The definitive guide to South Asian lingo

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The fundamental rule of Indian cooking - is the amount of salt (uppu) and spice (kaaram) ok? Get this magic combo right and you can make great Indian food. It is also the key to make great Indianized food, as captured in a legendary ad for Tata salt.

Here is the setting: Ultra-conservative tambrahm household, with strict fother, sweet mother, granny and small child. Child's with innocent aasai asks mother to make pijja (too much exposure to American culture, abishtoo abishtoo !). Mother, with lots of love makes pijja on dosa kal (how is that possible? thatandoldonask !!) and sprinkles the secret ingredient that makes a pizza truly awesome, Tata salt (screw you and your mozarella, you bloody Italians!). Now it is time for the agni pariksha. Pin-drop silence, finger on the lips, as fother puts one piece of pijja in his mouth and starts chewing. Suspense is unbearable for mother and the child. Then granny, with nearly 60 years of kitchen wisdom asks 'Uppu kaaram ellam seriya (ok)?'. Finally, fother says 'Shabaash!'. Mother and child are happy. Tata salt has saved the day ! Hooray !


Newly married bride : Yenanga, how is the sambar? Uppu-kaaram and all ok?

Husband : Not ok, instead of salt you put sugar.

Added 2011-10-05 by Thikka Kobbu




Food and Drink

Related Terms

masala, sambar, salt-uppu