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…..