Dinner, Dinner in the Hall

Just coming off one of the best home-cooked meals I have had in Bangalore, and when the time comes to set up my space I know whom to turn to for recipes and tricks of the kitchen trade (of course apart from you  mom!). The Almeida’s from Sanjaynagar are a newly wed couple. Mr. Almeida happens to be a childhood friend whom I hold close. He is married to Ms. Right – in a good sense, she has set right a house that one always entered in a topsy turvy world during those bachelor days.

Sear fish, daali thoi, butter garlic prawns, beans sukke, boiled rice
Sear fish, daali thoi, butter garlic prawns, beans sukke, boiled rice

Cronin and Renish so kindly agreed to have me on board their ride to Mangalore and this evening, before the road trip, I was served a typical Mangalorean meal of rava fried sear fish, beans sukke, boiled rice and some real yummy butter garlic prawns. Except for the butter garlic prawns the rest of the meal was cooked by Renish. However Mr. Almeida’s skills were left not too far behind as his online recipe for butter garlic prawns turned out as good as the delicacies on Masterchef Australia that we kept watching while we ate in respectful silence. Respect… for the taste.

The prawns were big and nice, juicy in fact, while the sear fish was fresh and extremely tasty, not overdone, but with just the right amount of masala and flavour. The same goes for the prawns that were cooked just right and with a balanced seasoning that gave out a wonderful aroma while I sat in the hall watching Two and a Half Men sometime earlier.

I have no clue of the nuances of cooking, but I know my food and this was good. And how could I forget the Dhal-e-thoi. This Konkani recipe was made by Renish and summed up a wonderful table.

With this contentment, I go to bed on one of the rainiest days of the year. Tomorrow morning we set forth for Mangalore. It’s freezing out there and with the wet roads we need to take it easy. Cyclone Nilam‘s effect can be seen in Bangalore and lets see how far she stretches.

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Kick Ass in Kannur

Forget F1, forget the Champions League T20… Kannur was in a world of their own this week cause Argentina’s eternal jersey #10 was in town. I love Diego Armando Maradona, worshipped him as a kid. I still remember Italia’90 when Maradona lost to the Germans in the final. The emotion and the beauty of the game. That was a classic era of football where a certain aura followed the stars. You had Jurgen Klinsmann, Rudi Voeller, Gary Linekar, a young Roberto Baggio… I will never forget those names, thanks to late nights when I managed to sneak a peak at Doordarshan’s broadcasts and thanks to a lenient Dad who came to my rescue and ensured that I had my share of screen time. And who can forget Paul Gascoigne’s antics… rather heroics at that point of time in his career!Diego Armando Maradona

And remembering those names… the credit for that goes to the bubble gum manufacturers who used to give a free card with every piece of gum. Each card contained goal/field statistics of the footballer featured, so we knew them all. Those were the days when Pokemon or any other Japanese anime faced absolutely no chance against these numbers and facts. I remember rushing to the run down stationery shop near our school and buying those piecces of gum and then trying to force the shopkeeper to give us the card we needed for our collection.

Getting back to Maradona, he was the reason I was drawn to football, played the game and then became a junior professional. It was fun imagining being a part of a dream team and imagine playing with and against the best in the world whenever I hit the field. Seeing him on Indian soil does bring a smile to the face. Childhood adoration replaced by a respect for the craft and work of the finest. And there he was in Kannur with a bunch of mundu clad men cutting a birthday cake and then going on a promotional safari. It’s God’s own country and if not the whole, at least the ‘hand of God‘ was there. Viva Maradona!

Long Weekend

It’s a long weekend, what with the Eid date being slightly miscalculated and there we have it… three whole days. Today was a good day, almost auspicious, as I got a lot of formal work, regarding a personal investment, out of the way. A prayer for a good start and then signing stuff, gathering more stuff on how to take things forward followed by a great meal, made my time worthwhile.

I was at Flamenco for lunch – a quaint, relaxed (chilled out actually) restaurant that serves continental cuisine. Located off the Jain temple road in Jayanagar, Flamenco is run by Abhijith, a young self-taught cook who runs the place for pure passion and fun, but definitely not at the expense of taste and quality. Relaxed interiors, no formalities and a wide menu to choose from. I would recommend anything on the menu, but make sure you end the meal with waffles and ice cream. The waffles here are simply awesome.

Though, this afternoon i stuck to a risotto with chicken and mushrooms in red sauce. That was more than enough. Tummy khush, me bhi khush 🙂