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Three Weeks of Gastronomic Nirvana!

December 31, 2009

It is said that in the Nagapudi clan (that is how we refer to ourselves), a person is reborn twice. This ritual is considered to be as sacred as the upanayanam ceremony for the pundits or baptism for the Christians.

Just being born into the family is not good enough. Apart from the fact that we are all blind as bats and bald as coots, we also need to:

  1. Be a complete food aficionado. Love for vendakka/bhindi is a MUST!!!!
  2. Read the book “Three men in a boat” atleast 12953 times.

 I had my rite of passage as a very young kid. One day, many years back, my mom in her hurry to feed a young hungry kid (well, me) forgot to put the “tadka” on the rasam. After my first mouthful, I immediately told her that the rasam tasted different. All the erudite elders in the family were so proud of me that day and I was accepted into the inner hallowed circle of the clan.

A cousin of mine is so modish. He shows no signs of a receding hairline; has good eyesight and is actually good looking; a combination which is a rare occurrence in my clan (like a non corrupt politician) and on top of that, he hates vendakka!!!!!!!! The guy hates the very sight of it!!!!!!!!!!!!

The poor chap who does not have the “love for vendakka” gene is considered to be an outcaste in the family.

The stars were not aligned properly when this heretic was born” was what my great-uncle declared long back in a family get together.

My cousin’s dad only said “umppff” in reply and continued devouring more vendakka. I still remember that my uncle won the contest that day for consuming the maximum quantity of vendakka.

But I do not wish to digress.

As many of you might already know, I will be in INDIA for my three week vacation from Jan 11th to Jan 31st. Thankfully I can get away from this depressing winter for some time.

After a year of filling my stomach with bachelor style cooked food loaded with dangerous levels of masala and dead decomposing animals, I am really looking forward to eat some simple good old home cooked food.

In my current emotional state, I have even taken a vow that I will not touch the insipid chapatti or anything remotely related to wheat during my stay.

Thankfully the best cook in the clan, my grandma will also be in Chennai during that time; a much better cook than my mom. 😛

I am so vella nowadays that I have even gone forward and charted out the entire menu for the first week. This is how I renew the vows of the Nagapudi clan. I am sure that the spirits of my ancestors are smiling from up there and are blessing me with infinite wisdom.

Please note that I do not even know what many of the dishes listed below are called in Hindi or English but I have tried to link them up.

Monday (Jan 11th):

Breakfast: The day will start with the ghee filled heavenly pongal with gotsu.

Lunch: Lunch will be vengaya (onion) sambar, rasam, avial and vendakka kari (bhindi fry) with pappadam.

Dinner: Will give my grandma and mom a crash course in bachelor style cooking. It means that I am going to cook.


Breakfast: I am hoping to tuck into atleast 10 masala dosas before the sun reaches its zenith.

Lunch: Lunch will be keera (palak) molaggutal with vendakka pachadi with potato kari and pappadam. It is a heavenly combination.

Dinner:  The crash course will continue.


Breakfast: Hoping to launch myself into some puttu and kadala curry.

Lunch: Mor kuzhambu, rasam and chepankizhangu kari and vendakka kari with pappadam as well. This is the ultimate combo.

Dinner:  Will teach my grandma and mom the finer points of bachelor style cooking.


Breakfast: Some good old idli with chutney.

Lunch: Vendakka sambar, rasam, beans kari and kothavarangai usili with pappadam.

Dinner: Masala Dosa.


Breakfast: Upma with urga/achar.

Lunch: Sambar, rasam and kovakkai (tindora) kari with pappadam.

Dinner: Puliyodarai


Just can’t wait to get home. The first week will be dedicated to “wonly” eating and learning the finer details of our style cooking from grandma and hopefully I can teach her a few things myself. 😉

A year spent here in America without having my weekly dose of vendakka has really made me dull. Need to rectify that immediately…………………….


Ladies and Gentlemen, have a great 2010. Just don’t drink and drive on New Years eve.

