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The Ultimate Utensil: What team are you on?

The Ultimate Utensil: What team are you on?


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First, let’s stop by Asia where chopsticks are all the rage. Who knew you could eat with two sticks? With the right technique, the most talented chopstick users can even pick up slippery peanuts! Trust me; it’s a skill that most of us can not perfect. I’ve tried. The best part about chopsticks is that you can pretty much eat anything but soup with them.

Photo by Jocelyn Hsu

Next, let’s drop by a fancy steakhouse where place settings include a steak knife, a butter knife, a salad fork, a dinner fork, a teaspoon and a soup spoon. Oh, and don’t forget to leave space for a dessert spoon and dessert fork! Confused? Yeah, me too. It’s okay, though, because when my steak arrives, I very much need a sharp steak knife to cut into the large hunk of meat. A butter knife just won’t do.

Photo by Jocelyn Hsu

Now that we’ve had our steak fix, let’s visit a typical American restaurant where diners are usually provided with one fork and one knife. If you order soup, then you get a spoon as well. Nice and simple.

Photo by Jocelyn Hsu

Finally, let’s drop by an American elementary school, the only place (other than in the movie Wall-E) where I’ve seen a spork. It’s a novel concept, a shallow scoop with three to four fork tines. Genius but not entirely practical. Whenever I try to drink soup with a spork, the majority of it spills out through the tines. Whenever I try to pick up a meatball, it slips off the tines before I get it to my mouth because the tines are too short. Sometimes, the meatball doesn’t even leave the bowl. In the end, I give up on my spork and start hunting for more conventional utensils.

Photo by Jocelyn Hsu

With the conclusion of our utensil adventure, we now must decide. Which utensil is the ultimate utensil? The fork? I can see why you’d think that. Chopsticks? Yeah, those are very versatile, but they still aren’t the ultimate utensil! For me, it’s definitely hands. (Plot twist!) Let’s figure out why with a few rhetorical questions. Why waste precious time picking up a peanut with chopsticks when you could use your fingers? Why use a spoon to drink soup when you can use your hands, lift the bowl and drink straight out of the bowl? (Fewer dishes to do!) Why bother with a knife and fork when your fingers (with some help from your teeth) can do the same thing?

Photo by Jocelyn Hsu

Think about it. All the best foods are eaten with your hands. Pizza, fish tacos, ribs, hand rolls (it even has the word “hand” in it!), chocolate-covered strawberries, chocolate, BLT sandwiches, egg rolls, bagels, popcorn, garlic naan, popsicles, buffalo wings, Chipotle burritos, red velvet brownies and so much more! So what are you waiting for? Dig in!

Photo by Jocelyn Hsu

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View the original post, The Ultimate Utensil: What team are you on?, on Spoon University.

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Eeya Sombu Rasam: A Traditional Utensil For Flavourful Rasam

Highlights

Among the many monikers associated with Kumbakonam in Tamil Nadu, 'City of temples' is probably the most appropriate. With close to 200 temples within its municipal limits, the area around this town is believed to have been inhabited from 3rd Century BC. The legends around the name of this town surround 'Kumbha' the mythical pot of the Hindu god Brahma. That's not the only pots and pans story you will hear in Kumbakonam. I remember visiting this town as a child and almost throwing a fit as my mother dragged me from one utensil store to the other. Kumbakonam is famous for its range of vessels and lamps that have been perfected over generations by local craftsmen. Kumbakonam's brass coffee filter (the town is synonymous with Kumbakonam 'degree' coffee) is legendary and then there's the Eeya Sombu.

Rasam is the ultimate comfort food for many South Indians and I'm no exception. The Eeya Sombu is one of the many heirlooms in my kitchen that I take great pains to preserve. You will hear many stories around this unassuming utensil that is used almost exclusively for rasam. Unfortunately these stories and the utensil's reputation have not saved it from the verge of extinction. About four years ago I made a brief stop in Kumbakonam on my way to the 12th Century Airavatesvara temple at Darasuram that is part of the trio of the Great Living Chola temples. I stopped by at Anandha Vilas Pathirai Kadai (Tamil for utensil store) that is one of the popular stores for the Eeya Sombu. Some of the locals mentioned that there are fewer craftsmen that make this utensil than a decade ago. Hopefully that's something the Instagram generation and the product's availability on online platforms like Amazon will change.

