Ah! Stuff poems are made of. It is filling. It provides immense satisfaction. It is certainly very very tasty. Plus it is good food in warm conditions. Importantly, it makes you sleep for several hours after the food is consumed. My best memories of thayir saadham is when a child has graduated to "kai'la saadham' stage. This is right after 'ooti vidu' stage. And right before the stage where middle class families get confident enough to take the bold step from kozhachu-vitta buttermilk to pure thick thayir (the phase where you ask your mom to reserve a big cube of surface curd for you). The stage I am referring to is the one where 4-5 'mooku ozhugi' 'arai drowser' children sit around grandma during summer vacation. Grandma, in a single stroke, completes the difficult job of making children eat. Here is a look at the glorious facets of thayir saadham and its best friends. Note that qualification to be a friend of thayir saadham means it has to have good 'thottuka' abilities. In that the friend must mix well with Thayir Saadham and should be consumable along with the said 'saadham'.
Thayir Saadham and Mango Variants
Have you ever thought of thottufying a fully ripe mango with thayir saadham? Really you should try it. Take a good banganapalli, peel it off or rip it off in a barbaric fashion and take pieces of mango and mix it with thayir saadham and eat. Its splendid. Maangai paachadi is another rare delicacy that goes very well with thayir saadham. But a gem among Mango friends is super unripe mango that is cut into pieces, mixed with chilli powder and consumed along with thayir saadham. This mango must not be just unripe. It must be super unripe. It must be the extreme opposite of ripe. It should be so unripe that it should just be called 'un' as mixing it with 'ripe' would be an anaethma. Avakkai pickle is another unsung hero among thayir saadham friends. But care must be taken to put more 'saaru' in the avakkai oorgai. Because more than the avakkai, the saaru is where the magic is.
Thayir Saadham and Kazhangus
We have had our ponderings on the king kizhangu before. Not surprisingly, the three kinds of urulai kizhangu are simply awesome with thayir saadham. Especially the kutti-kutti'ya narukkina urulai kizhangu. Seppan-kizhangu, specifically the unroasted variety, also gels well with thayir saadham. Every time I have mentioned in public that potato gels well with thayir saadham, I get a 'I am so offended' looks from the aforementioned public. A look that conveys that I have committed blasphemy. And I am frankly surprised. I also think appalam goes well with thayir saadham. And I always knew that would not be a popular vote thing. However, I always thought potato would win votes in the thayir saadham competition. In the exit poll type survey that I commonly conduct this does not seem to be the case.. People abhor the notion that these two could be mixed. And I never get how anyone could miss this ultimate combo.
Thayir Saadham and "More" Molagai
Now 'more' molagai deserves a separate poem. In fact several poems. As the name goes this molagai goes well with thachi mammu's poorer cousin "more" saadham. The saadham must be watery with 4x more buttermilk than rice. And then molagai is dropped in like a dollop of vannila ice cream falling into a cup filled with 4 gulab jamuns. And there you go. On a hot May afternoon there is nothing better to eat than this combination. In fact if you are on study holidays for college exams and decide to take that crucial 30 minute lunch break, there is nothing else you want to spend time on other than this (of course getting back to studies and staying awake is a different proposition altogether).
Thayir Saadham and Mixture
Have you tried this. If not this is a must-not-miss combination. The mixture must not be a 'kaaramaana' mixture. It must also have raisins, nuts and other exotic stuff in it. Going beyond the world of mixture, thayir saadham goes well with ompodi, murukku, vetthal, vadaam, - essentially anything that is 'karakku murakku' goes well with thayirunnjaam.
Thayir Saadham and Mysore Paak
Crazy isn't it? But it does taste very well. In the 'sweet' variety I mentioned that Maanga pacchadi goes well with thayir saadham. And so does coconut burfi. If you want to try something that is really 'out there' try honey and thayir saadham. It will tickle your bones. I have seen people it pineapple, apple, orange, and "suppota" with thayir saadham. And they all vouch that combo to be the best ever.
So there you go ladies and gentlemen. Thayir saadham. You just cannot ignore it. It is the friendliest dish around that will happily buddy up with anything you bring in. It is the middle class marvel. Costs nothing. Satisfying. Puts you to sleep for hours together. What more do you want on a good hot afternoon during summer holidays?