OF THIS SECTION
Books on Tamil
What’s cooking? Preparing and sharing
food in Ambai’s Tamil short stories - Lakshmi Holmström "Food can
be a means of defining a group identity.."
Tamil cooking in all its splendour, Hindu 6 March 2007
Rice and ritual: the
Tamil art of cooking - Thilaka
Baskaran UNESCO Courier, March, 1984
Indhiya Samayam Iravu:An evening of South Indian Cooking - Power
Point Presentation - Anita Subramaniam Ph.D.
eat what we eat: Classifying Crispy Foods in
Malaysian Tamil Cuisine Dr. Theresa W. Devasahayam, 2003 "This paper examines the gastronomic rules that determine when and
why “ crispy
foods” are eaten within the Tamil community of Malaysia"
"..These are a form of savoury pancake originating in South
India. This is a lazy westernised version of the recipe,
avoiding long hours of soaking and grinding grains together with
water. It can be a touch tricky getting the batter consistency
OK - begin thicker rather than thinner and adjust slowly. The
batter from hand-ground flour is also a touch sturdier - it can
be worth adding a little roughage, as bran or oatbran, or a
little wholemeal flour to generate some "tooth" in the mix. Not
too much. Also, the improvement in texture from just few hours
maturing is considerable..."
உண்ண வருக - நா. கணேசன் "உணவு இல்லாமல் உயிர்கள் இல்லை.
தமிழர் உணவைப் பலவகையாகப் படைத்துச் சுவைத்தனர். விருந்தினரை விரும்பி
உபசரிப்பது தலைசிறந்த பண்பாடு என்று கொண்டாடினர். உண்டிக்கு அழகு
விருந்தோடு உண்ணல் என்பது முதுமொழி..."
இந்த இணையத் தளமானது பெரிய நகரமும்
அல்லாத, சிறிய கிராமமும் அல்லாத நாகபட்டினம் சிறுநகரில் இருந்து தொடங்கி
நடத்தப்படவுள்ளது. இதுபோன்ற இணையத்தளங்கள் இனிவரும் காலங்களில், சிறு சிறு
கிராமங்களில் இருந்தும் தோன்றி வளர இது ஒரு முன்மாதிரியாக அமைய வேண்டும் என்பது
தினம் ஒரு புது உணவு வகை
South Indian Recipes
'our kitchen' in Tamil
Cooking Guide in Tamil
- a true taste of Tamil Cuisine
About Curry Leaves in USA
Tamil Cuisine of Tamil Nadu
"Tamil Nadu provides the visitors with a wide variety of delicacies, both
vegetarians as well as non-vegetarians, though most food in Tamil Nadu
consists of grains, lentils, rice and vegetables. Spices are added to give a
distinctive taste to this cuisine, which uses chili liberally"
Kongunad Cuisine Comes From 50 Cities Of Tamil Nadu
Tamil Menu Card & Festival Dishes
Tamil Cooking - Kuzhambu,
Koottu, Vegetable Curries, Pachadi
Thuvaiyal, Payasam, Mixed Rice, Sweets, Savouries, Spice Mixes, Pickles,
Chips, Sundals, Eggless Cakes
Ruchihealth.com - Three
Tamil recipes cooked with soya products.
TamilSpider.com - Large
number of visitor contributed recipes ranging from vegetarian
curries to pickles.
South Indian Vegetarian Cuisine
- Easy to prepare dishes that are a part of everyday life in Tamil
Make like a Tamil & Cook - Tamil Students Association
Fat Free South Indian Cuisine
Pondy Kitchen - Small
collection of recipes from the Pondicherry kitchen.
Tamil coconut chilli Chicken
- THE FOOD TRADITION
OF AN ANCIENT PEOPLE
" Tamil cuisine is perhaps the oldest representative of
the continuous vegetarian cultures of the world. The
delicious dishes from the state are relished all over the
country and abroad. The cuisine has important delicacies
vada served with
sambar and chutneys.
