Monday, July 9, 2007

A Message for Ms. Bitterlemons

I have not forgotten your pongal recipe. In fact, I went and bought myself a jar of ghee just so I could make it.

It's a very cute jar. It has a picture of a cow on it, and in bright red letters reads "100% Cow Ghee."

(Although I have to admit the whole "cow ghee" thing was a little unexpected... does it mean there are other kinds, like goat ghee?)

The reason I haven't tried making the pongal (and why I haven't made any cooking posts, as of late) is because it is very hot and stifling in my little apartment and the last thing I want to do is start boiling up a bunch of rice and dal. I've been eating sandwiches and salads instead.

Something tells me that the heat never stops anyone in India from making pongal, but... I'm not in Hyderabad yet! ^__^


Gheennis said...

Indian restaurants and some households may use hydrogenated vegetable oil (also known as vanaspati, Dalda, or "vegetable ghee") in place of ghee for economic reasons. This "vegetable ghee" is actually polyunsaturated or monounsaturated partially hydrogenated vegetable oil, a trans fat. Trans fats are increasingly linked to serious chronic health conditions. Not only is "vegetable ghee" implicated in causing high LDL, it also lacks the health-promoting benefits claimed for "Shuddh" (Hindi for Pure) ghee. The term Shuddh Ghee, however, is not officially enforced in many regions, so partially hydrogenated oils are marketed as Pure Ghee in some areas. Where this is illegal in India, law-enforcement often cracks down on the sale of fake ghee[3]. Ghee is also sometimes called desi (country-made) ghee or asli (genuine) ghee to distinguish it from "vegetable ghee".

Blue said...

Gee, Ennis, thanks! ^__^

neha vish said...

Ah! S must explain the wonders of curd rice to you. Known as Thayir Saadam in Tamil and Daddojanum (I think) in Telugu.

There's no better way to beat the heat. :) Curd, rice and a suitable pickle - ideally avakkai (raw mango)!

And you can wash it all down with salted buttermilk. Which would ideally have little bits of ginger, green chillies, asafoetida, salt ... yummm..

Pongal is an ideal early morning dish. Before the heat really creeps up on you.

Anonymous said...

Sniff! I feel so honored! A whole post for me! :-)

But honestly, you don't have to explain to me, your rationale for cooking or not cooking anything you want!

Like Neha says, Pongal is typically a breakfast dish though we tend to eat it nowadays as brunch or lunch, having gotten out of the habit of heavy breakfasts.

Curd rice! Yes! universal S.Indian comfort food...


Blue said...

Will look up curd rice... but later. Sleep now. ^__^