Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Uppu Nei Annam

I’m sure most South Indian households have this tradition: feeding infants with a morsel of ‘uppu nei annam’ (in Telugu it translates to salt-ghee-rice) every meal. This is a precursor to lunch or dinner.
As I child I remember distinct memories of eating this simple morsel, and wondering why this couldn’t have been a full meal in itself. You grow out of it of course, but not the taste.
My paternal grandma would insist that I eat a morsel of this everyday when I was pregnant; she said, this way the baby would have a perfect, round mouth. Didn’t make sense to me, but eat it, I definitely did!

My son will turn two soon, but I ensure he eats this everyday. At lunch with white rice, and dinner with boiled red rice! He enjoys it completely….

I know this has nothing by way of signature ingredients, and nothing gourmet, but the taste begs to differ.

All you have to do is: Once your rice for dinner pressure cooks, take a spoonful of it on to a plate, mix in some salt while it is hot (you have to play with the rice and dodge the heat while mixing), and finally add a generous dollop of homemade (I insist, homemade) ghee to it. Eat this hot. Just three basic, simple ingredients, but the flavors burst in your mouth.

It is true homecoming…..


Ron said...

Bongs make a full meal of this with some mashed potatoes mixed with chopped green chilies and onions and the minutest dash of mustard oil. Mashed potatoes on the side of course. I know just what you mean by true homecoming. Yummmmmmmy.

Smitha said...

Uppu thuppa anna - the ultimate comfort food. Still have it when I feel utterly homesick.