So what makes the Eeya Sombu an object of so much discussion. I asked my grandaunt in Mumbai - Mrs Kalyani Raghavan, who probably makes the best rasam in my family. She's been using this utensil for more than 60 years and tells me that it enhances the flavour and also possesses health benefits. Eeyam refers to a tin alloy in Tamil while the sombu is a type of smaller utensil. The alloy used in units in and around Kumbakonam is usually imported from Malaysia and these sombus are all handcrafted. My grandaunt remembers a time when the eeya sombu got mixed up for lead and saw it go out of favour in many homes. Thankfully that misconception has disappeared. But the challenges that involve using this vessel continue. The alloy is very malleable, so make sure you don't use kitchen pincers or tongs to hold this vessel when it's hot. Also, make sure that you always cook your rasam on a low flame even at the usual stage when you bring your rasam to boil at a high flame.

The typical eeya sombu comes with a capacity of 700-800 ml, that's usually good for one meal for a family of four. You will notice that the common design for the eeya sombu doesn't feature sharp edges because of the nature of the alloy. You need to make sure that you keep stirring the pot and also that the sombu is always at least half full. A typical eeya sombu costs around Rs 2,500 to Rs 4,000. It's certainly not inexpensive but if you're a rasam connoisseur or keen to save a traditional craft, it may not be a stiff price tag for a cooking utensil that still occupies a special place in many South Indian kitchens.


Eeya Sombu Rasam: A Traditional Utensil For Flavourful Rasam

Highlights

Among the many monikers associated with Kumbakonam in Tamil Nadu, 'City of temples' is probably the most appropriate. With close to 200 temples within its municipal limits, the area around this town is believed to have been inhabited from 3rd Century BC. The legends around the name of this town surround 'Kumbha' the mythical pot of the Hindu god Brahma. That's not the only pots and pans story you will hear in Kumbakonam. I remember visiting this town as a child and almost throwing a fit as my mother dragged me from one utensil store to the other. Kumbakonam is famous for its range of vessels and lamps that have been perfected over generations by local craftsmen. Kumbakonam's brass coffee filter (the town is synonymous with Kumbakonam 'degree' coffee) is legendary and then there's the Eeya Sombu.

Rasam is the ultimate comfort food for many South Indians and I'm no exception. The Eeya Sombu is one of the many heirlooms in my kitchen that I take great pains to preserve. You will hear many stories around this unassuming utensil that is used almost exclusively for rasam. Unfortunately these stories and the utensil's reputation have not saved it from the verge of extinction. About four years ago I made a brief stop in Kumbakonam on my way to the 12th Century Airavatesvara temple at Darasuram that is part of the trio of the Great Living Chola temples. I stopped by at Anandha Vilas Pathirai Kadai (Tamil for utensil store) that is one of the popular stores for the Eeya Sombu. Some of the locals mentioned that there are fewer craftsmen that make this utensil than a decade ago. Hopefully that's something the Instagram generation and the product's availability on online platforms like Amazon will change.

So what makes the Eeya Sombu an object of so much discussion. I asked my grandaunt in Mumbai - Mrs Kalyani Raghavan, who probably makes the best rasam in my family. She's been using this utensil for more than 60 years and tells me that it enhances the flavour and also possesses health benefits. Eeyam refers to a tin alloy in Tamil while the sombu is a type of smaller utensil. The alloy used in units in and around Kumbakonam is usually imported from Malaysia and these sombus are all handcrafted. My grandaunt remembers a time when the eeya sombu got mixed up for lead and saw it go out of favour in many homes. Thankfully that misconception has disappeared. But the challenges that involve using this vessel continue. The alloy is very malleable, so make sure you don't use kitchen pincers or tongs to hold this vessel when it's hot. Also, make sure that you always cook your rasam on a low flame even at the usual stage when you bring your rasam to boil at a high flame.

