The name “gola urundai”,in Tamil Nadu is used to describe minced meat balls. It is a huge favourite and many small eateries all over the state compete fiercely to offer the most delicious,succulent gola urundai. The preparation is deep fried and comprises of traditional south Indian spices and flavourings. The gola urundai is also a preferred delicacy at family get togethers ,especially for Sunday afternoon lunch ! ‘Urundai’ simply means,’a round shape’.
While each family ,does have it’s own recipe for ‘mutton balls’ and we do several versions of them in my family too,the “neikkarapatti gola urundai” is my all time favourite. The practice of tying it in fiber before frying it,is in itself an art and is rumored to have been passed on from generation to generation from a long line of cooks who were originally trained in the palaces of the kings that ruled here.They are tied with such dexterity that just by untying it on the top ,the whole length unwinds quickly without damaging or squashing the shape of the urundai in any way ! The region near the hills of Palani is where these gola urundais are known to be famous for and also where the recipe originated from. The taste and texture is so unique and very different from any other gola urundai from the South.
I was first introduced to these mighty flavour dynamites,post wedding,one sunday afternoon. It was a way of welcoming me into the sunday lunch traditions with my husband’s mentors, which were filled with loud laughter, explosive thoughts and hearty fare. A family friend and godfather of sorts ,who lived between Coimbatore and Neikarrapatti and was extremely lavish in his affections towards us ,constantly treated us to these delicious urundais,month after month. We miss his presence in our lives and his family still remember ,to this day , to share this treat with us for which we are all very thankful !
A squeeze of lemon , a mug of ice cold beer,the un-ravelling of the gola urundai…and we are on our way to another relaxing sunday lunch !
Very recently , a foodie friend and reader has shared a recipe for this gola urundai, I look forward to making it and sharing the recipe with all of you.