Oharai is a rice preparation. A variety of rice preparations are popular in South India. For many of these a special ‘podi’ or powder is prepared with a unique flavour. During religious festivals and special occasions like the Tamil New Year, along with the usual meal of rice, dāl and vegetables, Pāyasams or porridge and Oharais are specially prepared in Tamil Nadu and Karnataka.
The South Indians usually begin their meal with a couple of vegetables, rice and dāl. After this first course is finished, the pāyasam is served. Unlike in the west, the dessert is served during the course of the meal rather than at the end of the meal. Along with Pāyasams, Oharai is served. South Indians do not end their meal with sweet desserts. They feel the need for a savoury or a salty item which would balance the sweet. In this ebook on Oharais, there is an item called ‘Bakālābath’. Usually that is the last item eaten in the meal and it is prepared in addition to any of the other Oharais described in this ebook. Along with the pāyasam any one of the Oharais will be served and the next course will be the ‘Bakālābath’ accompanied by a pickle.