Tuesday, April 5, 2022

Elaneer and Eggplant Parmesan

This post is part of the April A to Z blogging challenge where we publish one post every day except Sundays.

In many parts of the world, summers are a welcome season of warmth after brutal cold winters. On the contrary,  in tropical zones like Southern India, summers are time for long school holidays and scorching ruthless heat. Every casual conversation will have a reference to the heatwaves. Compared to those whose jobs require them to be on the move on the roads, like salesmen or those involved in some form of labour like construction sector, the ones tucked away in the safety of offices or homes are more fortunate.

There are a few food items and drinks that are commonly seen in the summer months and offer the much needed respite from the smoldering heat. One such thing is a drink that nature delivers in a beautiful container - elaneer also called Tender coconut.

If we drive along the highways connecting cities in Tamilnadu , tender coconut sellers are a common roadside sight. They have them stacked up skillfully and its quite a sight to see how dextrously they hack away hard cover and then place a straw before handing it over to us.

Elaneer is supposed to have a lot of health benefits. The drink cools your body and is recommended to treat gastrointestinal problems and ailments like measles when the body needs cooling down.

The best part comes after we are done emptying the liquid inside. The vendor would crack open the shell into two, make a makebelieve spoon with a piece cut away from the side and scoop out the white fleshy layer inside. As a kid I used to look forward to this more than the drink.

Food from other lands

A dish that I was first introduced to in Italian restaurants is Eggplant parmesan. Layers of finely sliced eggplant coated with a lovely tomato based sauce and baked with a generous amount of cheese!! For someone who hates brinjal , this was a revelation. 

Food for thought

The quote i have for this letter is from a Tamil language movie of the 1960s... The lines go

Vetri Vendumaa Pottu Paaradaa Ethirneechal

Neechal is swimming and ethirneechal is swimming against the currents.

Vetri means success. Vendum means want.

 Meaning is pretty simple - If you want success you need to fight and swim against the currents. 

Nothing comes easy ! 

Like managing to publish a post every day in April..Phew! :D


  1. Tender Coconut sounds deliciously refreshing. I think I would melt if I had to deal with summers like that - the Scottish blood in me makes me pale and prone to burnšŸ˜†. Eggplant Parmesan is lovely - but such a pain to make - I made it once.
    Best wishes,
    Tasha's Thinkings: YouTube - What They Don't Tell You (and free fiction)

  2. Oh I love tender coconut and everything coconut! The Tamil quote is so beautiful❤
    See you around the A-Z challenge!
    Hope you stop by my blog https://momandideas.com/

  3. Yeah, you need to step out of your comfort zone to succeed. Craving for some Nariyal Pani now :)

  4. That soft coconut sounds amzing. I love the regular coconut. How is this one different?

    And I'm Italian. I've cooked the eggplant parmisan many times... though now it's been quite some times. I should cook it soon. Thanks for reminding me :-)

    The Old Shelter - Enter the New Woman

  5. I love elaneer. We buy coconut water here too but I prefer it straight from a tender coconut! Eggplant Parm is my go-to vegetarian meal in a restaurant that doesn't have too many vegetarian choices! :D

  6. I live in Switzerland, and I have never heard of Elaneer - I agree though, the process of cracking it open and scooping out the flesh sounds entertaining.
    My neighbor countries Italy and France use Eggplant in their cuisine.
    Nothing comes easy in life, that's for sure.

  7. Love the tender coconut water and more so the malai, as we call it, the white part inside. Me being a non enjoyer of brinjal, I still can't find myself to relish the parmesan! Nice quote.