35 Comments leave one →
  1. December 31, 2009 4:21 am

    Lol! OG.. this is a wonderful schedule you are going to be having!!!
    OG: HEY!!!!!!!!!!! long time!!!!!!!!
    Enjoy all those gastronomic delights, and your grandma’s cooking!
    OG: I surely will!!!
    I simply love the way you have planned it down to the last vendakka seed 🙂 !

    Best wishes for the new year to you and your loved ones!
    OG: hehehehehe, same to you!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  2. December 31, 2009 4:21 am

    Oh my! This is perhaps the first and last time, on the last day of this year of the Lord, 2009, that I am going to be first to comment anywhere!!!

    OG: hahahahahaha

  3. December 31, 2009 5:25 am

    me second! 😛
    OG: yes!!!!!!!!!!
    What plans!!
    I love, I mean absolutely love bhindi too!! (so, yay for me!)
    OG: YAY to that!!!!!!!!!!! I just love !!!!!!!!!!
    HAPPY 2010 to you too my dear OG! Hope you have a great year ahead!
    Looking forward to seeing more posts from you regarding your cooking adventures from home! 😉
    OG: I just hope I dont poison them 😛 😛 anyways my sis will be the guinea pig :mrgreen:
    Pongal… yummy! feel like eating now! 😛
    OG: 😛 😛 😛 😛

  4. December 31, 2009 5:51 am

    Happy New Year… 😀

    now let me go read the post…
    OG: same to you too!!!!!!!!!!!

    • December 31, 2009 6:33 am

      You have mentioned here some of my fav foods…

      puliyodarai tops the list…
      OG: YAY to that!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      • December 31, 2009 1:05 pm

        geez… why wouldnt he use simpler names… ! I have to check links to see what they are… but then my dinner is still 3 hours away !!!!!
        OG: dude, that is why I have linked them up. I have no idea what they are called in any other language……….

  5. Kanagu permalink
    December 31, 2009 6:15 am

    Machi you are a pakka planner when it comes to food 😛
    LOL @ stars are not aligned properly 😆
    Have sometime to meet us after your food schedule… LOL 😆
    Have a superb 2010 with whole lot of fun 🙂 🙂 waiting to meet you 🙂
    OG: yes machi, have a great year…. and see u in a few weeks!!!!!!!

  6. December 31, 2009 7:02 am

    Happy newyear Ajith…may god bless ya
    OG: same to u aliyaaaaaaaaa! 😛

  7. December 31, 2009 8:13 am

    man, enjoy ur vacation in India, if you dont give us a chance to wish you again here. Enjoy your vendakkai everyday 😛

    Happy New Year OG! 🙂
    OG: hahaha, yes I surely will enjoy……….. you also take care!!!

  8. December 31, 2009 8:35 am

    Theeeta-pandaaram !!!! 😀 😀 😀 😀 😀 (sorry guys, no translation for this !)
    OG: I live to eat!!!!!
    Cant believe you churned out a menu like this !!! You are impossible, man !!! 😀 😀 😀
    OG: thanku!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    So no kalavara in the first week, huh ? 😉
    OG: illa aliya, from second week, complete non veg akkam 😉
    Wish you the happiest year ahead, buddy !!
    OG: see u soon!!

    • December 31, 2009 2:16 pm

      Wow Kalavara!!! I remember that place…….haha one of the few places where we would go to eat(others being Ammas, Arya Nivas, Arya Jyoti oh and Ambrosia)
      OG: hahaha, he talked about the kalavera in chennai………….. 😛 😛

      and yes, I have visited all the places you have mentioned …… 😛

  9. December 31, 2009 11:29 am

    Wow!!! I just luvvvv Bhindi tooo 😀
    Wish u a delightful yr ahead 😉
    OG: YAY to that and same to u!!!!! 😛

  10. December 31, 2009 12:59 pm

    Geez tht is almost the excitement I feel when I go back to bharuch… ! infact I have noted that everytime I return I have a gastric problem !!!

    fantastic schedule !!!!!!!
    OG: hehehehehe, we guys are all the same dude!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  11. December 31, 2009 2:10 pm

