Have you heard of Yam ??
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Well, yam is a family of plants that produces edible tubers. It comes in different varieties and is commonly found in India and across South East Asia. I do not know if its eaten in other parts of the world.
One type of yam we regularly use is senaikkilangu which apparently translates to Elephant Foot Yam in English. If you see the picture you may agree that its an apt name.
Its brown on the outside and a sort of yellow on the inside. It can get a little itchy while cutting and the tip to handling such vegetables is to soak them in sour substances like buttermilk or tamarind water or even starchy water gotten from washing rice.
We make the sauteed version of the vegetable to go with rice. I personally love flavouring it with fennel seeds and it gives out a beautiful flavour. We can also make curries with it.
I remember one of my friend's mother replacing fish with yam in a fried fish recipe when they had to go vegetarian for a month for some religious reason. In India, its common for non vegetarians to abstain from meat on days of religious significance
After staying in Malaysia and Singapore , a unique discovery was yam flavoured icecream. I believe its made from the sweeter varieties of the vegetable. On Google I found out that it is a popular Filipino delicacy and is called Ube.
Food from other lands:
During my growing up years, trains and buses were our main modes of intercity transport. My first flight journey was after I started working. That was not the only first on that day. It was also when i tasted yoghurt for the first time. Reading that line again, I guess I am close to making it sound like to an event of historical significance! Ha ha!
We do make curd at home but flavored yoghurt was a new discovery and i have been hooked ever since. It is a family favorite. I especially love the ones that have fruit bits like strawberry or nata de coco or aloevera . We get the low fat versions mostly and so its a healthier dessert compared to icecream. I love yoghurt on my salads too. Yoghurt and herbs dressing with carrots, peas, pineapples and almonds ! Ooh !!
Food for thought:
The quote for Y is also from Thirukkural, a great literary work of Tamil on ethics and morality that is supposed to have been composed around 2000 years ago. It consists of 1330 couplets (kurals) of seven words each.
These words are from anciemt literary Tamizh and totally different from the colloquial or contemporary literary versions of the language.
Yaakaavaa raayinum naakaakka kaavaakkaal
soakaappar sollizhukkup pattu
This sort of tongue twisting kural has deep meaning.
Naa (naaku) - tongue
Kaaka - guard
Aayinum - even if
Yaakaavaarayinum - whatever one does not guard
Soakappar - face misery
Sollizhukku - fault of speech
Pattu - become subject to
Whatever be the possessions we guard or fail to guard, we must guard our tongue.
In other words , exercise caution while talking. If not, once own words can cause one sorrow or misery.
Basically , it says , restraint is a must in speech. In todays world of social media its very important, isn't it ?