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Voicing Silence 7

Wednesday, March 23, 2005

Goodbye and thanks for all the sambar*


(click on pic for recipe)

There are those whose memories are linked to sight and smell. Not me. My remembrance is curiously connected to my taste buds. A familiar taste often triggers a total recall. Like it happened the other day. I had made 'vengaya sambar' like I usually do and one sip was all it took to send me reeling back to my childhood. Back then, vengaya sambar was a rarity. A dish reserved for occasional Sundays or when we had guests over for dinner. We'd clamour for the tiny onions that swam in a sea of delicious lentil broth. It was strictly rationed and I'd tuck my share of onion away in one corner of my mouth and savour it at leisure.

I still remember the one time when I was 19, I was to come home after a 6-month long exchange program when mother asked me what I'd like for my welcome-home lunch. I replied without hesitation, "vengaya sambar". I only have to close my eyes and I can recall instantly the taste of tangy sambar as it slid down my parched throat reviving every taste bud in its path.

I'm not due back home for another 8 months. But I already know what I'm going to have for lunch that day.

*This is my tribute to one of Tamil cinema's best-loved heroes, Gemini Ganesan, who passed away yesterday. He used to be referred to as 'Sambar', much to his chagrin.

5 comments:

Dosai said...

Ahh its heaven being in chennai and tasting iyengar style vengaaya sambar + Nei + Rice. Caman the enjaiment i must say.

No idea why Gemini thatha was called Sambhar but IMHO he owned all the classic love story bases movies. I still go still sit in front of the box if they telecast Vanji Kotai Valiban, Man what a box oppice smasher. Hope i dont leave chennai cause too many memories here.

Peace
Dosai

mischief editor said...

dosai - you may be right.......but not absolutely...

vengaaya sambar + nallennai + rice is ultimate maan...

Maran said...

Hmm there should be something like the 'I love NY' t-shirt for sambar. I love Sambar

tilotamma said...

I really liked this one! I have no idea why it is was such a special item - maybe peeling the chinna vengayam is labor-intensive

Anjali said...

sambar idli combo amazing