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Surprise, Surp-rice

Surprise, Surp-rice

September 19, 2010

Rice - all hail the wonder grain, long may it reign.

South Indians love rice. Period. For all meals? Bring it on! And if you didn't love it, you would be silenced by your mother to finishupwhatisonyourplate and gowashyourhandsproperly. There are different varieties of rice-eaters across India. And no, I am not talking about preferences towards Basmati or Ponni. I am talking about people's attitude towards this 'wonder grain'.

The Atkins Nightmare: These are the people who have poor Dr.Atkins turning in his grave over and over again. They crave rice 24 hours a day. So that's a healthy bowl of rice-porridge in the morning, followed by a heap of rice for lunch, and a starchy snack at tea time. Do I need to mention that the snack is made out of rice flour. Think dosas, idlis, appams and the like.

And to guarantee that the carb-o-meter shows the highest readings, a generous serving of rice (again) for dinner. And then they sleep the blissful sleep of the 'carb-unconscious'.

'I need my daily fix' : I have heard a lot of my South Indian friends say that. These group of people are fine as long as they get one meal of rice. But if consumption of that one blessed plate of rice doesn't come their way, severe withdrawal symptoms may be experienced.

The Occasional tuck-in: I belong to this group. We occasionally help ourselves to a sinfully large helping of biriyani or so, but we draw the line there. No, no, silly, we are not carb-conscious. We are just lavishing our appetites more on white bread, chapathis, white pasta and chocolate.

The Others: These might include North Indians who are left wondering what all the hype is about. A seasoned rice-eater always tucks in with his hand and licks it thoroughly after the meal. But the wary rice-eater will pick on it half-heartedly with a spoon. This group also includes a few culinary outcasts who find themselves staring at the mini-Himalayan mounds of rice formed on other peoples plates at meal-times.

So that's the rough categorisation of rice-arians. Indians tend to migrate from one category to other based on their doctors stern advice or a choosy spouse’s tastes but that’s a different ‘surp-rice’ all together.


  • Maria
    20.09.10 02:29 PM
    @Jayanth : Yes I know, I think the majority crowd of Indian youth would come under the 'Once a day' category.

    @Satya : We Indians are so full of carbs- Chapathis and rice. And salads are something which are considered 'below our dignity surely'. I had written an article about Indian attitude to salads ages ago. Here it is :)

    @Barnaby: Its only when you say that I realise how complicated Malayalam is :)
  • Barnaby Haszard Morris
    Barnaby Haszard Morris
    20.09.10 01:48 PM
    Yep, I generally have dosa for breakfast, thali meals for lunch and often another dosa for dinner. NOT a fan of biryani, though - in Kerala they all seem to taste the same, and that same is not very tasty!

    One thing I love is specifying to the waiter that I want 'hot rice' - in Malayalam the words, 'chudu choru', really roll off the tongue nicely.
  • satya
    19.09.10 07:15 PM
    hi maria, how true ...being a south indian but having lived in the north india i tend to have rice for lunch n roti for dinner the second category : )Food is basically a cultural influence ...but i remember reading the book "Don't Lose Your Mind, Lose Your Weight by Rujuta Diwekar" where her mantra is eat the food that is traditionally eaten in that part of the world as the body needs it ... the climate in south is very hot n humid while in the north it is much cooler... n the diet of that region fits the climate ... anyway it is interesting observation of rice eaters !! loved reading your post
    Satya" rel="nofollow">
  • Jayanth Tadinada
    Jayanth Tadinada
    19.09.10 04:44 PM
    Yeah.. there are a lot of people in Andhra who just cannot eat a meal without a serving of curd-rice... just can't!

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