Thursday, September 23, 2010

Notes to myself - from Kerala's backwaters...

Banana fritters and Kerala coffee on deck. 

The full dinner spread...
 Fried Karimeen


Once more I must apologise, for my silence. It has been a long hard month of trying to get my manuscript done. Highs, as I got closer to my goal, lows as friends who I wanted to feature could not come through with their recipes. Stress of things requiring attention (like this blog) and rushes of adrenalin from sleepless nights of intense writing. And then my other baby needed attention, Masalla Trails, the food tours I intend to launch soon, in partnership with my sister needed to be finalised.

So at the very last moment of delivering one project I went off to Kerala to start another! The day I landed, I resisted the temptation to explore the charms of Fort Cochin to finish up and send of my manuscript. The next morning we were off hurtling toward Thekkady,inspecting property after property, loving some rejecting others, and driving on to Kumarakom, for our night on the houseboat.

And suddenly, I looked around, and I was gently bobbing around on a houseboat in kerela, reading, nibbling on banana fritters, sipping coffee as the sun melted into the backwaters. Chef Venugopal clattering about in the galley making dinner he announced he would serve "Yat yeight Dirty !" And as that house boat drifted on the tide, I was forced to take a breath, smell the wet air and lose myself in the water hyacinth garnished backwaters of Kerala.

Dinner as promised was served at Eight thirty. And what a meal it was, a perfect bite of kerela, khozi roast, thoran, a delectable fried karela dish, long beans sauteed with onions and gleaming with oil, a side of spicy fried karimeen freshly caught. We ate like we were starved and ended with hot raisin studded payasam for a sweet finale even as houseboats twinkled at us from accross the water and palm trees sent whispers of welcome our way.

I slept better that night than I had in ages and woke to the smell of hot Kerala style coffee and a garden of Lotus blossoms outside our window. We came out to a breakfast of idli Sambhar, Chutney and butter kissed fluffy dosas rounded of with more coffee and the sweetest pineapple I had eaten in the longest time. It was a lovely moment taken out from the rat race of life, I just wish it could have been longer!

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