The typical eeya sombu comes with a capacity of 700-800 ml, that's usually good for one meal for a family of four. You will notice that the common design for the eeya sombu doesn't feature sharp edges because of the nature of the alloy. You need to make sure that you keep stirring the pot and also that the sombu is always at least half full. A typical eeya sombu costs around Rs 2,500 to Rs 4,000. It's certainly not inexpensive but if you're a rasam connoisseur or keen to save a traditional craft, it may not be a stiff price tag for a cooking utensil that still occupies a special place in many South Indian kitchens.


Eeya Sombu Rasam: A Traditional Utensil For Flavourful Rasam

Highlights

Among the many monikers associated with Kumbakonam in Tamil Nadu, 'City of temples' is probably the most appropriate. With close to 200 temples within its municipal limits, the area around this town is believed to have been inhabited from 3rd Century BC. The legends around the name of this town surround 'Kumbha' the mythical pot of the Hindu god Brahma. That's not the only pots and pans story you will hear in Kumbakonam. I remember visiting this town as a child and almost throwing a fit as my mother dragged me from one utensil store to the other. Kumbakonam is famous for its range of vessels and lamps that have been perfected over generations by local craftsmen. Kumbakonam's brass coffee filter (the town is synonymous with Kumbakonam 'degree' coffee) is legendary and then there's the Eeya Sombu.

Rasam is the ultimate comfort food for many South Indians and I'm no exception. The Eeya Sombu is one of the many heirlooms in my kitchen that I take great pains to preserve. You will hear many stories around this unassuming utensil that is used almost exclusively for rasam. Unfortunately these stories and the utensil's reputation have not saved it from the verge of extinction. About four years ago I made a brief stop in Kumbakonam on my way to the 12th Century Airavatesvara temple at Darasuram that is part of the trio of the Great Living Chola temples. I stopped by at Anandha Vilas Pathirai Kadai (Tamil for utensil store) that is one of the popular stores for the Eeya Sombu. Some of the locals mentioned that there are fewer craftsmen that make this utensil than a decade ago. Hopefully that's something the Instagram generation and the product's availability on online platforms like Amazon will change.

So what makes the Eeya Sombu an object of so much discussion. I asked my grandaunt in Mumbai - Mrs Kalyani Raghavan, who probably makes the best rasam in my family. She's been using this utensil for more than 60 years and tells me that it enhances the flavour and also possesses health benefits. Eeyam refers to a tin alloy in Tamil while the sombu is a type of smaller utensil. The alloy used in units in and around Kumbakonam is usually imported from Malaysia and these sombus are all handcrafted. My grandaunt remembers a time when the eeya sombu got mixed up for lead and saw it go out of favour in many homes. Thankfully that misconception has disappeared. But the challenges that involve using this vessel continue. The alloy is very malleable, so make sure you don't use kitchen pincers or tongs to hold this vessel when it's hot. Also, make sure that you always cook your rasam on a low flame even at the usual stage when you bring your rasam to boil at a high flame.

The typical eeya sombu comes with a capacity of 700-800 ml, that's usually good for one meal for a family of four. You will notice that the common design for the eeya sombu doesn't feature sharp edges because of the nature of the alloy. You need to make sure that you keep stirring the pot and also that the sombu is always at least half full. A typical eeya sombu costs around Rs 2,500 to Rs 4,000. It's certainly not inexpensive but if you're a rasam connoisseur or keen to save a traditional craft, it may not be a stiff price tag for a cooking utensil that still occupies a special place in many South Indian kitchens.


Eeya Sombu Rasam: A Traditional Utensil For Flavourful Rasam

Highlights

Among the many monikers associated with Kumbakonam in Tamil Nadu, 'City of temples' is probably the most appropriate. With close to 200 temples within its municipal limits, the area around this town is believed to have been inhabited from 3rd Century BC. The legends around the name of this town surround 'Kumbha' the mythical pot of the Hindu god Brahma. That's not the only pots and pans story you will hear in Kumbakonam. I remember visiting this town as a child and almost throwing a fit as my mother dragged me from one utensil store to the other. Kumbakonam is famous for its range of vessels and lamps that have been perfected over generations by local craftsmen. Kumbakonam's brass coffee filter (the town is synonymous with Kumbakonam 'degree' coffee) is legendary and then there's the Eeya Sombu.

