Unusual Occupations

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

T – Thennang kuruthu


Mobile musings - the theme for this A to Z
challenge features a blog with a picture
clicked by me on my mobile phone
T – Thennang kuruthu

On a sultry afternoon, walking along the East Mada street adjacent to the Magnificient Madurai Meenakshi Amman temple,  looking for a Saree shop that would sell the authentic Madurai Sungudi sarees is when I stumped upon this delicacy. It was sad to note after looking around, that Madurai’s very own Sungudi  Sarees in their original design and form are almost extinct. Even the government owned co-optex store in Madurai that is supposed  to encourage small scale industries and local weave, stocks something that is a more fashionable hybrid variety of the Madurai Sungudi variety that I have only memories of grandmothers wearing them in the sweltering heat of the summer months.

Anyway I digress.


Thenang kuruthu
Picture shot on iphone 4S
Location : Madurai, India
August 2013
Thenang kuruthu
Picture shot on iphone 4S
Location : Madurai, India
August 2013


Famished , thirsty and tired, the hygiene conscious urban traveler in me rejects all the oily street food fare that abundantly line up the streets surrounding the temple.
I stumble upon this one that a push cart vendor seems to be selling.  I ask him, what it is, in a Tamil accent that clearly reveals  that I am not a local.
Thennag kuruthu’ is his reply.  I guess it is the tender shoot of a baby coconut tree .  But it turns out this is the tender shoots of the baby Palm tree. The rich off cream colour and the ease with which his knife was cutting through the slices one guessed that this could be interesting to taste. 

Thenang kuruthu
Picture shot on iphone 4S
Location : Madurai, India
August 2013

I would presume Thennag kuruthu’  does’nt travel well. Else it may have got exported outside the country  like the Mango - king of fruits, which aptly said by Shashi Tharoor is now turning out to be the fruit of the kings. The common man in the locale where it grows hardly gets to taste the best of mangoes. Afterall they are worth their price in gold. 

I buy a few slices of Thenang-kuruthu for five rupees  to experiment and to taste what it is like.  Since the slices were cut fresh, I am convinced it would do me and my delicate digestive system no harm.
As I expectantly put one small slice of the ‘Thennag kuruthu’  in my mouth,  I am awestruck at the olfactory experience that I go through. The tender shoot exudes a subtle sweetness and a soft texture that makes you want to linger on to the taste for just a while more and stay with that moment. 


Staying with that moment, you close your eyes and experience the delicate, tenderness, sweetness, freshness and the awesomeness of nature’s creation.  It is indeed nature's gift to mankind ( woman kind as well ) to experience what could otherwise have grown into a tall sturdy palm tree.
Thenang kuruthu
Picture shot on iphone 4S
Location : Madurai, India
August 2013



Consuming it was a treat filled with that slight guilt considering that this one could have otherwise grown into a tall sturdy palm tree.
Worse is that here was a delicacy that really did not cost a lot in terms of money. They say all good things in the world come free. This one did not come free but came at a pittance in exchange for the experience that it offered my taste buds.   
It is impossible not to marvel at the creation and thank nature for the bounty and more importantly for the opportunity to have tasted this delicacy . 

Just how many more wonders must nature have in store that have not yet been discovered ? 
Perhaps they are better off not being discovered , experienced and exploited by mankind.

 But this one, I will be thankful for. 

1 comment:

  1. This sounds so yummy. Now I wish I could try it

    ReplyDelete

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