    Ahhh I love them all! Have a great time in India OG, and bring back pictures……..have lots of fun, but REMEMBER, eat carefully because you will have to come back and lose all that weight you would put on…..hehehe (way to ruin your fun…right?)
    OG: no caution will be taken in india………… I dont mind gaining a few kgs…………… 😛 😛 😛

  12. December 31, 2009 5:49 pm

    Nothing tastes better in this world, than the food cooked at home. I can imagine your craving for all those yummy dishes made by your mom and grandmom. Even though I go home atleast once a month, I myself start craving for the goodies cooked by my mom after 2 weeks in hostel.
    OG: I so agree!!!!!!!!!!! and welcome here!!!!!!! where are u studying???
    Wish you a Wonderful vacation.
    OG: thanks!!!

    • January 6, 2010 5:40 pm

      I am working as a Software Engineer. Do visit my blog when you get time and do comment about ma musings 🙂

  13. December 31, 2009 8:51 pm

    oh man!!! cant believe this…
    ur wish list for the new year begins with such a menu??? gawd!!! 😆
    OG: hehehehehehehhe
    but then i dont really blame u… living alone wtihout proper food does that to u. i remember the greatet joy i had after coming back from london was to scream outloud at lunch time : “mommmmmmmmmmmmmm!!! i’m hungryyyyyyyy!!” 😀 😀 😀
    OG: yes, I can so understand !!!!!!!!!!!!!!1 😛 😛 😛 😛

    • December 31, 2009 8:52 pm

      enjoy ur 2010…. have a wonderful year my dear komalikkal cousin! ((((hugs))))
      OG: same to you as well!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! KM!!!!!!!!

  14. January 1, 2010 4:54 am

    Ha! Ha! Ha! I’m in Kolkata with my parents now – my list included non-vegetarian dishes and restaurants I need to eat at, not bhindi! I didn’t know bhindi was a vegetable worth longing for…
    Today we are having puris or loochis as they are called in Bengali – haven’t had them since I’ve been in Singapore and am looking forward to wolfing down at least 10…
    OG: blasphemy!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! bhindi is the best veggie ever!!!!! 😛 😛 enjoy your loochis and hols Bones!!

    When will you start thinking about girls instead of food?
    OG: 😛 😛 😛 😛 😛 😛 😛 😛 😛 😛 we think about that all the time 😉

  15. January 1, 2010 4:55 am

    P.S. Happy new Year to you too!
    OG: same to u bones!

  16. January 1, 2010 8:22 pm

    Is it irony that one of longest posts in a while is a post that talks wonly of food?! 😛
    OG: hehehehehhehehe 😛
    *while EOG is managing his blog break, with small manageable comments, 8800 miles away, crafty’s eyes glisten while she types out her comment*

    Nagapudi clan who are blind as bats and bald as coots?!!! 😆 😆 😆
    OG: yes and we take pride in it 😉
    Love for bhindi!! 😀 😀 😀 I like it wonly when it is fried…deep fried…with no goodness of vegetable left…just crisp remnants soaked in oil!!! *crafty’s mom’s eye twitches*
    OG: sheshu!!!!!!!!!!!! you devil!!!!!
    AHA!!!!!! 3MIAB!!!!!!!!!!!! I don’t think I need to even mention my love for the book?!
    OG: yes 😛
    “inner hallowed circle of the clan” ROFL!!!!!!!!! This was such a scene to imagine!! LOL!!!!

    A cousin who is good looking…. Any chance that u will share his pics? 🙄 :mrgreen:
    OG: hey, you are booked!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    What?! He is considered an outcaste????!!!! I say…. That’s tough on him…. He may need a hug…. Where do I find him? 😆 😆 😆
    I am missing my partners in crime Sakshi and Don Soli here!!! Che!!!!
    OG: hehehehehehehehhehe

    My cousin’s dad only said “umppff” in reply and continued devouring more vendakka. I still remember that my uncle won the contest that day for consuming the maximum quantity of vendakka.

