From Tyagaraja and Dikshitar to Purandaradasa and Andal, they’ve all given us recipes in ragas
Samaithu Paar is a cookbook that hardly wants any introduction for South Indians. Written by Meenakshi Ammal a number of many years in the past, it turned a best-seller and was later translated into English as Prepare dinner and See. Primarily based on this, I’ve typically puzzled why a e book titled Prepare dinner and Sing shouldn’t be executed primarily based on Carnatic songs that comprise recipes for, or carry point out of, numerous dishes.
I’m nowhere close to writing such a e book, however every time I come throughout references to dishes I make an observation of them and not too long ago when singer S. Sowmya requested me to place collectively a web-based quiz, I devoted one spherical to meals in Carnatic music. And no, it had no questions associated to the well-known sabha canteens.
Andal in her Thiruppavai arguably describes the most effective pongal. The verse, ‘Koodarai Vellum’, is the twenty seventh within the set and after having noticed all of the austerities in the course of the earlier days of Margazhi, Andal sings of pongal, made by boiling rice and milk, in a coated vessel, with a lot ghee that when the dish is eaten, the ghee trickles down the elbows. In his ‘Poompavai Padhigam,’ composed at Mylapore, Gnanasambandar sings of pongal with lashings of ghee, cooked by straight-waisted girls, in the course of the month of Thai (January).
Annamacharya within the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries mentions many meals objects in his compositions. Of those, ‘Entamatramuna’ mentions the nippatu — crispy deep-fried rice crackers.
The way it seems relies on the standard of batter, says the composer, and provides that that is true even of Venkateswara in Tirumala: those that worship Devi say it is a Goddess, the Kapalikas declare him as Adi Bhairava, and the Vaishnavites say he’s Vishnu.
Purandaradasa provides a recipe for payasam in his ‘Ramanama Payasake’. It begins proper from the making of the vermicelli itself. However a lesser-known music of his goes to even better element. ‘Naivedya Kollo Narayanaswami’ describes a veritable feast and people can see Manmathan Ullathil’s weblog, www.maddy06.blogspot.com, the place he has studied a number of different Purandaradasa kritis that point out recipes.
In fact, relating to a feast who higher than a king to arrange the invoice of fare? In his ‘Pallaki Seva Prabandha,’ King Shahji of Thanjavur, writing within the seventeenth century, gives dinner to Lord Tyagesa — sherbets of top of the range, pongal, morkuzhambu, rice fritters, pooris fried in ghee, dosas and idlis, pickles, shelled and roasted lentils, sweets, fruits, blended rice of assorted varieties, payasam, thirattupaal, honey, curd rice, puliyogare, thick bitter cream, spiced buttermilk, water from the Ganges, and paan with camphor. Can’t consider it? Learn his ‘Aragimpavayya’ in raga Nadanamakriya.
Might this be the primary music to say dosas? Apparently not. In ‘Daniye Noditheno’, Purandaradasa speaks of Venkateswara feasting on boiled rice and dosas. The sale of prasadam in Tirupati can also be not one thing new. Kanakadasa, a recent of Purandaradasa within the sixteenth century, derides the deity, in his ‘Bandevayya Govinda Shetty’, for commercialising every thing, together with appam, adhirasam, and the opposite prasadam on sale. In fact, by far the candy most intently related to the shrine is the well-known laddu.
There’s a concept that Muthuswami Dikshitar in his music ‘Shanka Chakra Gada Panim’ in Purnachandrika mentions this dish within the line ‘Amritasara Bhakshanam’. Apte’s Sanskrit dictionary acknowledges that amritasara is a sweetmeat, nevertheless it needn’t essentially be the laddu, and so far as we all know, the laddu in its current kind at Tirumala is a twentieth century creation. However sure, as Kanakadasa attests, the place was well-known for sweets from a lot earlier.
Dikshitar, nonetheless, does point out sesame rice or ellu sadam in ‘Divakara Tanujam,’ set in raga Yadukula Kamboji. Devoted because the composition is to Saturn, the music consists of the deity’s favorite dish, and it’s common apply to see it being provided at temples on Saturdays.
Like Purandaradasa, Kanakadasa additionally provides us a recipe — for self-realisation, in his ‘Adigeyanu Madabekanna’. I am going by Prof. William Jackson’s translation and it begins off proper from the washing of the vessel, the cleansing of the components, and the heating of the medium — these being, respectively, fact, vanity and the physique. It’s most fascinating that nearly 400 years later, Bhagavan Ramana Maharshi at Tiruvannamalai created an identical music on the making of the appalam. Translated into English by Prof. Okay. Swaminathan, it’s structured as an easy recipe for appalams and is on the similar time an exposition on the pathway to realisation.
There are certainly many extra examples of this type. We have to cook dinner and sing to seek out out.
The creator, a historian, writes on Carnatic music.