Encounters of the dairying types

We konkanis love our milk in all its varied forms; milk, yoghurt, buttermilk, ghee, butter, in whichever way we can have it. I have tried to research the reason to it, maybe because previously each house had its own herd of cows or maybe not.  I am not too sure of the reason.

To start the day we especially Mangaloreans have a big tumbler of tea which is then poured into a smaller glass and taken along with breakfast. I often ask my husband as to how they can have so much and then eat too. For which I am given the answer that the beverage is used to push the food and let it settle in the tummy. Humphf, husbands I tell you!!

So when I got married and came into this typical GSB family, it was a shock…to them. Having seen such practices in my parents families, I knew what was the actual practice. But they were shocked,’ What only 1 … single cup of tea that too at the end of the breakfast!!’ Konkanis eat with the pot of tea and the glass beside them and they keep on drinking and eat simultaneously. I just smiled and went on gobbling the delicious food.

And we have different dosas and idlis too. Cucumber dosa, watermelon dosa, milk idlis curd idlis etc. The griddle for the dosas is smeared with ghee  and they are eaten with    ahem… not with chutney no sir, they are eaten with dollops of butter. Not the Amul or packaged butter, not at all, but the freshly churned butter. A person in the family is specifically designated to churn butter early in the morning. And so when I say no, eyebrows are raised…in shock.  How can one not eat butter And a person even asked me why am I obese when I don’t eat butter or ghee. Now that is one question which I will like an answer to.

We konkanis just have to have  buttermilk with their lunch and milk in the night. If one is having cold or fever then he has to take milk with his midday lunch whether he likes it or not. Me, I hate having milk. In my hostel days I blissfully escaped it. My mother used to pack off bottles of horlicks in the hope that maybe I will have it in water and somehow supplement my nutrition needs. And i happily used to distribute it to my hostel mates. Sigh the good old days. But there is no escape now.  My beloved sweet endocrinologist tells me that I must have milk so as not to have calcium deficiency. Sigh. And so the hubby sees to it that I drink a BIG cup  of milk every day. Sigh again. But then its me that heats it up and so I dilute it to my heart’s content. 😀 Where there is a will there is a way.

As I said before in our households, if we cannot take buttermilk, we have to have milk with the midday meal. If you say no, you will get to hear ‘ ooshna jaata’. I do not know how to translate it but it roughly means ‘body heat will escalate’.

A new mother is not given yoghurt/ buttermilk either because as she is breast-feeding, the baby may get a cold. I endured it for 2 months and in the 3rd month I said no. My mother thought better to give me than to argue. And then I came down to Mangalore. On the third day I told my sister-in-law that I just cannot have milk and then she gave me buttermilk in secrecy. Why in secrecy?? So as not to shock her mother (my mil). It so happened that during that time, it was my grandmother’s death anniversary. After the rites we sat down to eat but the one serving buttermilk just ignored me. Until I demanded a glass.  ‘But you are a ‘balanti’ (a New mother).  Yes, I said but I do drink Taak ( buttermilk) There was pindrop silence in the room for the remainder of the meal.And just the next day my mil caught me having Taak. ‘How can you?, ‘Wait, if something happens to my grandson….’ Nothing will happen, I said, I have been having it since he was 2 months old I said. There was silence then and I was relieved that from then on I could relish my Taak in public.

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34 thoughts on “Encounters of the dairying types

  1. Yessssss not just mangloreans we in Punjab did the same. The Punjabi name for the utensil is gadwi..
    And its not the glass we poured tea into we had like a bowl called baati.. and the tea tasted yummyyyyy….

    Wow and the rituals or tradition sometimes they just make you smile.. what else can you do, I just wonder who started them in the first place..

  2. I remember eating rice with milk and sugar when I was baananthi – newly delivered mother! Buttermilk had to wait until the baby was five months old! And we had to have one handfull of ghee to drink with a midday meal! Huh, I shudder thinking about it even now! And I am a Mangalorean too!

  3. Bhagyashree,

    So you had your way. I second what Bikramjit said above about Panjab, ALOO PARANTHAAS are not good unless drenched in DESI GHEE or BUTTER.

    Take care

  4. Now, you should pls share the recipe of watermelon dosas…haha…can’t even dream of it…My husb and kids just love it…though I eat any breakfast or not, I just drink a glass of milk every day…:) Nice post Bhagyasree. Isn’t it always fun to do the stuff that we are told not to?

  5. Cucumber dosas — never heard of those. Milk — I hate it plain yuck! I love buttermilk. another community very passionate about their buttermilk are the Gujaratis. Nice read! And, I love fresh butter too if someone would churn it for me ;-).

  6. Oh wow! He he…. I love a huge cup of tea with breakfast too. And I love buttermilk with my lunch too. But not really sure if I can have it everyday. Plain milk is a no no.. Not even horlicks can make milk more enticing ! I rather lose the teeth. 😀

  7. I found it very amusing for two reasons. One I am a Konkani, and two I am from Bahrain. In the sense that though / Udupi / Mangalore and whereabouts are my hometown, I was born in Bahrain and came back to Brahmavar to complete my education. I once had the nerve to ask my Maav what all these rules are for and who decided them? I got the same standard response “Sangil thithle kar re” 😀 So guess could connect well with your experience. Drop in at madankamath.com 🙂

    • Actually there is a reason for the rules and numerous do-nots but unfortunately no one knows the reasons now. I suppose the people were so engrossed in the do’ing part that they forgot the why’s.
      Welcome to SS Madan, will be visiting your space, soon.

  8. I came here digging for this post if I can find the recipe…my son had been killing me to make it from the time I read this post, but watermelon season was over..out of blue, hubby got one last night and the ridges are saved…do you have any instant recipe that I can make or do I have to soak rice for overnight?

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