tuque /tūk/ n Canadian English, var. toque [19th c. Canadian French, from the French toque, from the Basque tauka] 1 A close-fitting knitted cap, often with a long tapering end or tassel or pompom. 2 fig Something quintessentially Canadian.
souq /sūk/ n from the Arabic سوق var. souk 1 An open-air marketplace. 2 fig A central meeting place for the circulation of news and ideas.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Happy Belated Onam

Onam is the one of the biggest holidays of the year in the Indian state of Kerala, which is absolutely nowhere near where I live. However, it happens that the founder and president of PREM is from Kerala, so a feast-in-exile was arranged to honour him, as honouring the founder and president of PREM is one of the most important functions of PREM!

In a salty nutshell, Onam celebrates the annual return of an ancient, beloved king of Kerala, Mahabali, who retained such favour with the gods during his life that, in his afterlife, he is permitted once a year to visit his people whom he loved and served so well.

It's also a heck of a feast, or sadya, an all-vegetarian affair in which the mighty coconut (its milk, its oil) features in just about every dish, all of which are served on a freshly cut banana leaf. Rice, cabbage, gourd, eggplant, plantain, potato, yogurt and papadam also feature prominently in the meal whose spices are savoury and muted by Indian standards. Dessert is a sweety and milky rice pudding.

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