Sunday, 15 March 2015

My Favorite Dish - Tambli

The most difficult question to ask a Foodie is “Which is your favorite dish?” coz it will be an endless list. It’s like asking “Which child is favorite?” to a mother having more then one kid. Similarly, for a BIG FOODIE like me it’s a dilemma to pick one from my endless list. 

Anyways, I believe that when we talk about favorite food, it’s not only the taste but it should also give a feeling of contentment after eating. Also the other elements that go into creating a terrific dish are smell, presentation, color, exotic ingredients etc.

Now that you got me thinking, I should mention one of our Chirtapur-Saraswat’s traditional dish called Tambli, definitely wins the ”Bownie Points”. This is a curry served with plain steamed rice. I remember my grandma/mother sitting and grinding the masala for Tambli on the grinding stone. Such a simple tool that did wonders in transforming ingredients into a smooth wet paste with the right consistency. No modern appliances can remotely match the beauty of the almost extinct grinding stone. This is how it was traditionally made, which has now taken over by mixture/grinder. I used to sit on my grandma’s lap and help her to grind the masala. The momentum of the grinding stone was a thrill to my eyes and the magic of the ingredients getting crushed into a paste increased my curiosity.

There are many ways and variation to make Tambli like the green tambli made from leaves (palak/tendli/radish/ajwain/coriander/turnip/kale/navalkol/cauliflower etc...), garlic, onion, jeera, amla, mango, etc… My all time favourite is the Palak Tambli.

Tambli is preferred during summers as it gives a cooling effect in the hot scorching heat. Along with any one of the above mentioned main ingredient, the other items used are fresh coconut, buttermilk/tamarind, green chillies and jeera while grinding and is served cold with plain steam rice.

Each tambli mentioned above exudes its own unique flavour and a distinct taste depending upon the different core ingredient being used. Usually Tambli is accompanied with another traditional dish–Bendi, which is hot spicy and compliments the mild taste of Tambli.

This is my favourite as not only does it rekindle the priceless childhood memories of innocence, but is also bundled up with its mild sweet-nutty flavor of coconut and the subtle flavor and smooth texture of the Palak leaves that leaves a lingering taste to shout for more.