Food, glorious food…

I love food and even more than eating it, I love cooking food. So I came prepared with my ‘Best Ever Indian Cookbook’ as a companion. It is filled to the brim with meat and vegetarian recipes using the finest of Indian ingredients, giving both imperial and metric measurements… but only uses the English names for all the spices and vegetables required. Whereas this is not so much of an issue for the vegetables, let’s face it a tomato is a tomato and a cauliflower looks like a cauliflower wherever you go, spices is a whole different kettle of fish… Luckily the English language is so pervasive here that many of the spices bear the English names as well as names in local language, but I bless my cotton socks that I have spent many years dabbling with Indian cooking so I can recognise most spices by sight and smell. However, the difference between mild, normal/medium and hot chilli powder seems rather vague, so having bought a packet stating ‘less pungency’, I just hope that this means less spicy and not just less smelly.

Apart from the abundance of spices, the vast array of dals (lentils and chickpeas etc) is rather overwhelming – or maybe not, it is just that I do not know which ones are which and it was not helpful to be told that a bag of mung beans were green lentils, which in ‘English speak’ refers to the French Puy lentils… Plus, in England most pulses come nicely ready in tins, so working out quantities of dried lentils to put to soak is rather a case of hit and miss which has so far meant I have had to eat mung beans (in various guises) for the last three days – It is amazing how versatile these beans can be… with potatoes, rice or chapattis..

Although I was determined to join the vegetarians in India, after only three days I have an urge for some decent protein. The occasional egg, milk on my porridge and the pulses feel like a poor substitute in the absence of cheese… But at least those were ‘easy’ to find: pulses are everywhere, eggs and milk are stocked in the vegetable shop (unless you settle for the powdered milk variety), and butter is available from the baker’s … But as meat seems rather elusive, I asked the owner of the bakery, who speaks reasonable English, and he reassured me that chicken was available from a place behind his shop. On closer inspection of this place, I may have to take eating meat back off the agenda – I am not quite ready to eat chicken that has been freshly slaughtered in my presence. Maybe I will start with adding fish to my diet having this afternoon discovered the fish market – at least the fish are already dead by the time they are being sold…

2 thoughts on “Food, glorious food…

  1. maria verliden

    het is daar precies redelijk avontuurlijk.vorige vrijdag is ons moemoe martha overleden. ze was. al een paar weken niet meer ok.

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