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

Nikhil Rao marpally_n_p at YAHOO.COM
Thu Jan 13 21:28:47 UTC 2000

I heard an interesting story I heard from Mr.
Nagarajan, a retired IAS officer who comes from a
family of smartha deshastha brahmins settled in
Thanjavur and who runs a small math originally
stablished by Samarth Ramadas in Thanjavur. According
to him Sambar, was coined after the Maratha prince
Sambhaji who invented(?) the dish from the tamil
kuzhambu. May I dont remember the invented part
correctly but his account did connect Sambar to

--- Yashwant Malaiya <malaiya at CS.COLOSTATE.EDU> wrote:
> 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?
> Yashwant
> ----
> 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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