Ingestible India (Part IV)

When I used to think Indian food, gravy-based plates like Rogan Josh (Braised Lamb), Palak Paneer and Murgh Makani came to mind. Or perhaps various meats charred in a tandoor with some puffy garlic naan. Generally the Indian food we eat at restaurants in the U.S. is Northern style. The south does it different. Cream and curd thickened curries are replaced with thinner renditions, flavored with chilis and fresh coconut milk. In Kerala, oceanic creatures are eaten daily and hand-tossed flaky roti paratha and steamed appum are the breads of choice.

Anchovies: one of the most under appreciated fish in the sea.

 Gobi Manchurian. An Indian adaptation of Chinese style sweet and sour- said to have been originally developed by Chinese immigrants living in Kolkata. Cornflour breaded Cauliflower is fried and tossed in a sticky spicy glaze. Indian vegan pub grub.

 The beloved Dosa, here served with a coconut chutney and a ramekin of ghee (clarified butter). The batter is typically made from rice and skinned black gram. It's left to ferment overnight- creating that characteristic tangy flavor similar to San Francisco sourdough- yet more addictive. Yeah, I said it.

Typical Kerala style lunch. Heat level: medium high. Always some paratha on hand to sop up that oily, heavily spiced gravy.

 Mark Twain's long lost cousin cooking up some paratha and omelets on a tava. Shirtless cooking is fairly commonplace in India. The chef should be comfortable in his domain. I'd definitely go topless if I could. The 'stache is real by the way. I asked.

Fun fact: Kerala actually translates to "Land of the Coconut Trees", and produces around 45% of the India's tree-hangers. Few countries I've been to thrived in front of the camera like these folks. Smiles a plenty in the subcontinent. Unfortunately, the coconuts generally paled in comparison to places like Bến Tre or even neighboring Sri Lanka. Still beats out the canned stuff by light years.

Stay Streetside.


Mike Corsini said...


DLB said...

Met a fellow from Kozhikode, Kerala the other night at The Boardroom, a dive bar in North Beach. It was fortuitous because I had just listened to an NPR segment on southern India's economic reliance on coconuts for oil, building material, cooking milk, toddy, etc. Thanks for sharing these pictures

Turmeric n Spice said...

Beautiful space you ave here, absolutely gorgeous photography....just had dinner but craving for some gobi manchurain


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