|Picture courtesy - Natasha Shiggaon Luthra|
Rasam. Rasam rice. Whichever, doesn’t matter.
First, use your fingers to make space in the middle of a heap of rice. Don’t protest when the dollop of ghee gleefully sinks into the rice. The rasam should scald, otherwise the ride isn’t worth it. The flesh on your fingers crawl when you dip them into the rasam, but trust me, keep with it. No good thing has been known to ever come easy. The impatient wait for a few seconds and an insignificant morsel is savoured. Gooseflesh ensues.
Slowly but steadily, bigger portions are savoured. to enhance the experience and attain nirvana, combine it with crisp papad and sandige. Personal favourites include molagu rasam, thakkali rasam, jeera rasam, Mysore rasam. As the quantity of rice dwindles, a handful of rasam is leftover. Here’s when you gently balance the plate with a hand a greedily slurp the remainder. It is not for nothing that Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose proclaimed that that if he had command over the country, he would have declared Rasam a national drink.