Saturday, July 17, 2010

Sambaru karamu

is a kind of chilli powder mixed with various spices and garlic used by some farming families (mostly Kammas I think) in coastal Andhra. It is one of those that I cannot do without and used to carry with me on trips to countries other than in India. In 1996 I stayed in the house of a mathematician in Utah and generally sprinkled my food with 'sambaru karamu' much to the annoyance of his wife. I even used it in France with restaurant food. Now this friend is visiting India for a conference and wants to know whether it is available in the market. Unfortnately I do not think that it is available. Priya Pickles make a pale approximation to it called 'koora karamu'. Ramoji Rao, who is from the land of sambaru karamu should know better and I hope that he realizes its export potential. First he should send a few like me abroad to develop the tastes of the natives.


Rahul Siddharthan said...

Just curious, did you carry it with you to other parts of India as well? You'll find spicy food everywhere but the spices are different in the north and the east... and rice is rarely spicy. Personally I find Andhra food almost inedible because of the chilli powder :)

gaddeswarup said...

Yes, also Avakaya and Gongura. We were brought up on those things (mainly I know only Guntur, Krishna districts). I remember that if there was no snack after school, I used to munch a little sambaru karamu. I think that chillies are addictive and possibly became popular with poor people since they add some taste to a lot of food like rice. Our children did not take to spicy food earlier but now I find that they sprinkle sambaru karamu on pizzas and such.