On Kanakam, Kanakambaram, and Rituals of Care and Connection

On Kanakam, Kanakambaram, and Rituals of Care and Connection

With summer breaks upon us, I am reflecting on my childhood summers in India and certain rituals stand vividly in my memory. Among them was freshening up after evening playtime. Amma would gently comb my luscious curly hair into a ponytail or a braid, and adorn it with fresh flowers that she strung together. There was always one piece for her, and one for me, it was something we would do together.

South Indians have a special love for this tradition of wearing flowers - especially the easily available fragrant jasmine and vibrant kanakambaram ('kanaka' means golden, 'ambaram' means ray, literally translating to a ray of golden light) also known as the firecracker flower. 

These flowers, strung together, contrast beautifully against our gorgeous dark hair. This practice of adorning flowers has persisted across South India, over centuries. You never really need a special occasion, it transcends age and economic status. It is a simple way of making every day extraordinary, to exercise the agency to bring beauty and tenderness to the ordinary. 

As years passed and life took me across continents and time zones, over years of corporate life and among the rigors of my entrepreneurial journey, I am re-learning the value of slowing down. I am learning that some special forms of beauty actually offer us the gift of time, they let us savor moments. 

Much like the ritual of hair adornment, preparing dosas had always been a shared activity between my mother and me. Standing together by the stove, we would take turns crafting perfect, crisp dosas, using the time to bridge the gaps a busy life had stretched between us. 

We were inspired by the profound connection between our dosa making ritual and the enduringly simple act of wearing jasmine and kanakambaram flowers in naming this trio. 

'Kanakam,' meaning gold/wealth, in several Indian languages, not only reflects the heirloom quality of this trio - a pre-seasoned cast iron pan paired with hand-forged brass utensils - but also celebrates the opportunity to create a wealth of everyday moments. 

By transforming simple daily practices into mindful experiences, we imbue them with golden significance. With this name, we are also honoring the wealth of tradition that has gone into hand forging each of these utensils by expert artisans. Now, you get to breathe life into these kitchen heirlooms everyday and maybe pass it on, to another generation one day. 

Over the past 2 years of rigorous ideation, testing, sourcing, cleaning, seasoning and everything else that was required - we’ve put together THE BEST dosa trio of utensils you’ll ever need to get yourself going on this journey of making the CRISPIEST of not just dosas but so much more (more on this in the very soon!)

We hope this trio brings as much joy to your dosa making routine as it has to mine!

A glimpse into our mood board 💖