Rasam is the ultimate comfort food for many South Indians and I'm no exception. The Eeya Sombu is one of the many heirlooms in my kitchen that I take great pains to preserve. You will hear many stories around this unassuming utensil that is used almost exclusively for rasam. Unfortunately these stories and the utensil's reputation have not saved it from the verge of extinction. About four years ago I made a brief stop in Kumbakonam on my way to the 12th Century Airavatesvara temple at Darasuram that is part of the trio of the Great Living Chola temples. I stopped by at Anandha Vilas Pathirai Kadai (Tamil for utensil store) that is one of the popular stores for the Eeya Sombu. Some of the locals mentioned that there are fewer craftsmen that make this utensil than a decade ago. Hopefully that's something the Instagram generation and the product's availability on online platforms like Amazon will change.

So what makes the Eeya Sombu an object of so much discussion. I asked my grandaunt in Mumbai - Mrs Kalyani Raghavan, who probably makes the best rasam in my family. She's been using this utensil for more than 60 years and tells me that it enhances the flavour and also possesses health benefits. Eeyam refers to a tin alloy in Tamil while the sombu is a type of smaller utensil. The alloy used in units in and around Kumbakonam is usually imported from Malaysia and these sombus are all handcrafted. My grandaunt remembers a time when the eeya sombu got mixed up for lead and saw it go out of favour in many homes. Thankfully that misconception has disappeared. But the challenges that involve using this vessel continue. The alloy is very malleable, so make sure you don't use kitchen pincers or tongs to hold this vessel when it's hot. Also, make sure that you always cook your rasam on a low flame even at the usual stage when you bring your rasam to boil at a high flame.

The typical eeya sombu comes with a capacity of 700-800 ml, that's usually good for one meal for a family of four. You will notice that the common design for the eeya sombu doesn't feature sharp edges because of the nature of the alloy. You need to make sure that you keep stirring the pot and also that the sombu is always at least half full. A typical eeya sombu costs around Rs 2,500 to Rs 4,000. It's certainly not inexpensive but if you're a rasam connoisseur or keen to save a traditional craft, it may not be a stiff price tag for a cooking utensil that still occupies a special place in many South Indian kitchens.


Eeya Sombu Rasam: A Traditional Utensil For Flavourful Rasam

Highlights

Among the many monikers associated with Kumbakonam in Tamil Nadu, 'City of temples' is probably the most appropriate. With close to 200 temples within its municipal limits, the area around this town is believed to have been inhabited from 3rd Century BC. The legends around the name of this town surround 'Kumbha' the mythical pot of the Hindu god Brahma. That's not the only pots and pans story you will hear in Kumbakonam. I remember visiting this town as a child and almost throwing a fit as my mother dragged me from one utensil store to the other. Kumbakonam is famous for its range of vessels and lamps that have been perfected over generations by local craftsmen. Kumbakonam's brass coffee filter (the town is synonymous with Kumbakonam 'degree' coffee) is legendary and then there's the Eeya Sombu.

Rasam is the ultimate comfort food for many South Indians and I'm no exception. The Eeya Sombu is one of the many heirlooms in my kitchen that I take great pains to preserve. You will hear many stories around this unassuming utensil that is used almost exclusively for rasam. Unfortunately these stories and the utensil's reputation have not saved it from the verge of extinction. About four years ago I made a brief stop in Kumbakonam on my way to the 12th Century Airavatesvara temple at Darasuram that is part of the trio of the Great Living Chola temples. I stopped by at Anandha Vilas Pathirai Kadai (Tamil for utensil store) that is one of the popular stores for the Eeya Sombu. Some of the locals mentioned that there are fewer craftsmen that make this utensil than a decade ago. Hopefully that's something the Instagram generation and the product's availability on online platforms like Amazon will change.

