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The North-South Indian Fusion Cuisine!!!

April 28, 2009

outlineI am going to tell you all a story. An age old obscure inconspicuous tale from the Panchatantram!!!!!

Long ago, there lived a young priest named Shappadananda in the hot plains of the Cholan Empire near present day Tanjore. A learnt man, he was a master of the Vedas and the Puranas. But as any mortal, he had a vice. He loved food. No, actually he was obsessed with food and his relatives were not happy that he attached so much importance to it.

Shappadananda loved his Tamil cuisine. His days were spent in planning; planning for the next meal and he took pains to ensure that every meal of his was as per his high standards. But pretty soon, he lost interest in his normal and routine Sambar, Rasam, Dosa, Idli, Vada and Appalam (variety of Pappad found in TN) and the likes.

In his quest for gastronomic moksha, he decided to travel and explore much to his parent’s disappointment. An old wise sage told him to follow his stomach and travel in the direction that the Sun takes. As he stumbled over the ghats, he came across people in the Chera land who spoke a different accent of Tamil.

There he discovered the wonderful fluffy appam and the various different stews that the people used to eat. He also found a different type of Appalam that people used in that land. He called it the “Father of the Appalam” which soon evolved into “Papa-dam“. He knew that he had to go further and pretty soon, after learning that cuisine, he turned north. He knew that his quest would be never ending and that he might never set foot in his village again but something egged him on to move further on.Β 

After traversing through the Pandya kingdom, he set foot in the land of the seven islands where the people ate a simple dish which consisted of a “Cholesterol rich Bonda” inside bread. He loved that dish and since it was the poor man’s everyday meal, he gave it the name “Vada Paavam” (Vada for the innocent), which over the years became “VadaPav“. He also popularized Idli, Medu Vada and sambar in this area. His love for chapattis and Dal fry also grew in this place. He was also responsible for introducing Pappadam in this area which soon evolved into “Pappad“.

After a few idyllic years in this beautiful place, he grew restless again and he decided to push on North and his travels took him to the land of the five rivers where he discovered the delicacies called the Kebabs and the naans. By this time, when he reached the land of the Kambojas, he knew that he had to make a choice. Either he could turn back to Tanjore or press on in his quest. His senses won the battle in the end and he decided to move on west in his search for the perfect cuisine.

Thus he set sail from Krokola and the people who knew him never saw him again. No one knew what happened to the priest. Some said that Varuna took him for his sins; some others said that he lived a happy life somewhere!!!

This obscure tale from the Panchatantram ends here; moral of the story being that the senses should be kept under control and the quest for materialism never stops if kept unchecked!!!


Now, I need to thank my cousin brother for introducing me to Ethiopian cuisine!!!!! Ethiopian cuisine seems to be the perfect mix of North and South Indian cuisine!!!!!Β  They also use bread made of flour called Injira which tastes like Rava Dosa and is as fluffy as Appam and the dishes are all so North Indian in taste. They use a lot of vegetables like Dal, Chick peas and palak with ample quantities of Non vegetarian Stews cooked in great spices and it is an absolute delight!!!!! I would call it the perfect blend of North and South Indian cuisine and I ensure that I have it once a week!!!!

So, we all know where Shappadananda’s journey must have ended!!!!! Only veggie stuff shown below!!!!


34 Comments leave one →
  1. sraboneyghose permalink
    April 28, 2009 4:12 am

    When I started reading your post, the first thing that came to mind was Ehiopian cuisine…Yes, when I first ate appam, the Ethiopian bread came to mind…They have this mutton dish which is like the ‘Kosha mangsho’ (dry mutton curry) Bengalis make…Ethiopians, Algerians and other North Africans use a lot of cummin in their food too…Trade and invasion have helped create interesting cuisines around the world…Did you know that in coastal areas (east)of Italy, ginger was introduced by traders returning from India?

    OG: so you guessed it Bones!!! wah wah!!!!
    I have not tried ‘Kosha mangsho’……… will do so now… after Nov 14th!!!! and I did not know that ginger was introduced by traders from India…. πŸ˜› πŸ˜› anyways, ethiopian cuisine is fantastic!!!!

  2. April 28, 2009 4:51 am

    I have never tried something Ethiopian πŸ™‚ Let me see where I can find something like that in Bengaluru.

    OG: please do so!!!!!

  3. April 28, 2009 6:08 am

    Ha..ha..ha.. Papa-dam. πŸ˜† πŸ˜†

    Shappadanda, will this blog be renamed as ‘Shappaduraman’s Kitchen journey’?

    OG: πŸ˜› πŸ˜›
    no, this blog will wonly be A + A = K!!!! πŸ™‚ but yes, I am shappaduraman!!!
    btw, have you had this cuisine??????

    • April 28, 2009 6:36 am

      Yep and loved it and also Moroccon but hated it.

