Thursday, 24 May 2012

Vacation In God’s Own Country

                                         It was a beautiful day and a wonderful weather, drizzling lightly, it was all perfect on the first day of our landing in Kerala a week ago. Starting from kumarakom, floating peacefully in a huge house boat on one of the largest lake in India, that almost looked like a sea, was a beautiful ride to relax on the serene backwaters with good food and good view, but the overnight halt was not a good idea with the beetles, lizards and mosquitoes swarming towards the boat just after the sun set.
                                             
                                                                    A view of the sun set in kuttanad from the house boat




Siberian birds in Kumarakom bird sanctuary


                                        Besides visiting the well known temples in kerala, the tour turned out to be a gastronomic delight with kadala curry and puttu, the best duck roast in Allapuzha, appam and egg curry in cochin, kottayam style fish curry and we were treated to an absolutely delicious prawn fry, crab curry and chicken biriyani by a bunch of syrian christian friends in cochin. These people love food, talk about it with passion and narrate with their eyes wide open and make us wish we had a taste of whatever they are talking about.

               
                                                           
                                     There’s water, water, water  every few kilometres or so in kerala, in one form or the other, it may be a small river or a lake or water falls or the vast sea or even a small pond and with so much water around, the desire to swim kept popping up all the time, but the lack of the skill and the fear of water prompted me to enquire the depth of water every time I went near a water body.


                  I invited myself into the house boat kitchen and watched the chef making kottayam style red fish curry, unfortunately we couldn’t eat more than a mouthful as it was 'too spicy' for our palate, but loved his chicken curry, pulicheri and pazham pori .


                                 I also happened to meet a well known sous chef in malabar who is writing recipes for a popular magazine in malayalam and had a little chat with him about food and his deep desire to spread the rich heritage of kerala cuisine and I was flattered by his humility when he gave his card and asked me to share ideas with him.


 One food that I felt was not right and could not appreciate throughout my eight days of stay in kerala was the sambhar. None of them tasted good or maybe I didn’t get to taste the right one!
                                                       
                                                       
                                       To wake up to the sounds of the sea waves on one side and view the sun rise on the backwaters on the other side of the room is sheer bliss. Our stay in cherai provided that wonderful experience of visiting the beach as and when needed and I could never take in enough of the beauty of the sea and the sun set, as I got tempted on all three days of my stay there to picture as much as I can till  my camera refused to take any more( the lens was a little tarnished that did not clear till I reached chennai)

                  
                                    
                                       Aanai thavalam - Elephant Sanctuary in Guruvayur shelters about 58 elephants. Some of them are fat, some are old, some are young who playfully (?) toss around the branches, some elephants in ‘masth’ looking aggressive, but it is always pathetic to watch animals in captivity, even if it’s a sanctuary as they stand for hours legs chained to a pole, with no memories of their wild life, their family, their passed on knowledge of the long corridors they used to travel for food and water, generation after generation.

                                   
On returning to chennai we felt like we were stepping into a hot furnace and worse, the still existing misery of power cut slapped on our face to make us feel, 'wish we were still on vacation’ !                                
                                 

                   

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Hiya all,
Finally on this day of october the 1st, 2012, I have decided to include the comment form, after a long gap of two years. But, I am going to be a bit selfish here and keep all those nice and lovely things that is said for me and only me to cherish and will be sharing any queries that requires clarifications and your experience about the food if you have tried my recipes. So, drop in a word if you have anything to say and thanks a lot for stopping by.
"Have a nice day"

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