[Food Habits Of Medieval period Tamils-continuing]                      
[Compiled by: Kandiah Thillaivinayagalingam]
The 9th-century Thiruvilayadal Puranam talks at length about the adventures of Lord Shiva, one among the three gods of the Hindu pantheon. In one of the stories,as a Sixty-first Thiruvilayadal,Lord Shiva, in order to help a poor  woman, a puttu (pudding) seller by profession, takes the form of a sand-bearer when a dam
is being built under instructions from the king that every citizen, regardless of sex, be pressed into action.From this story we came to know that food Pittu or puttu was one of the popular food during Medieval period.One of the poem,from this Thiruvilayadal puranam,which mentioning food pittu,is given below

"பிட்டிடுவே னுனக்கென்றா ளதற்கிசைந்து பெரும்பசியாற்
சுட்டிடநான் மிகமெலிந்தேன் சுவைப்பிட்டி லுதிர்ந்தவெலாம்
இட்டிடுவா யதுமுந்தத் தின்றுநா னிளைப்பாறிக்
கட்டிடுவே னின்னுடைய கரையென்றார் கரையில்லார்."-[From Sixty-first Tiruvilliadel]

An old lady Vanthi,being a poor lady said that she will give him "Pittu" instead of money if he is ready to throw mud into bank of Vaigai river to stop flood.He,God Siva as a labourer[cooly] accepted and the agreement is,she need not give him the 'Pittu' which is in good shape,but only the Pittu which break & falls off from the main portion of Pittu.The old lady agreed.He,god Siva promised that after ate what ever falls off, He will carry
mud in his head and throw it into the waters of Vaigai river to build embankment.

The ninth or tenth century,Avvaiyar,in one of her poem,She mentioned "brinjal curry with "varaku" rice[Husked grain of common millet]  is worth the World.

"வரகசிச் சோறும், வழுதுணங்காய் வாட்டும்,
முரமுரெனவே புளித்த மோரும், - திரமுடனே 
புல்வேளூர்ப் பூதன் புரிந்து விருந்து இட்ட சோறு

எல்லா உலகும்பெறும்" 

In another poem Avvaiyar mentioned about the curry made out of spinach.

"வெய்யதாய் நறுவிதாய் வேண்டளவும் தின்பதுவாய்
நெய்தான் அளாவி நிறம்பசந்த – பொய்யா
அடகென்று சொல்லி அமுதத்தை யிட்டாள்
கடகம் செறிந்தகை யாள்"

Here Avvai praise the little girl,who gave food to her as "Oh! It is truly a dish from heavens, and not the spinach[keerai/அடகு = கீரை] that she claims

A 12th century inscription from the reign of Kulotunga Chola mentions the popular deep fried sweet Paniyaram.It mentions the use of coconuts and palm sugar.Interestingly,the inscription mentions it as Karuppatti–the name hasn’t changed in 1000 years.The Pandya kings seemed to have added banana,Cumin[Jeerakam],dry ginger, pepper and sugarcane to this sweet when they offered it to the god.Adhirasam is another offering mentioned,in the ancient days people used bullock cart to travel that required several weeks.They had to keep the food for several days for travel. Adhirasam is one such kind of food.Its prepared only three ingredients rice,jaggery and Cardamom.But the preparation requires lot of time and the process is quite complicate.We can keep this food for several days. 

PARt:22 WILL FOLLOW                                                                 


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