So what makes the Eeya Sombu an object of so much discussion. I asked my grandaunt in Mumbai - Mrs Kalyani Raghavan, who probably makes the best rasam in my family. She's been using this utensil for more than 60 years and tells me that it enhances the flavour and also possesses health benefits. Eeyam refers to a tin alloy in Tamil while the sombu is a type of smaller utensil. The alloy used in units in and around Kumbakonam is usually imported from Malaysia and these sombus are all handcrafted. My grandaunt remembers a time when the eeya sombu got mixed up for lead and saw it go out of favour in many homes. Thankfully that misconception has disappeared. But the challenges that involve using this vessel continue. The alloy is very malleable, so make sure you don't use kitchen pincers or tongs to hold this vessel when it's hot. Also, make sure that you always cook your rasam on a low flame even at the usual stage when you bring your rasam to boil at a high flame.

The typical eeya sombu comes with a capacity of 700-800 ml, that's usually good for one meal for a family of four. You will notice that the common design for the eeya sombu doesn't feature sharp edges because of the nature of the alloy. You need to make sure that you keep stirring the pot and also that the sombu is always at least half full. A typical eeya sombu costs around Rs 2,500 to Rs 4,000. It's certainly not inexpensive but if you're a rasam connoisseur or keen to save a traditional craft, it may not be a stiff price tag for a cooking utensil that still occupies a special place in many South Indian kitchens.


Eeya Sombu Rasam: A Traditional Utensil For Flavourful Rasam

Highlights

Among the many monikers associated with Kumbakonam in Tamil Nadu, 'City of temples' is probably the most appropriate. With close to 200 temples within its municipal limits, the area around this town is believed to have been inhabited from 3rd Century BC. The legends around the name of this town surround 'Kumbha' the mythical pot of the Hindu god Brahma. That's not the only pots and pans story you will hear in Kumbakonam. I remember visiting this town as a child and almost throwing a fit as my mother dragged me from one utensil store to the other. Kumbakonam is famous for its range of vessels and lamps that have been perfected over generations by local craftsmen. Kumbakonam's brass coffee filter (the town is synonymous with Kumbakonam 'degree' coffee) is legendary and then there's the Eeya Sombu.

Rasam is the ultimate comfort food for many South Indians and I'm no exception. The Eeya Sombu is one of the many heirlooms in my kitchen that I take great pains to preserve. You will hear many stories around this unassuming utensil that is used almost exclusively for rasam. Unfortunately these stories and the utensil's reputation have not saved it from the verge of extinction. About four years ago I made a brief stop in Kumbakonam on my way to the 12th Century Airavatesvara temple at Darasuram that is part of the trio of the Great Living Chola temples. I stopped by at Anandha Vilas Pathirai Kadai (Tamil for utensil store) that is one of the popular stores for the Eeya Sombu. Some of the locals mentioned that there are fewer craftsmen that make this utensil than a decade ago. Hopefully that's something the Instagram generation and the product's availability on online platforms like Amazon will change.

So what makes the Eeya Sombu an object of so much discussion. I asked my grandaunt in Mumbai - Mrs Kalyani Raghavan, who probably makes the best rasam in my family. She's been using this utensil for more than 60 years and tells me that it enhances the flavour and also possesses health benefits. Eeyam refers to a tin alloy in Tamil while the sombu is a type of smaller utensil. The alloy used in units in and around Kumbakonam is usually imported from Malaysia and these sombus are all handcrafted. My grandaunt remembers a time when the eeya sombu got mixed up for lead and saw it go out of favour in many homes. Thankfully that misconception has disappeared. But the challenges that involve using this vessel continue. The alloy is very malleable, so make sure you don't use kitchen pincers or tongs to hold this vessel when it's hot. Also, make sure that you always cook your rasam on a low flame even at the usual stage when you bring your rasam to boil at a high flame.

The typical eeya sombu comes with a capacity of 700-800 ml, that's usually good for one meal for a family of four. You will notice that the common design for the eeya sombu doesn't feature sharp edges because of the nature of the alloy. You need to make sure that you keep stirring the pot and also that the sombu is always at least half full. A typical eeya sombu costs around Rs 2,500 to Rs 4,000. It's certainly not inexpensive but if you're a rasam connoisseur or keen to save a traditional craft, it may not be a stiff price tag for a cooking utensil that still occupies a special place in many South Indian kitchens.


