Chennai is celebrating its 377th birthday this year and Madras Week festivities commemorating almost four centuries of this beautiful city are on in full swing. Film screenings, food festivals, heritage walks, book releases are some of the events lined up as part of the celebrations. US Consulate General in Chennai, too, decided to hop on to the festivities wagon, and could not have done it in a more traditional way possible!
The official decided to head to Kasivinayaga Mess, in Chennai's Triplicane and partake in the city's happiness, complete with relishing a traditional meal served on a spick banana leaf! These guys seemed to have done their homework, because they even had their banana leaf-etiquette on point. Before a meal is served, the leaf-plate is sprinkled with water first and then cleaned using our own hands. The official and his family needed no introduction to this traditional start to the south Indian mess meal.They dabbed water on their leaves, like they have been doing it for ages and with no forks or spoons ate a hearty meal, complete with chor (rice), sambar, thoran (stir fried vegetables with grated coconut), pappadam.
With a couple of toddlers in the mix, balancing eating with their hands and making sure the kids ate too, did take some manoeuvring, but everyone seemed to have a great time. There were even some self-congratulatory exclamations on how the sappad sans cutlery wad had, as well as a mutual agreement that this escapade must be done again.