    ROFL ROFL ROFL! I just imagined it! 😛 hahahahahah!!! Was he trying to make up for his son’s quota too?
    Okie, do u seriously have vendakka eating competition??!!!!!!!!!
    OG: yes, it is an annual event!!!!!!!!!!

    THE awaited visit to India!!!! 😀 😀 😀 Jan is finally here! Sigh!! Home food! Its always the best!!! But I see ur plan includes u cooking for ur family too! 😛
    HAILA!!!! U just said ur grandma cooks better than mom? And followed it with tongue smiley! Aliyaaaa…..
    OG: 😛 😛 😛 😛 😛 😛
    Went thru ur list!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Dai….. endoru menu aanu idhu?!! Shud we expect a post about your exercise schedule that is supposed to balance this menu charter??

    Don’t forget….. Aakrantham + Lazybum = Big Pauncham 😆
    OG: hahahahhaa, hoping to put on a couple of kgs……………….
    Happy New Year Ajitu! Tight Hugsssssssssssss! 😀
    OG: same to you gal!
    Hope you enjoy your vacation in India and fill urself with all that you have aspired to!!! 😀
    Must to make up for one year of missing out on home food! 😀

    i can see the headline on 31st Jan….. “Famine Hits Chennai… Food supply shortage since 3 weeks”

    😆 😆 😆
    OG: you devil!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • January 5, 2010 5:15 pm

      Boy divert that poor handsome cousin to our blogs and we (crafty, sols and me) promise to give him tight hugs to make up for all the torture your clan puts him through :mrgreen: Btw one question though ❓ Did he inherit the Lub for Lungi genes from you 😆
      OG: hahahahahaha 😛 nope not from me, from his dad 😉

    • January 6, 2010 8:37 pm

      I am here, Crafty. Did I read about a handsome cousin? 😀
      OG: you gals!!!!!!!!!!!
      Coming back to Vendakka aka Okra. Me favorite. But then I love all my veggies and my mutton too. Vendakka mezhukkupuratti with rice..yum. I also make a bhindi ki sabji with rotis.
      OG: I am not a big fan of mutton…………… 😛

  17. January 1, 2010 8:24 pm

    BTW Dosakuttappa… ur komallikal kousin has been christened:

    OG: read it!!!!!!!!!!!

  18. January 3, 2010 3:37 am

    Reminded me of that goundamani dialogue.. “ada dey idhu allavu kurikkol” :P…have a wonderful, tummyfull india visit and a great year ahead
    OG: hahahaha 😛 😛 yes machi!!!!!!

  19. January 3, 2010 9:00 pm

    You had to do this to us. OG? Now I am dying to eat all that you have listed on your menu too!!!!
    OG: 😛 😛 😛 😛 😛 😛 😛
    Vendakka – I love it too! I have to make it tomorrow now!
    OG: best of lucku!!!
    Have a wonderful trip to India and eat all that you can 🙂 Happy New year to you too!
    OG: same to you smithus!!

  20. January 5, 2010 5:59 am

    psssttttt OG?
    wonly eating will result in wonly stomach aches 😀
    OG: ROFL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    After my first mouthful, I immediately told her that the rasam tasted different. All the erudite elders in the family were so proud of me that day and I was accepted into the inner hallowed circle of the clan. this is too cute 😆
    seriously imagined you as a lil kid telling aunty about the rasam 😀 😀
    OG: classic photo indyeah!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Vendakka is my fav too 😀 (new word for me) 😀 bhindi is going to be vendakka from now on 😀

    OG: yes you honorary tamilian/mallu!!!!!!!!!!!!
    The first week will be dedicated to “wonly” eating and learning the finer details of our style cooking from grandma and hopefully I can teach her a few things myself. blasphemy! OG!!! are you sure grandma will feed you even after reading this? 😀
    OG: she does not read my blog thankfully 😉
    you know my fav? 😀 even more than vendakka? puliyodarai 😀 😀
    YUMMY!!! in one word! *drool*

