History of indian cooking (RE: Etymology: sambar, the dish?)

Yashwant Malaiya malaiya at CS.COLOSTATE.EDU
Thu Jan 13 20:25:03 UTC 2000

Geeta Bharathan's  note remined me of something.

I've never seen anything on the history of Indian cooking. Are
there any resources? Is there a theory of Indian cooking? I know
about the six rasas (but I'm not sure I know exact definitions).

I know that Bengali Rasgulla and Gulabjamun are fairly recent
inventions. I have wondered what was Indian cooking like before
arrival of chilli peppers, tomatotos and potatoes? And exactly
what are the "56" items (vyanjanas) that we hear time to time?


Geeta Bharathan wrote:

Not along lines of most "Indological" questions, but there may be
interesting issue lurking here, so I hope you will take the query seriously.

I haven't been able to find the word in the two Tamil dictionaries I
have, nor in anything on line. The dish is common in Karnataka, Andhra
Pradesh, and Tamil Nadu, but the word seems to be nonexistent (it seems
to be more commonly used in Tamil)! What is the origin of the word? Does
it have anything to do with the SE Asian 'sambal' (which is more a
condiment, like a chutney than a 'curry' like sambar)?

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