      OG: lemme try moroccon!!!!! πŸ˜› πŸ˜›

      • sraboneyghose permalink
        April 28, 2009 11:04 am

        I’ve never tried Moroccan; the tagine preparations look interesting at least on the food channel…They too use a lot of cloves and cummin…

        OG: πŸ˜› πŸ˜›

        • April 28, 2009 12:28 pm

          Well the pic looks like some really nice red sauce… which looks full of garlic,,, and looks yummy….

          aapdam saapdam… geee… i m bad with south indian languages… i only know one line.. Yaan inne sneh kinnu… lol…

          but I guess i ll love all kinds of food… now i guess its time for moroccon… problems is where do i find it ??

          OG: the line is “nyaan ninne snehikkunnu” (malayalam)…………………
          πŸ˜› πŸ˜› good question bhai, where do you find it in india!!!!

        • Badz permalink
          April 28, 2009 2:25 pm

          LoL! That’s the advantage of living abroad. You get to try dishes from all over the world. πŸ˜›

          And Hitchwriter id right, the dish looks yummy.

          OG: agree dude, btw what is your blog address??????

      • Badz permalink
        April 29, 2009 5:36 am

        I don’t have a blog address. Haven’t started blogging yet. Will let you know when I do.
        OG: Yo dude

  4. April 28, 2009 6:37 am

    Lol!!! That was the bestest!!!!!! Papa-dom and Vada- paavam was simply superb!!!! As for Ethiopian cuisine – yes, yes!!! That was my first impression too – the bread is like rava dosas and the curries are remarkably similar to Indian ones!!! Oh there now you’ll make me daydream of ethiopian food:(
    You are a proper shaapaduraman!! Do you dream of food too:) coz I do that too 😦

    OG: πŸ™‚ LOL….yes I do dream about food!!!! πŸ™‚ expecially mom’s home cooked food!!!! but I dont know as to when I would have it next!!!!!
    Yes, all this talk has also gotten me started on ethiopian cuisine!!!! πŸ™‚ Yes, shaapaduraman, I am!!!
    I live to eat!!!

    • sraboneyghose permalink
      April 28, 2009 11:07 am

      Please tell me what shaapaduraman means? A foodie?
      OG: yup, right!!!!

      • April 28, 2009 1:24 pm

        Yes, Bones, it kind of foodie πŸ™‚ The literal translation could be – FoodRam πŸ™‚

  5. April 28, 2009 7:54 am

    ha ha ha vada paavam was fun πŸ˜€ πŸ˜€

    so was “Shappadananda” lol!

    *bows to the priest of food*

    I so wanna try this cuisine πŸ˜€
    OG: Ayushmaan bava!!!!!!

  6. April 28, 2009 9:54 am

    You’re talking of Lebanese cuisine rite? Yes I’ve had it before and loved it. and yes, it’s very similar to Indian cuisine… what with funny names caboose and i don’t remember what else! keep experimenting with cuisines tho… thats a lotta fun! πŸ™‚

    OG: i was the wonly talking about the Ethiopian cuisine… not lebanese cuisine!!!! (which is also the fantastic) LOL hehehe

    • April 28, 2009 4:25 pm

      I love Lebanese. Out of all the only cuisine I hated is Moroccan.

    • April 28, 2009 5:52 pm

      ethiopian is ethiopian and not to be confused with lebanese! wokay! πŸ˜€

      P.S.: thanks for introducing the idea… will try to follow up on it and test it out!

      OG: best of luck!!!!! cheers

    • April 28, 2009 8:59 pm

      How on earth did you come up with Lebanese??? πŸ˜€
      OG: LOL

  7. Mystery permalink
    April 28, 2009 12:38 pm

    lol. nice post.
    unlike shapadaananda we can taste all kinds of food by sitting in our place πŸ˜€ be it indian, ethipian, chineese or any other cuisine

    OG: yes but 2000 years back, shapadananda did not have all facilities of modern world!!!!! πŸ™‚ πŸ˜› πŸ˜›

    • April 28, 2009 7:32 pm

      What you don’t taste, you don’t crave (applicable to only food πŸ˜‰

      So 2000 years back Shapadananda was satisfied with his daal, chawal and roti.

      • April 28, 2009 7:56 pm

        LOL but suppose he got tired of it….. πŸ™‚
        Man has always been a curious man… it is that curiousity which took him out of Africa and made him populate the world….
        it is that curiousity with made Magellan travel around the world…
        it is that curiousity which made Columbus search for India!!!!!!

        • April 28, 2009 9:03 pm

          Yes! and that curiosity is forcing a certain someone to create Sugary Sambhars πŸ˜†
          OG: LOL hahahahahahahaha!!!!!!

  8. April 28, 2009 5:11 pm

    Lots of information, a map and a photograph to convert a non-Shappadananda into a Shappadananda.
    Suddenly all of us are blogging about food! Mandira also wrote a post about food, and mine mentions food too.
    I read in a comment above, Mr. Shappadananda, you dream about food πŸ™‚

    OG: πŸ™‚ yes IHM I do!!!! and yes, I seem to be blogging a lot about food now!

