11 februari 2010 -
When we arrive at the house of the South Indian Lakshmi Chunangadu Ananthanarayanan (24), we check the address once again. Is this right? From the living-room we hear a dog’s loud barking, and the house does not look like a student house at all. Yet as soon as the front door opens, the smell of Indian food fills our nostrils. This is tonight’s venue alright.
Lakshmi studies Business Information Systems. She is married and together with her husband she rents a cozy little house. She even has a dog now for some time. “It was not my idea, mind you! It was my husband who thought of it, he really wanted to have a dog.”
Lakshmi has really put some efforts into the meal. She likes to share the South Indian cuisine with the Cursor readers. “In the Netherlands you hardly find any food from the South Indian kitchen at all, since most restaurants serve North Indian food.” Lakshmi’s parents run a restaurant near Chennai. “When I am home, I always take some ingredients back with me to Eindhoven. The Indian shop here is stocked quite well, but some things that I bring from home are just that bit more tasty.”
We sit down. In Chennai the dishes that Lakshmi has prepared for us are savored for breakfast as well as for dinner. After the first bite of ‘sambharvada’ it is quite clear: a great deal of care has been devoted to this meal. The combination of various kinds of flavors is very good, and there is a different sauce accompanying every dish. We eat sambharvada -fried lentil cookies with a spicy sauce-, rava idli -soft balls made of rice flour with coconut chutney sauce-, and curd rice - a mixture of rice and yoghurt. Usually the curd rice serves to tone down the spicy flavor inside your mouth, but as there were Dutch guests coming to dinner today, the number of peppers has been reduced considerably.
In India food does not only differ per region, but even per family. “Every family has different cooking habits. My cooking method is a mixture of the habits used within my family and those within my husband’s family.” Her husband himself is not into cooking. In India this is not customary. “I don’t mind at all,” says Lakshmi. “At least my kitchen stays tidy then.” (HB)
The recipe may be found on www.tuemeetingplace.nl.
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