Wednesday, June 10, 2009

30 Naal..30 samayal

Tamizh magazines for women- Mangayar Malar, Aval Vigadan, Snegidhi etc have been giving this 30 naal... 30 samayal recipe books as ilavasa inaippus [free supplements] for over 6 years now. 30 naal ... 30 tuvayal , 30 naal... 30 kuruma, 30 naal... 30 gravy are some of the books in this series.

Always enthu to collect such recipe books (but never to use them), I had a huge collection of these 30 naal books at the end of one year. My f-i-l saw my enthu-ness and added his bit of 30 naal books everytime he visited us and so I had this huge library of 30 naal.. books with duplicate copies of several books. Two copies of 30 takkaali [tomato ] recipes, 30 vagai kanji, 30 vagai sooper tippan...and so on

The series had gathered a lot of dust in the kitchen shelf and I decided to give them a break and transferred them to the book-binding shop for two weeks. They came back in 7 neat bound volumes - each with a minimum of twenty '30 naal...' books.

I was very proud of my 'collection' and subtle kostans from m.i.l like "Inda book-ellam nee use pandradillayo?" were ignored. Please note - It was not "padikkaradu illayo?". It was "use pandradillayo?"

The mega enthu '30 naal.. ' books drive got itself converted into a mega export drive when I started 'exporting' such books to friends and family in other countries.

A closer look at these books revealed that they were nothing but clones of one mega book which must have been titled '30 common recipes for the country Indian in you' . Take for instance the '30 naal ... 30 Chutneys' book. The first recipe is your kothamalli chutney. The subsequent pages for Karuveppillai, takkaali, vengayam chutneys had the same recipe with the main ingredient changed. Infact the recipe would read "This is similar to Kothamalli chutney... Substitute takkali for kothamalli". Off we go to the Tuvayal book. The pages are in the same order as the chutney book with one line added. "Fry the entire chutney in a lot of oil and your TUVAYAL will last for a month"

These books remind me of Chef Damodaran's cookery show on Jaya TV. Almost all his recipes would start with "vengayatha podiya narukki podunga, konjam takkali, konjam inji poondu, kothammali" and end with "saapteenganna summa sooper-a irukkum!". I always wait for the last segment where he says this when he serves the dish.

Most of these '30 naal' books were earlier compiled by 'Menu raani' Chellam or 'Samayal thilagam' Revathy Shanmugham (Kannadasan's daughter )- both well known cooks who brought some amount of credibility to the recipe however repetitive they were. But of late, regular readers of these magazines have started compiling their own recipes which get published as an ilavasa inaippu. And what's worse - these katthu kuttis, in the name of innovation, cook up some nonsense. Take for example - 30 naal...30 poosani-parangikkai samayal'. Would you even consider preparing Pooshanikkai rice or a Parangikkai Appalam? Uvveek!

And these are the same 4-5 faces who write in all magazines, particularly those who contribute to the 'tips' section which are the usual - "Don't waste old pieces of bathing soap. Put them together , add water and use them to wash your tiles" or "Use your old toothbrush to clean the corners of your kitchen tiles" and such kind of 'different' stuff.

But yes, there's one thing maha common to these ilavasa inappus apart from the Aishwarya Rai or an Asin on the cover. That's the intro line from these vasagis with the golden words "Kozhandaingal Virumbi saappiduvargal'' [kids would love it]. Kamaan I say, what makes them think that the 'Koyaindanga' would love a sprouts sandwich? "30 naal ... 30 sprouts samayal" with a "Kozhandaingal Virumbi saappiduvargal'' line? Forget Koyandainga, even kazhudais like me wouldn't want to 'virumbi' read such recipes.

But this one '30 naal ... 30 sweets' book's cover (Dated Oct '06) had me in splits.

Jo, in a Pothy's saree on the cover saying "Ennoda mamiyar-a asattha naan ready" (for Deepavali...with these recipes). Ha ha ha! Did she really asathify her mamiyar preparing laddu, jaangiri, Mysore pauk burning herself in the hot kitchen?

