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Flour - CLICK: February 2008 Flour

Posted Sep 15 2009 4:47pm

The duo at Jugalbandi announced a theme of “flour” for this month’s Click event. This gives us plenty of scope for finding a subject as there are so many foods where flour is a main ingredient. Think breads, cakes, cookies, muffins, cupcakes, pasta, noodles….... I could go on, and each one offers an umpteen number of possibilities for a photograph.
I finally decided to send in the picture you see below.

Update (29th February 2008):
I have just seen some of the appreciative comments on my kolam. Thank you. There seems to be a bit of confusion, though.I just want to clarify that the picture I sent in for the event is the first one, of the flour itself.

By the way, what you see below is also flour!

kolam drawn using rice flour

This is a called a “kolam” and is our traditional way of decorating the entrance to our houses and the inside of our homes where we pray and perform poojas (hindu religious rituals). Kolams are created by hand, either using a powder made of fine rice powder and very fine white sand (as seen here) or with a watery paste made from soaking and grinding rice. The latter type, also called a “maa kolam” is usually used to decorate the floor for religious rituals and occasions. In Palakkad Iyer homes, the kolams are always white because of the rice flour and colours are not used, unlike the "rangoli" designs of northern India.

kolam drawn using rice flour paste

Kolams are created/ drawn every morning after the previous day’s creation has been washed away. These beautiful decorative designs are usually learnt from elders in our families and the variations to them are limited only by the imagination of the creator. In the “old” days, knowing how to draw neat and artistic kolams, would earn a new bride a few extra brownie points with her in-laws!
The first picture above is one of my "everyday" kolams. The second one is a simple maa kolam done for a festive occasion. Kolams for special occasions are always much bigger, more elaborate and very, very beautiful.

For something a little unusual on flour, take a look at these pictures of a Flour Festival in Gree
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