Ever since I was a little boy I have always enjoyed the south Indian cuisines(primarily dosa and idlis). This had many consequences. Paying good money on different manifestations of rice instead of real food had always irked my dad and the constant harassment of my mom to improve her sambhar preparations was followed by threats of marrying me off to a madrasi (it is a well known fact that anyone India living below the imaginary line somewhere in Maharashtra is called a madrasi by those living above it. In our defence it all used to be the Madras at one point of time. If i am hurting any sentiments, especially of those who routinely invite me for great meals of sambhar, rasam, kozhumbu, etc, please consider me an ignorant fool, and skip this post 🙂 )
Back to the work at hand.
Well who would have guessed that I would land in the state of Tamil Nadu and also spend more than half a decade here. And even after having more than my share of dosas, idlis, etc I still have a curry leaf tooth.
Well one thing that dawned upon me, (specially when I saw Wig’s “cooking” ) was that dilution factors is the key to understanding what is being made. Not only did this observation help in making that distinction between sambhar and kozhumbu but it also led to another discovery, namely the interconvertability of most south indian dishes.
I have finally compiled a ready reference for this purpose:
2. No amount of dilution or addition of water in any recipe can be used to make coconut chutney
3. It is difficult to screw up the meal since any mistake would lead to atleast one of the alternative recipes.
Special note from the author: In case of beginners who have just started cooking or incase of veteran screwups like Wigs, it is highly recommended that you download the reference chart, print a copy and keep it in the kitchen at a convenient location. Alternatively, you can order your official WAM signed copy of the reference chart. We accept all major credit cards, cash, loose change, things which look like loose change, whatever is in you pocket, pack of chocolate biscuits, half eaten packs of chocolate biscuits, the wrapper of chocolate biscuits (in case the cover has some cream on it and is not extremely soiled. minor dirt is acceptable), forcing 3 of your friends to become our fans.