I’ve recently returned from a whistle stop tour of southern India. I spent 7 tiring days criss-crossing Kerala but all that travelling was more than compensated for by the wonderful food that I experienced along the way. Contrary to what many people say, I didn’t experience any episodes of ‘Delhi Belly’ and believe me I ate practically everything that was on the menu so perhaps it ultimately comes down to where you actually consume your food. Needless to say, curry dominated the agenda and I had the pleasure of attending two extremely informative cookery demonstrations at a holiday complex called the Spice Village which is located in Thekkady. Although I had cooked Indian recipes on a number of occasions in the past with reasonably successful results, I was intrigued both by the sequence in which various ingredients were added; the length of time they were cooked for and even the cooking utensils that were used. In this particular instance, the pot that was used is called a uruli which I must confess I had never heard of before. It is a composite of brass and copper and has quite a thick base and thus is relatively heavy — as in three or four kilos, possibly more. I’ve had a quick look online since I’ve returned home and they don’t appear to be that easy to get hold of over here so if any readers know where i can source one, just email me at email@example.com. Of all the locations that I visited though during the course of my itinerary, I would have to say that top marks go to the chef at the Eighth Bastion hotel located in Fort Cochin a member of the cghearth group of hotels (http://www.cghearth.com). It was sublime and would not have looked out of place in a Michelin-starred restaurant back home!
Of course, there’s far more to India (or Kerala for that matter) than just fine cuisine but we’ll cover those matters in future blogs