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Great question.. Have been lingering around my mind for a while. Also what is the meaning of the saying "Echil Yerakadikum Pathu parakadikum"?

Raji Ram

Well-known member
Echil food/ drink is anyone's left over food/ drink.

We are not supposed to eat or drink echil items!

If someone sips and drinks from a cup or a tumbler, it should be washed throughly after use.

This is basic cleanliness. But I see some moms feeding their children while eating food, from the same plate or give a gulp of coffee from the same cup while drinking it!

I find this habit disgusting!!

Generally, 'Paththu' items are items which will be stale in a few hours after cooking.

Rice, sāmbār, rasam, curries, koottu are a few examples.

After touching these, we should wash our hands and then take pickles, milk, curd, ghee etc, the left overs of which are used in the following day/ days.
The member raji ram covered the main things on echil and pathu. To add some more the practice of keeping echil pathiram even after cleaning is separate as it should not mixed with other pathirams.

Even we say pathu pathiram theiykaradhu that means all pathu pathiram may be mixed together and some one can wash but for echil pathiram the one who uses should clean immediately and keep it separately (children may be exempted)

So from the above practice we can say pathu means whatever cooked and use it on the same day and echil means the things to use eat/drink. The left over pathu for next day is palayadhu which is not allowed in our customs.

The practice of not keeping together that is nearer the pathu (cooked) with non cooked items

But in this modern era of keeping everything in refrigerator?


Well-known member

echil /pathu very rare in palakkad brahmins.....but very much in tanjore brahmins...its my observation..


Well-known member

now a days...single bedroom life in 8th floor.....everything in everywhere....acharams fading slowly...
I would like to add some more practice of even keeping separate stoves for pathu and non pathu preparation

Generation back with the advent of gas stove I have seen people keep a T connection and keep one stove for each.

Now with the advent of electric induction stoves too people practicing for pathu non pathu preparation.

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