There is a wide range of rice and vegetable preparations. The
meals are traditionally served on banana leaves."
"Tamil cuisine is known for its aromatic, flavourful and sometimes spicy
food. These recipes create an unique blend of spices, that makes the food
very appetising, nutritious and wholesome. Vegetables, Meats and Dairy
products are the foundation. Cinnamon, Nutmeg, Cloves, Cardamom, Cumin,
Coriander, Coconut, Rosewater etc, flavour the food and remind us of the
sweetness of life. Curry Powder, Ginger, Garlic, Chillies, Pepper etc add
From the Introduction by Nesa Eliezer to Recipes of the Jaffna Tamils - Edited by Nesa Eliezer, Compiled
by Rani Thangarajah
"The food traditions of a people express their attitudes
to life. They are expressive not only of their geographical
psyche but also of their beliefs about health and nutrition.
They frequently summarise a people's views on interactive
behaviour and etiquette.
In the case of the Tamils of the north and east of Sri
Lanka, the regions referred to by Tamils as the Tamil
the food traditions are characterised by a remarkable
resourcefulness in their use of the locally available
ingredients. In the Jaffna Peninsula (Yaalpaanam) the soil
is harsh and arable only in pockets. But from this limited
plenty the Tamils have created a cuisine that is so
distinctive that it warrants closer interest than has been
given it thus far. Tamils love their cuisine and wherever
they go they relish the memories of it and try as far as
possible to inculcate a love for it in their children.
I hope that this book recalls some of those memories,
especially of the Jaffna Peninsula, in a meaningful way for
the millions of Jaffna Tamils flung all over the globe. The
mention of "Karupani" or "Susiyam" or "Pori Arisi Maa"
brings a delighted twinkle to the eyes of Tamils in faraway
lands. "Ah, yes, I remember my Amma used to.... " and off
they go into warm, enchanting tales of a Jaffna childhood.
This book takes its spark from the warmth of that love
for their land. The baths at Keerimalai the tall, tufted
Palmyra trees swaying in cholai winds, the onion fields, the
swollen kurakkan ears of grains on the sheaves. the oil
monger grinding the goodness of the sesame seeds with his
melancholy bull at the yoke . . . These memories are
recounted in excited tones of beloved Tamil over hot meals
of Odiyai Kool or Egg Hoppers in far-off lands.
The recipes have been lovingly compiled by Rani
Thangarajah in Melbourne from friends and relatives both
here and from Tamil Eelam. While every care has been taken
to give a fairly comprehensive selection, this book cannot
The book is intended mainly for
Tamils who have settled
overseas, from choice or necessity. I hope that a will
provide them with a real link to their rich heritage.
Puttu & Murukku Makers
As in all recipe books, the weights and measures and
methods are those of the cooks. Every cook in the kitchen
will make adjustments as her spirit and knowledge of taste
lead her. Less chilli here. more salt there, a little more
tamarind, leave out this, add that . . . what delights the
trying of a recipe brings! I hope this book will prove to be
no less exciting for lovers of Jaffna Tamil food everywhere.
Outside South and South East Asia. almost all the
ingredients are available in most Asian groceries
specialising in Sri Lankan and Indian produce in the major
cities of Australia, Europe and the United States.
This book could not have been written without the help of
the women of Melbourne who contributed the recipes from the
storehouses of their mothers' and grandmothers' collections:
I thank Dr Kanthi Kanavathipillay for help with translation
from the Tamil. I also thank the family of the late S.
Arumugam of Kuala Lumpur for permitting me to use excerpts
from their family letters."
Preparing and sharing food in Ambai’s Tamil short stories
- Lakshmi Holmström,
Fellow, East Anglia University, United Kingdom[also in PDF]
"...Food can be a means of
defining a group identity: other people stereotype the
‘Madrassi’ by what and how she eats... while someone from
Tirunelveli defines himself as much by regional landscape as
by local foods... On the other hand, where a protagonist
perceives her ‘self’ as fluid and changing, tastes and
smells of food still feature prominently among the ragbag of
memories, sense impressions including music, and emotions
that make up her particular history.."
