Aarthi, enjoyed reading the article/blog on 'thayir chadam'! It is such a basic ingredient of our meal and taken for granted. It took an astute iyer to bring out its character and quality with his tongue in cheek article.

    All the same, I Protest, with a capital P!!!

    However integral part thayir may be of an iyer household, they cannot claim patency on thayir chadam! All south indian meals are incomplete if not ended with the thayirsadam/perugannam/majjigeanna!! I can write reams on this habit of eating curd rice in my family. The number of innovative ways I had to find to provide the curdrice-meal whenever we travelled in Europe with my m i l, dad, mom and s i l during their visits to us would make an interesting little book. Only, I am no writer sadly. Therefore, the praise goes deservedly to this Iyer:)
     
  5. sunkan

    sunkan Gold IL'ite

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    the water soaked annam in another form tooo..

    hai folks,
    the water soaked rice is sqeesed out and some salt and til oil is added and mashed it becomes like a moddaey well now a pit made in the centre is filled with yesterday's left over sambhar been nicely boiled with fresh cut greens....and voila the taste is too good....try out that too...thayir is anyday grt..all south indians love ...but iyers r mad without it is what she meant...no hard feelings...regards sunkan
     
  6. josh

    josh New IL'ite

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    Hey, my goodness.....THAYIR SAADHAM....is THE best thing. No matter what good, rich, tasty food I have...no matter however filling it is....I can never call say 'I'm Finished' till I consume thayir saadham.I'm a foodie....who enjoys all cuisines....but till now I haven't found a dish which would match THAYIR SAADHAM :) ...I would say thats the best man has ever found :D ...Kuddos to all TSL ...hehehehhe (THATYIR SAADHAM LOVERS)
     
  7. Vidya24

    Vidya24 Gold IL'ite

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    Hi Aarthi

    I loved this article when I first read it in Kerala Iyers. Thayir sadam is also my favourite, I need it every afternoon to fuel me. My husband even managed to get our Dutch neighbours children to eat thayir sadam.
     
  8. Kamla

    Kamla Super Moderator Staff Member IL Hall of Fame

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    Reminds me..

    Ha ha Vidya, good going! Actually, this reminds me. Our children use to bring their friends home for lunch ever so often. In the beginning, these chidren were new to our way of eating, which was typically a south indian fare ending with thayir sadam! They found almost every item too spicy and instead of forcing them to it, I used to make a quick something so they did not go hungry. But the sight of us eating the curds with rice and banana, yes, we love eating banana with our curd rice, was too interesting for them and they took to eating the last course with us! Believe it or not, to this day, some of these german girls, now young women, prepare a quick bowl of rice and curd and enjoy it with a banana!


     
  9. Vandhana

    Vandhana Silver IL'ite

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    The best food!

    Hi all,

    Yes thayir sadam is the best food ever. I totally agree with you. My favorite version of thayir saadam is the karaicha thayir sadaam with bits of narthangai mashed up and added. It gives a nice " kick" to the dish. But the best part is after a having thayir sadam, have you all experianced the "kannu soggam" feeling ? ( with serotonin levels going up).

    Vandhana
     

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