Thursday, August 31, 2006

Saapida Vaanga - Indian cooking has meaning!!

நம்ம விநாயகரை மற்ற நாட்டுல என்ன பேருல வணங்கறாங்க தெரியுமா??பாருங்க இங்கே!!

Coming back to the topic how did people in yester years take care that they are not affected too much by diseases and defects and why not us? Please take a while to go through Indian angel's post which neatly talks about all the factors (pollution. genetic make up, excess work load, poor mind and body) that make us stay unhealthy. Definitely, these play a vital role!!

Well, the most important thing we forget is 'We lack the knowledge of health science - in simple words, we do not know what is good for our body and what/ when it has to be eaten to stay healthy and how to get/cook them etc." All we learn as science (biology) in high school is just physiology, agriculture, vitamins/ minerals that we should have etc. Its all based on english medicine. Lets talk about this after a while!!

Makkale, Have you observed how our parents/grandparents used to decide the receipes everyday at home. They had a norm for cooking and consuming... I think they can all fit into 2 broader categories (classified as per my thoughts).
1. The norm of 'when to use what' ( I wish to call it as Time)
2. The norm of 'how/ how much to use' (
Let's call it as Balance). If you think there can be another category, feel free to classify and discuss. Let us see with examples:

1. Time : If its a no moon day/ Dwadasi/ Ekadesi - specific vegetables / grains / pulses are cooked and some are specifically avoided. They are based on astronomical calculations and health deteriorating factors predetermined by our ancestors. Another example as Vasudevan rightly pointed out in his comments in the previous post " Pregnent women were on a diet consisting predominantly of pepper for the first three post-natal months because pepper is proven to stimulate milk production and de-toxifying the blood stream "

2. Balance: Infact, variety food is cooked in a way that we dont have too much of anything. When we have dal (protein) today, tomorrow we will have less dal and more of vegetables (minerals).Once in a week, we will have pepper rasam, bittergourd curry, Vepam poo, Manathakaali, Sundaikkai and things so that if 'some thing' bad (let us discuss that something later!!) has accumlated too much over a period in our body causing harm, such receipes can antagonize the effect of that 'some thing' (that causes gas/ heat/ stress etc) that is in excess in our body .We might not even know what is that something but our body is taken care by just those recipes that had llots of herbs !!!

Taking up Vasudevan's examples again "The food for festivals was designed taking into account the climatic conditions and the energy needs; Neer more & Paanagam for Raama Navami to cool the body off in the scorching summer while the latter half of the year when it was wet/cold, there were oily items like seedai/thattai for Krishna Jayanthi "

Also, there are eating habits designed to serve a specific purpose.. When I sit to eat a full course meal at home (with paruppu sadam, sambhar sadam, rasam sadham and thayir sadham in the order), I actually would pester my mom to add some curd when I eat parupuu sadam (weirda???). She used to refuse and I used to question why not??. She never knew the reason why I should not have but she will say " apdi saapdardhu illa maa..vendaame" . Later (at lexington), I found from my Jain roommate that it is religiously wrong to mix curd with dal and also in ayurveda (she is a doctor) it is not alllowed it seems.. So there is a meaning and purpose even in maintaining the eating order and in making combinations !!

The knowledge of health science was passed through within families (wondering from where???!!) and it remained okay (with a minimal loss) till last century and now it has deteriorated at a higher pace!! Grandmas and grandpas (or a generation before that) not only knew the concept of time and balance (my terminology to refer the health science) but they also knew 'what the food does to the body and what the body does to the food'. In pharmacy, we call them as Pharmacodynamics and Pharmacokinetics respectively w.r.t drugs. But our parents just knew the concept of time and balance and not the etiology related to its actions. We ????? Yeh sad to say.. we don't even know the health science to the extent to follow it blindly!!!

Thanks for patiently reading such a long post...Let us see what is that ' something' , & 'from where' in the next post and further more on how we know these things etc... !!!!


kari_the_sin said...

Toxicology vendaam neega..ippa verum toxicology indirectly ezhithareega...
Sari, ithu vera blog athanala irukkalam... ana ennoda kelzhvigaluku badil sollalame!!

I agree to what you say in this post. We just need to be in touch with our mother and grand ma more in this area and practice it in the lab(kitchen) more often which the current generation lacks so this problem!
Maintaining time is quit easy but maintaining the right balance is the tough part..which only a dedicated person working day and night can do like a 24hrs on duty doctor(mother!) can do it.
No one else can be compared in this regard!!!
We as people belonging to this generation should develop this habit or else we are not only loosing health but also an old indian heritage (home science and Ayurveda)!
Really your post was a real eye opener in this regard. I am going to ask my sis to read this and tell her that she is fortunate to know about it from my mom and grandma and tell her that she should stop brooding over the daily kitchen (drama)-and consider it very important for her family!!
Thanks again!