Eeya Sombu Rasam: A Traditional Utensil For Flavourful Rasam

Highlights

Among the many monikers associated with Kumbakonam in Tamil Nadu, 'City of temples' is probably the most appropriate. With close to 200 temples within its municipal limits, the area around this town is believed to have been inhabited from 3rd Century BC. The legends around the name of this town surround 'Kumbha' the mythical pot of the Hindu god Brahma. That's not the only pots and pans story you will hear in Kumbakonam. I remember visiting this town as a child and almost throwing a fit as my mother dragged me from one utensil store to the other. Kumbakonam is famous for its range of vessels and lamps that have been perfected over generations by local craftsmen. Kumbakonam's brass coffee filter (the town is synonymous with Kumbakonam 'degree' coffee) is legendary and then there's the Eeya Sombu.

Rasam is the ultimate comfort food for many South Indians and I'm no exception. The Eeya Sombu is one of the many heirlooms in my kitchen that I take great pains to preserve. You will hear many stories around this unassuming utensil that is used almost exclusively for rasam. Unfortunately these stories and the utensil's reputation have not saved it from the verge of extinction. About four years ago I made a brief stop in Kumbakonam on my way to the 12th Century Airavatesvara temple at Darasuram that is part of the trio of the Great Living Chola temples. I stopped by at Anandha Vilas Pathirai Kadai (Tamil for utensil store) that is one of the popular stores for the Eeya Sombu. Some of the locals mentioned that there are fewer craftsmen that make this utensil than a decade ago. Hopefully that's something the Instagram generation and the product's availability on online platforms like Amazon will change.

So what makes the Eeya Sombu an object of so much discussion. I asked my grandaunt in Mumbai - Mrs Kalyani Raghavan, who probably makes the best rasam in my family. She's been using this utensil for more than 60 years and tells me that it enhances the flavour and also possesses health benefits. Eeyam refers to a tin alloy in Tamil while the sombu is a type of smaller utensil. The alloy used in units in and around Kumbakonam is usually imported from Malaysia and these sombus are all handcrafted. My grandaunt remembers a time when the eeya sombu got mixed up for lead and saw it go out of favour in many homes. Thankfully that misconception has disappeared. But the challenges that involve using this vessel continue. The alloy is very malleable, so make sure you don't use kitchen pincers or tongs to hold this vessel when it's hot. Also, make sure that you always cook your rasam on a low flame even at the usual stage when you bring your rasam to boil at a high flame.

The typical eeya sombu comes with a capacity of 700-800 ml, that's usually good for one meal for a family of four. You will notice that the common design for the eeya sombu doesn't feature sharp edges because of the nature of the alloy. You need to make sure that you keep stirring the pot and also that the sombu is always at least half full. A typical eeya sombu costs around Rs 2,500 to Rs 4,000. It's certainly not inexpensive but if you're a rasam connoisseur or keen to save a traditional craft, it may not be a stiff price tag for a cooking utensil that still occupies a special place in many South Indian kitchens.


Eeya Sombu Rasam: A Traditional Utensil For Flavourful Rasam

Highlights

Among the many monikers associated with Kumbakonam in Tamil Nadu, 'City of temples' is probably the most appropriate. With close to 200 temples within its municipal limits, the area around this town is believed to have been inhabited from 3rd Century BC. The legends around the name of this town surround 'Kumbha' the mythical pot of the Hindu god Brahma. That's not the only pots and pans story you will hear in Kumbakonam. I remember visiting this town as a child and almost throwing a fit as my mother dragged me from one utensil store to the other. Kumbakonam is famous for its range of vessels and lamps that have been perfected over generations by local craftsmen. Kumbakonam's brass coffee filter (the town is synonymous with Kumbakonam 'degree' coffee) is legendary and then there's the Eeya Sombu.

