Sunday, May 13, 2007

Love Like Salt

I was supposed to post about visiting NYC, wasn't I? Hmmm... you've seen the picture of Central Park, which came from the Metropolitan... and I was at both of those places.

Seems like a lot of bloggers have been in NYC recently, so I'll direct you to Vi's post and Shripriya's post in lieu of my own.

Today I am writing about salt. And love.

When my roommate moved out, she took the salt with her. This I did not realize until this evening, when I set out to cook again after a long hiatus. I was, I have to admit, rather piqued. Yes, technically she had paid for the salt when we set out to furnish our kitchen, so technically it was hers to take. But it seemed a little... that the salt belonged to the kitchen, not the person.

So here I was, making dal and spinach and rasam without salt. They all tasted fine. In fact, after a week of eating haphazard take-out, they tasted really, really good. But only the rasam hit; that is, only the rasam seemed to have that bit of spark to it. Which I am guessing is probably because the store-bought rasam podi contained its own necessary dose of salt.

(A quick note on the rasam: I have no idea what rasam is supposed to taste like, never having eaten it in a "for-real" Indian restaurant. Thus I am not sure whether mine was actual rasam, or "something tasty that contained rasam's ingredients." All of the ingredients were distinct; that is, there was a chunk of tomato, a lentil, etc. and they never formed any kind of puree, which is, of course, because I lack a blender. Can it be rasam if it's cooked but not run through the blender afterwards?)

So tomorrow I am packing a tidy layered lunch; dal on the bottom, rasam next, and gingery spinach on top.

And I am hoping that there will be salt packets somewhere in the employee break room, because -- as the story goes -- there is no love without salt.

Or, as the story really goes (scroll down to the bottom of the same page to read the source of the quote -- and, coincidentally, it's desi):

My love may be homely, but it is true, genuine, and lasting.

And it tastes good with rice.


neha vish said...

My first rasam had too much salt in it. I didn't realize that the store bought rasam powder would already have salt in it.

But mashed with soft boiled rice and a little "ghee" - (with a boiled potato to soak up the extra salt) - it was very edible. Very edible sort of love.

Blue said...

Well, my first rasam had tomato paste in it, so... had no problem whatsoever eating this second, much improved one.

Yes, very edible love. ^__^

Anonymous said...


We don't blend rasam when we make it, and it does separate into a thin, clear upper layer and a thicker layer of dal and podi at the bottom - kids usually prefer the clear portion of rasam with their rice, and that is the part that is often drunk as soup. Some people (like me) prefer their rasam murky, so I just stir the pot well and ladle some out so that I get some dal and liquid together.

Rasam is a great comfort food for almost everyone from S.India, so you're onto a good thing!

There are many many variants as well...some suited for colds, some for indigestion, some as invalid diets etc.