Celebration Foods,  Curry. Heavy Spiced.

My Six Tastes Lunch Plate

The ” 𝐚𝐫𝐮 𝐬𝐮𝐯𝐚𝐢 ” (𝒔𝒊𝒙 𝒕𝒂𝒔𝒕𝒆𝒔) concepts, which strive to include six various taste aspects into a dish to create a balanced and harmonious feast, are widely used in Tamil cooking. These flavours include salty, sweet, sour, spicy, bitter, and astringent. Each taste has certain traits and advantages of its own, and it is thought that the mixture of different tastes makes for a fulfilling and well-rounded dining experience.

Here’s a breakdown of how I have incorporated these tastes into my lunch today.

𝐒𝐰𝐞𝐞𝐭 (𝐈𝐧𝐢𝐩𝐩𝐮): Sweet flavours are usually derived from ingredients like jaggery, sugar, fruits, and certain vegetables. I have added jaggery to my Mango Chutney.

𝐒𝐨𝐮𝐫 (𝐏𝐮𝐥𝐢𝐩𝐩𝐮): Sourness comes from tamarind, tomatoes, yoghurt, and various citrus fruits. I have included tamarind in the Shallots Sambar.

𝐒𝐩𝐢𝐜𝐲 (𝐎𝐫𝐚𝐩𝐩𝐮): Spiciness is often derived from various spices and chilies and my Pot Roasted Chilli Potatoes are spicy hot.

𝐁𝐢𝐭𝐭𝐞𝐫 (𝐊𝐚𝐬𝐚𝐩𝐩𝐮):  Bitter flavours can be found in certain vegetables and greens like bitter gourd, fenugreek, and neem flowers. These ingredients are used in moderation to add the bitter element and I have used fenugreek in the sambar.

𝐀𝐬𝐭𝐫𝐢𝐧𝐠𝐞𝐧𝐭 (𝐓𝐡𝐮𝐯𝐚𝐫𝐩𝐮): Astringency is present in foods like lentils, legumes, and some vegetables. These ingredients provide a unique texture and taste to the meal, and I have included unripe plantain chips which taste astringent.

𝐒𝐚𝐥𝐭𝐲 (𝐔𝐩𝐩𝐮): Salt is a common seasoning that adds saltiness to dishes and helps enhance the overall flavours.

The “aru suvai” concepts emphasize a meal’s nutritional and energetic balance in addition to its flavour. According to Ayurvedic principles, various ingredients have various effects on the body, and by blending these flavours, Tamil cuisine seeks to produce a dish that is not only delicious but also advantageous for general health and wellbeing.

It’s important to remember that while traditional Tamil cuisine follows these rules, contemporary versions may not adhere to them exactly in every dish. However, one fundamental element of Tamilian culinary tradition continues to be the idea of harmonizing flavours and incorporating a range of tastes.

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