Rasam is the ultimate comfort food for many South Indians and I'm no exception. The Eeya Sombu is one of the many heirlooms in my kitchen that I take great pains to preserve. You will hear many stories around this unassuming utensil that is used almost exclusively for rasam. Unfortunately these stories and the utensil's reputation have not saved it from the verge of extinction. About four years ago I made a brief stop in Kumbakonam on my way to the 12th Century Airavatesvara temple at Darasuram that is part of the trio of the Great Living Chola temples. I stopped by at Anandha Vilas Pathirai Kadai (Tamil for utensil store) that is one of the popular stores for the Eeya Sombu. Some of the locals mentioned that there are fewer craftsmen that make this utensil than a decade ago. Hopefully that's something the Instagram generation and the product's availability on online platforms like Amazon will change.

So what makes the Eeya Sombu an object of so much discussion. I asked my grandaunt in Mumbai - Mrs Kalyani Raghavan, who probably makes the best rasam in my family. She's been using this utensil for more than 60 years and tells me that it enhances the flavour and also possesses health benefits. Eeyam refers to a tin alloy in Tamil while the sombu is a type of smaller utensil. The alloy used in units in and around Kumbakonam is usually imported from Malaysia and these sombus are all handcrafted. My grandaunt remembers a time when the eeya sombu got mixed up for lead and saw it go out of favour in many homes. Thankfully that misconception has disappeared. But the challenges that involve using this vessel continue. The alloy is very malleable, so make sure you don't use kitchen pincers or tongs to hold this vessel when it's hot. Also, make sure that you always cook your rasam on a low flame even at the usual stage when you bring your rasam to boil at a high flame.

The typical eeya sombu comes with a capacity of 700-800 ml, that's usually good for one meal for a family of four. You will notice that the common design for the eeya sombu doesn't feature sharp edges because of the nature of the alloy. You need to make sure that you keep stirring the pot and also that the sombu is always at least half full. A typical eeya sombu costs around Rs 2,500 to Rs 4,000. It's certainly not inexpensive but if you're a rasam connoisseur or keen to save a traditional craft, it may not be a stiff price tag for a cooking utensil that still occupies a special place in many South Indian kitchens.


Eeya Sombu Rasam: A Traditional Utensil For Flavourful Rasam

Highlights

Among the many monikers associated with Kumbakonam in Tamil Nadu, 'City of temples' is probably the most appropriate. With close to 200 temples within its municipal limits, the area around this town is believed to have been inhabited from 3rd Century BC. The legends around the name of this town surround 'Kumbha' the mythical pot of the Hindu god Brahma. That's not the only pots and pans story you will hear in Kumbakonam. I remember visiting this town as a child and almost throwing a fit as my mother dragged me from one utensil store to the other. Kumbakonam is famous for its range of vessels and lamps that have been perfected over generations by local craftsmen. Kumbakonam's brass coffee filter (the town is synonymous with Kumbakonam 'degree' coffee) is legendary and then there's the Eeya Sombu.

Rasam is the ultimate comfort food for many South Indians and I'm no exception. The Eeya Sombu is one of the many heirlooms in my kitchen that I take great pains to preserve. You will hear many stories around this unassuming utensil that is used almost exclusively for rasam. Unfortunately these stories and the utensil's reputation have not saved it from the verge of extinction. About four years ago I made a brief stop in Kumbakonam on my way to the 12th Century Airavatesvara temple at Darasuram that is part of the trio of the Great Living Chola temples. I stopped by at Anandha Vilas Pathirai Kadai (Tamil for utensil store) that is one of the popular stores for the Eeya Sombu. Some of the locals mentioned that there are fewer craftsmen that make this utensil than a decade ago. Hopefully that's something the Instagram generation and the product's availability on online platforms like Amazon will change.

So what makes the Eeya Sombu an object of so much discussion. I asked my grandaunt in Mumbai - Mrs Kalyani Raghavan, who probably makes the best rasam in my family. She's been using this utensil for more than 60 years and tells me that it enhances the flavour and also possesses health benefits. Eeyam refers to a tin alloy in Tamil while the sombu is a type of smaller utensil. The alloy used in units in and around Kumbakonam is usually imported from Malaysia and these sombus are all handcrafted. My grandaunt remembers a time when the eeya sombu got mixed up for lead and saw it go out of favour in many homes. Thankfully that misconception has disappeared. But the challenges that involve using this vessel continue. The alloy is very malleable, so make sure you don't use kitchen pincers or tongs to hold this vessel when it's hot. Also, make sure that you always cook your rasam on a low flame even at the usual stage when you bring your rasam to boil at a high flame.

