Over 100 konkani kilos and still want to eat?!
By Sandhya Pai – In a sluggish yet curious glance, to any outsider, a regular meal at typical Gowda Saraswat Brahmin’s or GSB’s home would appear like a panorama of delicious tangibles, crunch-ables, gulp-ables, quick-lickables, slow-lickables, and show-stopper finish-ables. Thy meal can hardly be captured in a shot. Little could be spared, when words would decide to shower on admirations in the name of its topography on the greenland (banana leaf). Small uphills of salt in the left, adjacent to tangibles like pickles of raw mango popularly known as Ambuli nonché or Soorna Koot which has salted, savorable yam cubes housed in conditioned mustard and red chilli sauce; followed by hot steamed vegetable dry curry- mountain peak cladded with coconut snow; that has on its base- rivers of a gravy dish Ghassi, having sediments of ground coconut, red chillis, asafoetida, salt and spices underneath, flowing through rocks of chickpeas and fleshy jackfruit fauna. Just beside the river, Phodis-small logs of fried drumsticks or golden brown chunks of jackfruit, banana or wild bitter gourd waiting to be crushed under the grinding molars of gluttony. At the moderately low lying areas on the greenland, there are red and yellow tiny and big crunchy, floaters called pappads and vodis, beside which you could see a plateau of white rice from centre to right edges, with a hollow in between; to be filled with springs of watery-boiled lentils seasoned with curry leaves (Daalithoy) and mustard seeds the first time, or with springs of watery-boiled tomato seasoned with ginger, garlic and curry leaves with mustard (Tomato saaru). The plateau is eroded more than three times at least; the third time it is usually with cold springs of curds (Dhai) or seasoned buttermilk (Taak). Seasons and seasonings are many; they come in different varieties adding spice to the diner’s life usually but the love for food- through seasons and seasonings remains-pretty much the same!
If you thought the view came to an end there, as an outsider- you must have been certainly mistaken and as someone of the community-you must have noticed the list of yet- to- come. After several erosions and replenishments of the moderately low lying rice plateaus, the gastronome fingers plunge into sweetness of viscous, brown, coconut- jaggery lava (Goddi or payasu) containing igneous lentils or wheat germs. Amazing isn’t it? The view of extremely palatable south-Indian GSB konkani meal on a banana leaf!
While you are fascinated with these dishes, it hardly occurs to you- the risk that runs along with the possession of such a sophisticated taste; the risk- of highly deadly health disorders like obesity, hypertension, diabetes, osteoporosis and dental issues to name a few. You wouldn’t agree less if I said that most of your fairy-tale food fantasies met a tragic end with body-health disobedience. Nevertheless, the achievement of having diverse, immensely appetizing foods all at once went in vain! The weight that you gain in the process is beyond your control, although you semi-religiously measure yourself on the weighing balance every now and then. So much, so bad that- after a point, too much eating almost hung you between life and death!
So, it is time to contemplate about balancing tastes with energy requirements for all GSBs and communities alike. To live healthy and be less susceptible to health disorders! Eat to live and not live to eat.
Contributor, Sandhya Pai, works with Folks Media Ventures (holding company of Folks Magazine) as an Administrative Assistant.