After 3 years of My Tamil Kitchen – I have come to realise there are a few basic tips to preparing Tamil food.
SALT: Everyone has a different relationship to salt and culture seems to play a leading role. Salt is added to every Tamil dish. An extra pinch of salt can make a curry go such a long way. When Tamils sit down to eat, we don’t have a little dish of salt at the table, like some other cultures do – it’s already added to all the curries. If you are sharing a meal with a group of people, you may get asked if the salt is enough? உப்பு காணுமா?
It’s an important question to ask or be asked. Salt is key.
CHILLIES: Because chillies are not consistent and because each person’s hot radar is subjective, the amount of chillies and/or curry powder used in recipes will depend on the group you are cooking for. Tamil kids grow up eating very spicy food right from the start and are pretty hard core when it comes to chillies. Plus if it’s too hot – that’s what yoghurt is for.
SPICES: A combination of or only curry powder, turmeric and fenugreek seeds seem to be the base spices for pretty much any Tamil curry. For all the years prior to learning to cook Tamil food, I had always thought it so complex. It’s actually so ridiculously easy to make such delicious dishes.
Have i got it right? Let me know if you agree/don’t agree.