Tuesday, March 22, 2016

The South Indian Breakfast

The following was (shamelessly) ripped from the Community Liaison Office's newsletter (you know, with permission).

"The South Indian Breakfast

It’s not surprising that multicultural India has various culinary traditions. The differences are evident from the first meal of the day. South Indian breakfasts are considered to be one of the healthiest, as they provide a well-balanced diet full of nutrients giving us a good dose of carbs, proteins, and fats - despite being light on the stomach.

The preferred breakfast option in Chennai is the humble idli. Idlis — along with their mandatory side dish, Sambar — have won the place of pride as the healthiest of all the Indian breakfast menus. This is the finding of the “India breakfast habits study” sponsored by Kellogs. Steamed fermented lentil and rice flour batter, the idli is like the anti-hero in movies with the surrounding cast bringing in glamour like chutney, sambar, and what South Indians call “gunpowder” — pounded chilli powder floating in oil — but one cannot do without the main character. Somewhat bland by itself, the idli can be eaten by those in the pink of health as well as those recuperating; it can be had at any time of the day and night.

Dosa - a thin, crispy crêpe-like food made from the same fermented rice and lentil batter as idli. When served with spicy potato folded inside, it is known as masala dosa. Methu Vadai – this savory donut is made of lentil flour and spices. Venn Pongal – a savory lentil and rice pudding. Mandatory sweet rava kesari – dessert made out of semolina and sugar.

The ubiquitous Thaali – a Thaali is nothing but a sampling presented on a single plate: a great way to taste all that is on offer. All items in the thaali differ in the way they are cooked, apart from the ingredients used.

The perfect ending to a South Indian breakfast is a cup of steaming hot filter coffee! "

As a bonus, here is a picture of my son playing at a restaurant, shortly after filling up on mini-idli. He's quite the hit with the wait staff.

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