That is a typical South Indian meal served on a plantain leaf which would rank as my all time favourite food.
I hope that my fellow 6/1 bloggers Conrad and Shackman get an opportunity to try that experience.
Having been on expense account travelling jobs during my working days, I had enough opportunity to eat in some of the world’s most well known restaurants and more so within India. I have also been blessed with so many friends all over who insisted on feeding me home cooked meals that it will be impossible for me to list all those as well as choose the most memorable except for the few cases right in the beginning of my sales career in rural India when I had to visit villages and towns without restaurants and so the local customers hosted me meals in their homes. Those experiences are simply unforgettable and I can hold forth on them for hours if opportunity presents itself.
I live in Pune which is famous for its street and restaurant food and during my younger and working days, I could gorge myself on street food and never have home cooked meals for days together other than break fast of course. Here is a look at some of the food in my home town.
Those days are gone now and I don’t relish eating out any more. I prefer meeting my friends for lunch at my local club which is centrally located and convenient for all to reach with plenty of parking space too. The club serves different cuisines, many types of Indian, Continental and Chinese and so the guests have a variety of choices. I normally satisfy myself with a soup, a couple of sandwiches and an ice cream to finish off the meal. My major meal has been breakfast now for many years and lunch the only other meal that I have is a small in quantity affair.
I hope that I have generated enough curiosity and interest in my taste in food for my readers to try out some and if it is Pune that they would like to try, I would be delighted to host them.
This is my take on this week’s Friday 6 On 1 blog post topic. The other five bloggers who write on the same topic every Friday are Sanjana, Padmum, Raju, Shackman and Conrad. This week’s topic was suggested by Padmum. Please do go over to their respective blogs to see what they have to say on the topic. Thank you.
Yesterday was a day of surprises. Yes, plural, not just one. Let me list them for you.
1. I received a phone call in the morning from a young friend who after the initial surprise was over asked me for directions to reach my home as he was coming after many years and the neighbourhood had changed a lot. I told him that I would rather not see him considering the Covid situation and he said that it would be okay as he just had to deliver some parcels to me. I guided him to my verandah from where I was unable to receive the parcels as they were simply too big. So, he had to come into the house after going through the security rigmarole of our society where visitors have to go through a sanitisation process.
2. The parcels turned out to be one gift, a very thoughtful one, from a mutual friend in Mumbai who my visitor had met last week. Along with the gift the visitor had also brought two Gujarathi dishes that were my favourite with a long lost story behind one of them. My Mumbai friend had heard my story about how I used to enjoy the dish during my stay in Ahmedabad over half a century ago. Since both my Mumbai friend and the visitor are Gujarathis, the latter was requested to prepare the dish as a surprise and deliver to me with a cryptic message reminding me about my Ahmedabad days.
The dish is called Handvo and I thoroughly enjoyed it for lunch.
3. Another friend, this time from Chennai telephoned me to inform me that he is sending me a gift parcel and he was calling to caution me to accept the parcel when the courier comes to deliver it. Quite what the gift is a mystery but, knowing my friend as I do, it is likely to be something that I will cherish and use regularly.
4. A TV serial that I had stopped watching after the imposition of the lockdown as only old episodes were being shown due to the producers not being able to produce episodes due to the lockdown, started showing new episodes from last evening and this 45 minutes every evening will now revert to my old pre-lockdown discipline. This is the only TV programme that I used to watch and I had missed it.
The Jack in the jack fruit is derived from the Malayalam word Chakka for it. It is one of my all time favourites and I gorge on it whenever it is available. I love to eat the fruit as well its seed after boiling and removing the hard cover from the seed. One of the reasons that we don’t get much of it in many homes is the mess one makes while removing the outer cover to get at the wedges.
During the lockdown, our help were not coming to work and I thought that I would at least get the seeds from a dear friends and ex colleagues from Kerala who has a few trees growing in his garden in Kerala. While they were ready and only too willing to oblige, the courier companies and the post office unfortunately were not willing to accept packages for destinations in our state. So, I had to inform them that I shall bug them next year by which time hopefully the lockdown would have been removed everywhere.
I still craved for the seeds in particular and I think that this is where the Law Of Attraction kicked in. My daughter in love’s mother had procured two fruits and today, one of them was cut open by one of the maids who has been allowed to come to work. The surprise was that the fruit was from a tree in the garden of my daughter in love’s maternal home in Pune. I got my wish fulfilled and these seeds shown here are about to be boiled and covers removed so that I can have my favourite snack.
When I got up from my recliner and turned around to go to my room, this is the sight that greeted me on the staircase going up to our upstairs bedrooms. For a moment I was zapped as I thought that my son had gone berserk buying toilet paper rolls as I was reminded of photographs like this one below that were doing the social media rounds when the coronavirus first hit the West. On closer examination however I found that these were cans of dog food that he and my daughter in love had organised to stock up and distribute to volunteers feeding stray dogs in our neighbourhood.
Due to the lockdown, collateral sufferers are these strays who otherwise would have found food by scrounging around restaurants and stores selling edibles. The volunteers are doing yeoman service looking after these strays by not only feeding them but, also by arranging for bowls of drinking water for them in this summer heat.
This is the dog food being given to them. Thankfully, our local administration has made arrangements to make this available in these shut down times.
After a very long time, I had the experience of a fabulous lunch with people who I love in a great restaurant under spectacular weather conditions. we were celebrating the sixth wedding anniversary of Manjiree and Ranjan and everything was perfect.
Except for an in-house singer with a guitar and very loud amplifier/speakers combination whose music kept coming in the way of my ability to listen to the conversation around me. After trying to get the volume down and having failed, I simply switched off and tried to put on a cheerful face while the others apparently had no difficulty in shouting over the noise to hear each other.
While I enjoyed the food and the ambience I ended up with a very rare head ache and have vowed not to go to such places anymore.