Priya said...

hahaahaa... kari.. thanks..

and as u guessed, i just didn't want to talk that in aanmeegham page..

also i was busy with other things.. next post innum ezhuthala ..but it will be more of food and toxicology ...i wll definitely answer to ur questions here..

ak said...

priyaaaaaaaaaaaaa...epdi maaaaaaaa eppidi ??

very nice post ! lotsa inphaarmeysun... keep up the good work..

romba naala kekanumnu nenechen.. adhu enna "makkale makkale" nu edho medaila yeri pesara maadhiri.. :P

Muthukumar Puranam said...

nice blog. Dayavu senju inform us what to be cooked every day. Inniku enna naal sapthami, enna sapdanum? makkali nal vazhi paduthama po maata pola?

kari_the_sin said...

Onnu solla maranthutten!
Do keep visiting my blog and keep posting some comments! It keeps it lively!!
Any suggestions to improve will help!!
I started with the intention to talk only about spirituality so will continue on that. Unnum main topic varama vera etha ethayo pesi irukken!
So keep visiting!
Appram, Unga kezhvigalukku bathil naan ezhithi irunthathai puringikittengala!
Did not get any post or comment from you ?

Priya said...

pinna "people!people!"nnu kooptaa nallave illaye:)-
naanum indha makkale illaama epdiyaavadhu koopdanumnnu nenakren.. aana vera vaarthai theriyala pa!!

ottatheenga pb.. "pulli"ke pottaa?
'malli'ke poova..pbkke endha naal enna samakanumnnu naan solradhaa...

p.s: endha nnaalaikki enna samaikannu sonna mattum kathrikaaiya vittutu vera edhaavadhaa samachuda poreenga :)-

unga postla anniki ennaala comment vida mudiyala!!edho problem aachu.adhaan apdiye vittuten.. will definitely visit!!

indianangel said...

Good one! I dont necessarily agree to your concept of either a Jain or any other religion stressing on what and how to eat food - unless there are proven facts of how food when taken in whatever form can help us better!
Anyway debates apart, we need to adapt ourselves to the fast changing world, and we dont have the flexibility of counting calories for every morsel of bread we eat! Again wanted to do a big reply - but I've left my thoughts as usual in my blog :)

Priya said...

Oh yeh!! there should be some facts saying "which form" can help us better..

but we dont know how it is derived in that religion.(I wish to talk about that through hindu religion in future)

I think sometimes its not necessary that Things (written / said in olden days) have to be proven through modern science or whatever always!! But trying to understand what is said in each religion/ way of life would help us understand better!!

ranjit kalidasan said...

Wow priya,aarambathula title paathu yaedo vaaraa vaaram recipe kodukka poreengannu nenaichaen...sattunnu unga styla "Pharmacodynamics and Pharmacokinetics" nnu erangiteenga...

ak said...

ayyyyyyyyoooooooo thaangala !! andha makkale ve vendame... idhula oru kuppai logic vera.."people people" !! kadavule !!!!!!!! :P:P

R.Prabhu said...

Priya - What you say is right to some extent, we have lost the healthy food habits and indeed the medicinal practices followed by generations in a family called Paati Vaidhiyam is lost, but still exists in some homes. Anyways nice post!

dinesh said...

"P.s: endha nnaalaikki enna samaikannu sonna mattum kathrikaaiya vittutu vera edhaavadhaa samachuda poreenga :)-

ROFL....Good one !

Anonymous said...

pb-kathirikkai, ROTFL...

something, where pathi ellam sekuram ezhuthu...

vasu vasu nu pugazhnthu thalli irukkiye (i know namma vasu va iruka maattar, namma vasu ku samaiyaluku dhooramaache..) irunthaalum unna otta oru chance avlo thaan

- prabhu

Priya said...

haahaa...vaanga..romba naalaa aalaye kaanaley?

pinna..suggest me makkale thavira epdi address panradhaam..


nee enna anonymousaa vara ??..
namba vaasukkum indhukkum sambandhame illa..avanukku'poshaaka sapdunnu' kindal panna dhaan theriyum:)-

Muthukumar said...

intha lecture notes ellam power point la potta varungala santhadhiyinar padichu athu padi nadathuppanga. NIjamave professor mathiri ezhuthura.

Priya said...

adhu enna nejammavee...hmnn.. ellam kali kaalam..

Jeevan said...

vara vara ora sappadu posta iruku. my nutrition has decide what to eat and not for me. check the link.

Nice post it was:)

Strang said...

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U know just the other day.. I came across this site that specializes in travel tours to India.. has anyone here been to India?? It’s this awesome place, where u have old school and new school..(not really school..but u know what I’m saying right??)

I think the url is

It’s a must see place.. the site.. and the place too.. cuz these guys have awesome travel packages to India.. the finest ur money can buy!! Not that is so expensive, but for what they’re providing.. totally worth it!!


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