    😀 😀 😀 parcel some to Delhi OG 😀
    please 🙄
    look at this innocent face 🙄 just a spoonful would also do 😀 😛

    OG: yokays done!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    how has your new year been?:)

    OG: it was great!!!!!!!!! had fun!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    psst? here…appoopan’s evolution 😛
    wonly eating to be followed by wonly running on treadmill 😀 😛 😛
    OG: HAHAHAHAHAHAHA, I am already in the last stage now 😉
    May this year be full of vendakka dishes for you OG and more gastronomic delights than you have ever imagined… 😀
    take care of your health and always keep that smile in place 😀

    God bless! 🙂
    OG: you too indy!!!!!!!!!!!

  21. January 5, 2010 6:33 am

    Thats wonderful OG !!! Kya list hai !!! Everyday has vendakka in it !!! Vendakka is a fav in my home too !!!! 🙂
    OG: YAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    Actually I like ur combos – just like what we at home !!!! 🙂 You are not only part of Nagapudi clan – but looks like ours too – Were u born anywhere near the banks of River Kaveri ??????
    OG: all these are classic combos!!!!!!!!!! nope was born in coimbatore!
    Ur grandmom will be shocked to see the way u cut vegetables, first !!! Just make sure you dont use part of ur fingers for cooking !!!!
    OG: hehehehehehehehehhe
    HAPPY NEW YEAR 2010 to you !!!!
    OG: same to you uma!!!!!!!!!
    Chennai vijayam – Ponnu pakkavaa / sappidava ???????
    OG: no comment of yours is complete without such questions-aa??????

  22. January 5, 2010 5:23 pm

    You know if it was not for one finer point, I would have come to the conclusion that my parents adopted me from your Nagapudi Clan 😯 as I can eat Vendakka in any form thrice a day or even more 😀 Good that you pointed out good looks are a rarity in your clan… *ahem…ahem*
    OG: classic!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! HAHAHAHAHAHA. yeah must be true 😛
    Bhagwaane why are you planning to give a dinner crash course to your grandmom and mom on ur style of cooking? Don’t you want them to wake up with a fine stomach in the morning to serve you a splendid breakfast?? 🙄
    OG: guinea pig is sister……….. the rest of them will be ok 😛
    I don’t know how many times I laughed after reading your narration about your your own words “Kidillan aliyaa” :mrgreen:

    Wishing you a gastronomical fulfilling new year 😛 😛 😛

    OG: thank you so much and wish you the same!

  23. January 5, 2010 7:13 pm

    Super duper plan. This has got to be one of the most sincere and goal-oriented New Year Posts (resolutions!) I’ve read in a long time.
    OG: hahahahaha 😛 thanku!
    I did not make any resolutions this year, but thanks to our sudden Chennai trip, am enjoying parathas and rajamma (sorry, your influence, you see 😉 ) and chole and all, along with the regular southy cooking by my dear mommy!!
    OG: yeah yeah 😛 enjoy all u can while it lasts!
    Eager to meet you OG!! Lets choose a venue that serves great food 😉
    OG: that is the most important thing, meeeting people is secondary!!!!!!!1 😉

  24. January 7, 2010 9:25 am

    A very happy and prosperous new year wishes to you and your wonderful clan Ajit…….

    Let me also wish you a wonderful trip and equally wonderful gastro-delights while you are there… and after all these delights will you have time for one more important event for which you were getting ready? or has OG decided to escape the noose this time?

  25. January 8, 2010 7:14 pm

    Oh OG what a lovely post…..I can so feel that yearning u have for that traditional cooking…..Have a super duper holiday, get ur mom to make all ur favourite food, eat ur heart out 😀

    p.s: u’ve been awarded:-)

  26. January 11, 2010 2:43 pm

    Enjoy ur stay OG and stick to the yummy menu! 🙂

  27. Pradeep Nagapudi permalink
    May 16, 2012 8:40 am

    Hey…I’m from the Nagapudi Clan too in India. I’m in the process of clearing the family roots and find out if I have any long lost cousins in the family. You can mail me at

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