The typical eeya sombu comes with a capacity of 700-800 ml, that's usually good for one meal for a family of four. You will notice that the common design for the eeya sombu doesn't feature sharp edges because of the nature of the alloy. You need to make sure that you keep stirring the pot and also that the sombu is always at least half full. A typical eeya sombu costs around Rs 2,500 to Rs 4,000. It's certainly not inexpensive but if you're a rasam connoisseur or keen to save a traditional craft, it may not be a stiff price tag for a cooking utensil that still occupies a special place in many South Indian kitchens.


Eeya Sombu Rasam: A Traditional Utensil For Flavourful Rasam

Highlights

Among the many monikers associated with Kumbakonam in Tamil Nadu, 'City of temples' is probably the most appropriate. With close to 200 temples within its municipal limits, the area around this town is believed to have been inhabited from 3rd Century BC. The legends around the name of this town surround 'Kumbha' the mythical pot of the Hindu god Brahma. That's not the only pots and pans story you will hear in Kumbakonam. I remember visiting this town as a child and almost throwing a fit as my mother dragged me from one utensil store to the other. Kumbakonam is famous for its range of vessels and lamps that have been perfected over generations by local craftsmen. Kumbakonam's brass coffee filter (the town is synonymous with Kumbakonam 'degree' coffee) is legendary and then there's the Eeya Sombu.

Rasam is the ultimate comfort food for many South Indians and I'm no exception. The Eeya Sombu is one of the many heirlooms in my kitchen that I take great pains to preserve. You will hear many stories around this unassuming utensil that is used almost exclusively for rasam. Unfortunately these stories and the utensil's reputation have not saved it from the verge of extinction. About four years ago I made a brief stop in Kumbakonam on my way to the 12th Century Airavatesvara temple at Darasuram that is part of the trio of the Great Living Chola temples. I stopped by at Anandha Vilas Pathirai Kadai (Tamil for utensil store) that is one of the popular stores for the Eeya Sombu. Some of the locals mentioned that there are fewer craftsmen that make this utensil than a decade ago. Hopefully that's something the Instagram generation and the product's availability on online platforms like Amazon will change.

So what makes the Eeya Sombu an object of so much discussion. I asked my grandaunt in Mumbai - Mrs Kalyani Raghavan, who probably makes the best rasam in my family. She's been using this utensil for more than 60 years and tells me that it enhances the flavour and also possesses health benefits. Eeyam refers to a tin alloy in Tamil while the sombu is a type of smaller utensil. The alloy used in units in and around Kumbakonam is usually imported from Malaysia and these sombus are all handcrafted. My grandaunt remembers a time when the eeya sombu got mixed up for lead and saw it go out of favour in many homes. Thankfully that misconception has disappeared. But the challenges that involve using this vessel continue. The alloy is very malleable, so make sure you don't use kitchen pincers or tongs to hold this vessel when it's hot. Also, make sure that you always cook your rasam on a low flame even at the usual stage when you bring your rasam to boil at a high flame.

The typical eeya sombu comes with a capacity of 700-800 ml, that's usually good for one meal for a family of four. You will notice that the common design for the eeya sombu doesn't feature sharp edges because of the nature of the alloy. You need to make sure that you keep stirring the pot and also that the sombu is always at least half full. A typical eeya sombu costs around Rs 2,500 to Rs 4,000. It's certainly not inexpensive but if you're a rasam connoisseur or keen to save a traditional craft, it may not be a stiff price tag for a cooking utensil that still occupies a special place in many South Indian kitchens.



Comments:

  1. Soren

    Yes, not a fig this does not seem like a serious consideration of the problem!

  2. Brendt

    Sorry, I thought about it and deleted the question

  3. Xenophon

    In my opinion, he is wrong. I'm sure. I am able to prove it. Write to me in PM, speak.

  4. Storm

    the Authoritative answer, curious ...



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