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Thayir Sadam and vadumAngai – curd rice and mango pickle

This is between us. My children take me to all types of eating houses in America- Italian, Chinese, Mexican, Japanese etc. Even to an Ethiopian restaurant they took me once. I do enjoy different types of cuisine and varieties of wine, including blue and hot wine, my son in law ordered for me once, though Margareta from any Mexican restaurant is my favorite, not from an Italian restaurant.
During my four years in the college, I have eaten only from one restaurant, next to GVC. The owner Krishna Iyer was a smart guy. His close relatives, an Athan and an Ammanchi helped him in the business. Athan was a sober man like theimage dahivadas, fair, soft, floating happily in the shining oval stainless steel vessel. Ammanchi, the younger one, enjoyed my speeches from the hotel, the microphone aimed at the Mannathu Padmanabhan Nair gate, asking for vote for X or Y or at times for myself, for the post of office bearer of the Student union or a literary club.
During my bachelor days along with my other four room mates, I used to walk 14 miles, to and fro Secunderabad Taj, only for dinner. Whenever we went to Secunderabad, garam Chai from the Irani restaurant by the Secunderabad Station, was a must.
After marriage, I used to hardly visit hotels, except for parties, which was not a regular affair.
Frequent visits to restaurants were only when children came on holidays. My eldest daughter in law( she was the only one then) organized a big party in a hotel, combining many events. Atuth’s and mine maiden visit to USA, ( he for higher studies, me as a tourist) Keshu’s birthday or his medical admission.
Wine was served to my younger brother, much to his reluctance, as he had become a semi- Siddar after reading and singing Siddar padalkal, sitting alone at home.
“How is it Chithappa?” Enquired affectionately, my DIL .
“Sukham illai”, he replied. Not that good!
We all believed him as his opinion on wine was authentic. He had lived in Goa for over five years!
Now, back to the core point.
With all that, at the end of the day, my preference is for a plate full of thayirsAdam assisted admirably by a few spoonfuls of vadumanghai. In MalayAlam , we call it kaduku manga, giving respect to the smell of kaduku or mustard powder, an important ingredient in its preparation,
“You came all the way to America for thayir Sadam and vadumAngai, Appa?”, my children will ask, if I share with them, my preference. Hence, I’m sharing the secret only with you.
Incidentally, brother Vicha’s ‘Sukham illai’ has become a catch phrase in our family. Even after 10 years, we remember that party and his crisp remark.
Sidhars and saints won’t talk much. But when they do, they say volumes, in a word or two, like one or two tiny VadumAngais giving me complete satisfaction along with thayirsAdam!
 

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