It has been a good many years since that balmy December morning when I left the comforts of my parents’ home in Chennai for the untold horrors of Mumbai. I have since gone back to the city intermittently and each time I’ve felt more and more of an outsider. These days the city has become so alien to me that there are few things left for me to miss. Except its Sambar sadam (yes, capital ‘s’). A treat that deserves to be protected as a national treasure.
Nowhere in India, dare I say world, would you find sambar sadam that tastes quite as exquisite as it does in the restaurants of Chennai. In my early Mumbai days, I used to fly down to Chennai for weekends (on cheap Air India flights), head straight for Saravana Bhavan, down two portions of Sambar sadam and then proceed home. Such was the power it held over me. These days I have to rest content dreaming about steaming plates of Sambar sadam. But funny how it cheers me up like nothing ever can.