Tuesday, 4 April 2017

Curd Wars

As a South Indian in a predominantly North Indian family and friends circle, there is a lot of adjusting I have to do. It is not just coming to terms with rotis for dinner, but also indulging I-love-South-Indian-cuisine guests who will build a formidable mountain of rice on their plate, create a big crater in the middle, and pour rasam-sambar-palya-gojju-kosambri-payasam-curd all together into it till I am begging to serve them a bowl of matar paneer.
But even my patience snaps when someone points an accusing finger to my mostly harmless curd rice. I have found, ever since I started feeding it to K, that unless the curd is sugared or boiled, their tolerance to curd is pretty low. My mil is often distressed by it, and spends a lot of time moping over the fact that I give her curd rice in the evening, thus creating thanda-lage-jabe risks for the child. She enjoys listing the little one's accomplishments, but the chummy way she chomps down curd rice has pointedly been ignored in the list. Meanwhile, another friend frowned when I refused to give K chips along with it. "You will make her a South Indian like you," she exclaimed in mock horror, making me wonder if they really have a problem with my South Indian-ness. Yet another called Conscience Keeper to advise us to expose K to other foods as well, and not limit ourselves to curd rice.
There is more than enough literature online that talks about the goodness of curd rice to those who care to read about it. The health benefits of yogurt for babies include ease of digestion, remedy from gastric troubles, boosting the immune system, remedy for diarrhea and dysentery, good food during hepatitis and jaundice, can treat insomnia and a remedy for urinary tract infections. K raises a delightful pungent stink promptly every morning, and I owe this to the simple khichdi+curd rice+veggies I give her. She takes it enthusiastically, without complaint, while I coo my agenda-laden ditty:
"Who needs chips, when I have majji (curd rice)
Who needs ice cream, when I have majji
Who needs chocolate, when I have majji
OOO - I love my majji
Give me more, more of majji"
PS: Substituted by Khichdi/Ragi at will

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