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Showing posts from August, 2011

Waterfall showers & spices

Ask any South Indian about Courtallam & the first thing you'll hear is getting soaked under a waterfall. Yes, growing up, the teenage years brought forth raised eyebrows & wisps of condescension about a crowd of people getting drenched under falling water fully clothed, but then one really has to experience it to form a truthful opinion, and chances are that it would be a positive one.
The day trip to Courtallam was a reward for the young 'uns for patiently bearing with us for the previous days temple visits. (which is material for a separate post, coming up in the next couple of weeks).
Packed a brunch for the kids, while setting off early morning from Tirunelveli , risking the possibility of venturing into unknown street food territory in an unfamiliar little town. Boy, did that end up almost  being the highlight of the trip!
The village of Courtallam lies nestled in the shadow of the Deccan plateau range on the border between the Southern Indian states of Kerala &a…

Faith, Fritters and airline food reviews,

This has been my first extended trip since I started this blog and the first thing that one notices is the sudden change in a routine that revolves around food. The  advantage ,is that the destination is India with its glorious cornucopia of food offerings and its a delight to see food at every turn! The flip side is that one can't decide what to focus on. I'm settling on  a "little bit o' this, a li'l bit o' that".


  Nice flight to Mumbai on Air France via Paris.



 Lesson #1: It doesn't matter which airline you fly, chances are that  the asian vegetarian meal  will most likely consist of an entree with cumin flavored rice, a yogurt based dumpling curry & Stir fried okra. Seriously, been on 3 different carriers and each time this has been the standard offering on the EWR- Europe leg! The Orzo pasta was tasty but had a texture somewhat resembling raw rice flour!



The first leg ended on a stop at a remote bay and when I say remote, I swear,  the plane…

Agni's Flames & Creamy peanut Butter pie - A tribute to Jennifer Perrillos husband, Mikey.

When I had listed this weeks post  as 'something new' this was the last thing on my mind. To be honest, I no longer remember what I was going to post.

We bloggers secretly vie with each other for posting the most chirpy sounding pieces of writing, overflowing with happiness simply because a happy post spreads cheer, Soft focus photographs of food and the drool inducing descriptions thereof. It is seldom that we want to touch a topic such as loss. The first time I saw a food related article that talked about death was Chef Raghavan Iyers tribute to his late father in the food magazine Gastronomica. Food related to funerary events are seldom discussed in blogs, and not many have the courage to post these, and I'm no exception. It is a HARD topic to discuss gastronomically.

Food52 has a regular monday feature called Jenny's in the kitchen,by Jenny Steinhauer, a LA based correspondent for the New York Times. The details of the dish she highlighted are fuzzy, (her choices…

Something old....

Its that time of the year gain, the heat, humidity & the general enervation that goes hand in hand with summer. But, as tiring as the heat can get, Lets face it, we do not have to resort to the freezer for vegetables & that is always a good thing.
I've resolved that I'm going to treat myself to fresh produce as far as I can & fortunately, I found this awesome place, Hillsboro farm that grows & sells uber fresh veggies and its incredible to rediscover what a fresh homegrown tomato tastes like. Incomparable! So, for the time being the cans have been canned in favor of Fresh.
Of course, its no use talking about fresh if you don't have a recipe to do the flavors justice, for starters, take a look at this article from the New York Times by Mark Bittman on  Proper ways to treat an Heirloom. And, fortunately there is no dearth of applications for how to dress a tomato!. The first is  a traditional Italian recipe for a simple Tomato sauce,  and the other,  a tradi…

660 curries & Paneer Chettinad

I'm willing to bet that there is a significant percentage of the New York born & brought up folks who've never visited Ellis Island & the statue of liberty. Ditto with Mumbaikars who've never taken to boat to Elephanta Island or the Prince of Wales museum (I count myself in this category) or Delhiites who've never seen the Qutb Minar up close!
Its a lot like that with food & cuisines as well. Leave alone cuisines from different regions of India, there is a significant variety to be found in the use of ingredients & techniques from community to community & chances are, while someone would have sampled a wide array of dishes from a cuisine far from their native set, they would have no clue about flavors from other communities within their own!

I've always considered my self extremely fortunate in that there were no restrictions whatsoever to tasting different cuisines and street foods (vegetarian of course) growing up. My fondest memories of chil…