  9. April 28, 2009 8:58 pm

    appo, anganeyaanee bakshana saadanangalude peru okke undaaayadu, alle? πŸ˜€

    Ethiopian cusine- a mix of north and south food. and they claim that people in Ethiopia still starve !!!

    Any idea if Ethiopian cuisine is available in Chennai? I doubt !

    OG: yes Aliya…. anganeyanee peru vannathu!!!!! πŸ˜› πŸ˜›
    you will get this cuisine in Saravan Bhavan!!!! πŸ˜› πŸ˜› πŸ˜› hehehehehehe

    • April 29, 2009 6:08 am

      Ok, Im glad that you put the smileys there. Or else, the ignorant one that Im, would have definitely went and asked in Saravana Bhavan. ‘cuz I have been there very rarely.

      OG: πŸ™‚ kittum avadae…. masala dosa!!! πŸ˜› πŸ˜› and even I dont go there man… it is so over priced……
      for that same money, we can get some brilliant chicken biriyani from tharavadu and kalavara…. πŸ˜›

      • April 29, 2009 7:09 am

        Eggjaactly…btw, urangaaraayille aliyaa??? samayam orupaadaayille avide???

        OG: πŸ™‚ I sleep around midnight!

        • April 29, 2009 10:22 pm

          Vimmu, Googled for you and found that there is ‘Cedars’ in Chennai. Not Ethiopian but Lebanese, if you haven’t tried. Lebanese is equally good.

  10. April 28, 2009 9:26 pm

    Oui! Now this was something I have never imagined! Well, I don’t think this cuisine might be commonly available but I’ll still keep my eyes open!

    OG: you should find it in UK dude

  11. April 29, 2009 2:54 am

    — North south fusion is the masala dosa — dosa with potatoes —

    North indians ( i mean punjab, UP, bihar ) commercialised the dosa putting potatoes in between because they cannot eat anything without potatoes. ( well this is a sweeping statement but that is what i jokingly say –

    the masala dosa meets both the south and the north exACTLY in this circle of love !

    i doubt if teff is even grown in india

    may be u should add falafel, tabouleh, hummus, tahini, stuffed grape leaves ( find an authentic greek restaurant or shop where they cook them in a clay pot )
    tamales with green sauce or smoked paparika or dominican kind tamales which is nothing but made different kind of squashes wrapped in a banana leaf ( a different take on the mexican tamale )
    to ur list.

    OG: HAHAHAHAHA!!!! Since my cooking is at a very basic level, MAybe I should buy every thing from outside and mix them!!!!!
    I love tamales!!! and hummus as well!!!! teff is not grown in India……….
    and LOL at masala dosas!!! πŸ™‚ i love it!!!! have you experimented with such things????

    • April 29, 2009 10:16 am

      Anrosh, You’ve made my mouth water all over again!!! Here I was dreaming of chicken biryani when OG talks about Ethiopian food and I start again – and now you too!!!
      OG: πŸ™‚ smitha!!!!! LOL…..Chicken biriyani is the best!!!!!

  12. Happy Kitten permalink
    April 29, 2009 11:42 am


    that was too good…nd u r still in shape u say..

    Lebanese food is great.. havnt tasted Ethiopian food..

    OG: I am not in shape…. πŸ˜› πŸ˜› and please try it!!!!

  13. April 29, 2009 3:50 pm

    err…and when exactly is your staying off-non-veg-food vow coming to an end?
    Coz you sure seem to be obsessed with it πŸ˜› πŸ˜›

    Ethiopian?I had no clue that it was such a prominent cuisine..I really doubt that I will be able to find it here and that too without astronomical prices πŸ˜€

    Bon appetite Shappadananda!! πŸ˜€

    • April 29, 2009 3:58 pm

      Hey!!!!!!!!!!!! πŸ™‚
      πŸ™‚ I am not obsessed with non veg food…. only food!!! πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚ :p

      try this cuisine… for a person who loves dosas, you will love it… yeah, but I have not seen it in India….. πŸ˜›

      • April 29, 2009 4:10 pm

        exactly!!since you cant get non veg till a certain time you have now diverted your energy towards regular food πŸ˜€
        I am a foodie too πŸ˜€ so it eez okay πŸ˜€
        the foodies can have a blogfood festival πŸ˜€

        OG: will organize one in india when i get bak!!!!!

  14. April 29, 2009 7:57 pm

    Great post Ajit… I loved it much…

    Pappadam and Vadapav are the best.. πŸ˜€ Very tasty story πŸ˜›

    And I never tried Eithiopian Cuisine…. Will have to give a try πŸ™‚

    OG: πŸ˜› πŸ˜›


  1. Topics about Indian » The North-South Indian Fusion Cuisine!!! Β« Aram + Aram = Kinnaram

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