Mrs. Sivakumar-ukke velicham!

22 Responses:

Anonymous said...

Ha ha ha ha...Last line super..U r the best :)...ROTFL...


Rocksa said...

Yummm...mouth watering....Good one! Wonder if celebs really mean what they say!!

Artnavy said...

hey pumpkin aval vaddaam is excellent

they make it in karnataka called aral snadige or something

parangikai is yellow or white pumpkin??

B o o said...

Art - The point is - will I make it?!! :D

Blogeswari - Super post. Im typing this with difficulty as commenting while ROTFLOL is very kashtam! :)

artnavy said...

i think we all know the answer Boo

btw i shared this post with my mom- she could not stop grinning

Lazy Blogger said...

seriously, the "kuzhandhainga virumbi saapiduvaanga" is the most annoying. When i was a kid, i had to make do with beans curry and gos curry and threats from my parents that if i didnt finish it, i had to sit at the dining table all night till i did!

Madras Chick said...

ROTFL..Good one!

When my Mom and I read the "Tips" section in Aval Vikatan, we always wonder aloud how could the vasagis come up with such "unique" tips, such as the ones mentioned in your post. I agree like a 110% with every single word on this post.

Jo comment sooper-o-sooper. Ava kitchen kulla pona, maamiyar (Surya's Amma) odhaippaannu ninaikkiren.

Trendsetters said...


You blog is super cool. very innovative. we have a blog on food.
we wud love u to visit the blog and possibly add a link in your blog. we wud love to do the same for u.
thank u

Bhel Puri & Seekh Kabab said...

Lol, well written. So true what you say about the same 5 things being used for all the recipes.

Sachita said...

evlow varsham etha ellam padicha kastam unga oru post thanta siripu la got ovr!

ambi said...

//Inda book-ellam nee use pandradillayo?" //

ROTFL :)) U reply back saying, "yeeh, I keep them as my pillow" :p

Naama yaaru, namma range enna? intha kelvikellam asaruvomaa enna? :))

//koyandainga virumbi saapduvaanga//

Grr, kolai vilum, en koyandai 'Ad' paatha thaan vaayave thorakkaraan. :))

Kaarthik said...

Gud post. Even I used to collect these kinda Supplements since it may be useful for Bachelor cooking and experimented a few.But almost all the recipes are same.
"Aracha chutney-yaye araikkaraanga" . Still my mom collects for me.

BTW, Jo's in RMKV saree and not Pothys Saree.

Archana said...

Old toothbrush to clean kitchen tiles!!!!!! Do ppl actually do that? Great blog, as usual!!! I'm lovin it!!!

ammani said...

Adippaavi! I have half a dozen of these bound books that you sent me. You must put in a word about the photos in these supplements. Maha kevalama irukkum!

MADHAV said...

Nice post! Always laughing while I read your blog!

Damodaran's cooking is too good. Its really mouth watering and he presents it well too. Maybe a little repetitive though.

Anonymous said...

LOL post :D You can tell your mil that hundreds of readers are now ROTFLing and therefore the books got 'used' ;)

Vibaas said...


Priya dharshini said...

well said..nice blog ..first time visit.

hema said...

Hi there, cool post. I too have lot of these Aval vikatan supplement books, but use them rarely. The initial books in the series were good...anaa in recent ones as Karthik said 'araicha chutney araikaranga'

Anonymous said...

Good one...but i think something is totally off...the saree jo is wearing is frm RMKV:)

Anonymous said...

Ha ha ha.. couldn't control my laughter.. Actually u have read the mind of all people who are veruthu-fied by these supplements(even though we would ask the newspaper man r book seller at shop, if they forgot to give us the supplement " Anna, supplement illayae?!");-)

Anonymous said...

Ha ha ha.. couldn't control my laughter.. Actually u have read the mind of all people who are veruthu-fied by these supplements(even though we would ask the newspaper man r book seller at shop, if they forgot to give us the supplement " Anna, supplement illayae?!");-)