Saturday, April 2, 2022

Bagalabath and Baba Ghanoush

I have heard accounts from my mother about her growing up years in her village where every home would have a cow that provided the milk supply for the family.  Cows are revered in our communities due to their gentle nature and also for providing the nourishment the family needs.  Even now, if we visit my ancestral village , we can see these four-footed members in some homes.

Food from home:

Milk is an important part of our daily diet.  The very first thing we do in our kitchen is boiling the milk to make the morning coffee. The final activity before switching off the kitchen lights would be to warm up the left over milk and add a teaspoon of curd to it. When we open the vessel the next morning, we can find thick fermented curd with a thin layer of cream on top.

The term we used for this had always been curd though of late people have been using yoghurt instead. I am not very sure how industrially manufactured yoghurt is different.

Curd rice which is cooked rice mixed with curd is a sort of comfort food for us and its gentle on the stomach. I remember opening my lunch box in school to creamy curd rice with cut mango pickle.

Bagalabath is a decorated version of this humble curd rice.  Cooked rice is mixed with curd and some milk is added to prevent it from getting sour. A teaspoon of oil is heated  and tempered with mustard seeds, lentils and curry leaves and this is added to the mixture. A pinch of asafeloetida, some salt to taste , chopped corriander leaves, ginger and green chillies for the flavoring go in. One can add mango bits,  grated cucumber, grated carrot,  pomegranate or grapes or even roasted raisins and nuts for additional richness.

There would always be curd  and varities of pickles in our fridge. When one is too tired or lazy , some rice in the ricecooker is all one needs to whip up a meal. Rice, curd and some pickle on the side.  Happy stomach and happy us! 

                                     Photo credit: Unsplash by Sumeet

Food from other lands :

I recently got a chance to try BabaGhanoush at a mediterranean restaurant.  For someone who has quite a bit of dislike for brinjal or eggplant , this was a discovery. I really enjoyed it with pita bread .

Food for Thought

The Tamil word for a calf is kanru. Have you ever watched a calf run around when its tether is released ? He would run helter skelter in fun and frolic totally unperturbed by anything on his way with absolute zero caution .

The saying we have is Ilam Kanru Bayam Ariyaathu.

It literally means - a baby calf has no fear. What is to be inferred is that youth is a time when people are very active or daring and to an extent can tend to be a bit more reckless compared to the older folks. 


  1. I've seen many a calf flolicking in a pasture. They are so cute. I love the saying. I'm surprised we don't have a similar one. We borrow so much from all the people all over world who settled in the United States. I had a coworker whose great grandmother was from India. The extended family would look for a small red spot on the forehead like the great-grandmother had.

    I enjoyed your blog. We usually boil potatoes and top them with a soft cottage cheese which I bet is very similar to your curd. It is a small world at times. By the way, I am an India lover. I doubt I ever get to go but I would love to visit one day.

    1. Thanks for stepping in . The small red dot called pottu in Tamil is something many of us wear including me :)

  2. Curd rice is such comfort food!
    And home curd just hits different!!!

    Hopping in from the A-Z community,

  3. I would imagine that curd rice would be tasty and indeed gentle on one's stomach. It does sound delicious! Good luck with the rest of the challenge!


  4. Curd rice sort of wraps up the afternoon meal. It's said to be good for the alimentary system.

  5. Falling in love with your posts - primarily due to how specific they are. A local dish which speaks of growing up years, home, emotions. And a new dish from the yonder lands! And a quote. Beautiful. Shows the amount of research you're putting into it. Crisp too. Will keep coming back for more.

    Here's my post for B:
    B: Billion Dollar Loser

  6. The curd rice item we call it as daddojanam in Andhra Pradesh and yes it's my go to good! Babaghanoush..never heard of it.

    Lovely quote and description of that calf luck

  7. Love Babaganoush. a friend always makes us curd rice when we visit - yummm

    Can just see the calf taking risks...
    The Letter B

  8. The most preferred comfort food...curd rice and your theme Jayshree...loved the quote too

  9. Nice.
    BabaGhanoush takes me right back to some very happy holidays in Turkey.

  10. I love saying Baba Ghanoush. From your description I do believe I've had this before. I like Mediterranean food a lot and I like eggplant.

    Arlee Bird
    Tossing It Out

  11. Jayshree , whenever I read your blogs , my mouth waters even on a full stomach. I relish South Indian food and have made curd rice a lot of times, 😋 although I don't try much foreign cuisines .😇
    Wonderful informative article 👏 👍 👌