There is an abundance of
to do with food, cooking and eating in modern Tamil fiction.
They appear consistently in the short stories of Ambai, a
contemporary author in Tamil, who writes from a feminist
perspective. She uses examples of food and cooking to highlight
certain themes in her work: frames and boundaries; order,
control and power relations within boundaries, and pleasures
outside them. As a writer who grew up in Tamil Nadu but now
lives in Bombay, a recurrent theme is the quest for identity, or
sense of the self.
Food can be a means of defining a group identity: other
people stereotype the ‘Madrassi’ by what and how she eats (‘Arat,
a sparrow), while someone from Tirunelveli defines himself as
much by regional landscape as by local foods ( ‘Journey 2’). On
the other hand, where a protagonist perceives her ‘self’ as
fluid and changing, tastes and smells of food still feature
prominently among the ragbag of memories, sense impressions
including music, and emotions that make up her particular
history (‘A rose-coloured sari’).
Ambai also sees food and cooking as ways of imposing control
within the family, and maintaining boundaries between
communities. She questions the value of hospitality, which
merely reflects the status and importance of the pater
familias.‘A kitchen in the corner of the house’ examines the
mother-in-law’s illusory authority in the kitchen, the
establishment of a hierarchy within it, and how that authority
can be subverted through ‘food wars’. In other stories (e.g.
‘Parasakti and others in a plastic box’), a mother’s food brings
order to the day and the seasons ofthe year, but this order
limits flexibility and choice. Outside the boundaries
areforbidden foods: for example, impure foods sacrificed to the
non-Sanskritic goddess Mariamman and then cooked into delicious
chicken pulao; mouth-watering butun healthy street foods
(‘Journey 3’) or palm toddy (‘Forest’).
These cross caste and class lines; they are dangerously close
to ‘pain, blood and death’, and they afford the delights of
indulgence and excess. Sharing food is a continuing theme in
Ambai’s stories. Sharing food also means crossing boundaries
between generations, communities and cultures (‘Gifts’,‘Age’,
‘Camel ride’). The ideal feast is one where the cooking is
shared equally and spontaneously (‘Forest’). Everyone eats
together, no one ‘serves’ another: the opposite of the hierarchy
described in ‘A kitchen’. The feast also asserts the right to
pleasure, which sometimes has to be earned through pain. The
women in ‘Forest’cook their feast together, to the rhythm of
Bahini Bai’s lyric which one of them sings:Arré, sansara,
sansara, life is like a griddle on which you cook your baakris:
It is only when you have burnt your hand that you get your
Tamil cooking in
all its splendour, Hindu 6 March 2007
CHENNAI: C.K. Gariyali, Principal Secretary to the Governor, had
only one complaint. "As I am a vegetarian, I am not able to eat
some of the best dishes here ... "
Going by her comments, and that of the other guests, the
`Tamilaga Unavu Tiruvizha' (Festival of foods of Tamil Nadu) at
the MGR Institute of Hotel Management and Catering last week was
a grand success.
The annual food festival organised by the college on Friday
featured over 30 recipes, a majority of them non-vegetarian. It
was a spread to do justice to Tamil cuisine: Kancheepuram idly,
Tirunelveli halwa, Pudukkottai idiyappam, Thengapal and Namakkal
Vadai, among others, for vegetarians. For non-vegetarians, the
fare included Chennai
meen kozhumbu, Erode mutton chukka, Ramanathapuram era
varuval, Nagapattinam sura puttu, Sivagangai Chettinad koli
Finally, all these washed down with piping Kumbakonam degree
Institute principal K. Damodharan (Chef Damu), college
chairperson D. Meenakshi Ammal and managing trustee A.N
Radhakrishnan were at hand to look after the guests.