One of the wonderful ways to enhance the flavor of dishes is to add a touch of new herbs or spices in them and transform traditional recipes by introducing an unexpected flavor. It shouldn’t be so pungent as to overwhelm the dish but just enough to be noticed and yet leave the person wondering; like some lovely delicate sangathis which leave the listener wondering if they really heard those anuswarams. If you repeat the sangathi twice, that effect is lost.
Everyone who reads The ARTery surely makes excellent thair saadam; the holy grail of South Indian cuisine. If you can get over the author’ temerity to even talk about this dish you could try this next time. We’d love to hear your comments on our Facebook page.
Make your own thair saadam and add a table spoon of manathakkali when tempering the mustard seeds and urad. This is the decoy.
Now finely dice a piece or two of uppu naarthangai and soak it in a bit of lime/ lemon juice. Take a bit of the lemon peel or zest using a peeler to scrape it off thinly without too much of the pith and dice this also finely and mix it with the narthangai. Use no more than 2 tbsp minced narthangai and 1 tsp of minced lemon zest for 12 cups of thair saadam. Let this marinade for at least 20 minutes. Stir this in just before serving the thair saadam. Sprinkle a few pomegranate seeds on top if you don’t have manathakkali.
Listen to your guest cluck and exclaim with pleasure and appreciation as they experience the citrus aroma and find the unexpected bits of flavor exploding in their mouth. Remember to use a little less salt than usual since narthangai comes heavily salted.