05 May 2010

Romancing the food

I found out while tidying up my folders last night that I have a LOT of pictures of food. I love food, but more than anything, I like how each food or its picture makes you think of a particular place, time, event, or even people that you normally don't even think of. So here are a few of my favorite ones, the food or the memory associated with them.

There was this one little man who ran a little cafe next to an apartment I stayed in for 3 months. His name was Carmelo and he made the bestest pancakes in the world. 'Good morning girls!' he'd greet us every morning, and the image of his big, juicy pancakes with the big, juicy bacons and maple syrup just make me happy!
I miss that man and his pancakes!

This "Thai" meal in the picture below was cooked by a Malaysian friend, and it was a really fun night. There were a lot of people who turned up unexpectedly for dinner and we didn't have enough noodles and the stores were all closed, so we put pasta in the pad thai noodles, and it was better than most Thai noodles I've had before. What do you call that? Ithai food? :)
And praise the Lord for putting such wonderful things in the sea! Seafood is all about warm, sunny places, interesting people and good times that go on forever! I love seafood, and the best places to get the best seafood from are friendly little huts on pretty little beaches that make cheap but amazing food. That's why I like Goa so much. I got this meal below from some ramshackle beach hut and it cost me only Rs 50/- and it was one of the best meals I'd ever had.

There's nothing that comes from the sea that I won't eat. Except for nemertean worms. AndEchiuran worms I think...

Now Indian food. This is something I can't quite make up my mind on. I have this sort of love-hate relationship thing with Indian food. And to focus on the hate part, one thing I hate more than anything - the baffling rule of overcooking all vegetables beyond recognition. Seems almost like the main purpose is to cook the vegetable for so long and with the exact same spices and in so much oil that they all end up tasting exactly the same. When they fry carrots and beetroots, you have to wonder if the cook was quite sane when he was preparing the meal. Tomatoes are also often subjected to abuse in some similar manner. And tomatoes, in my book, there are only 2 ways to have them. Raw, or like this -I do like the food in Kerala. we were hiking up the slopes of Silent Valley, and came upon this little roadside shack where they offered only one meal - rice appam and duck egg with chutney and tea. Don't know if it was because of the physical exertion but it tasted amazing and to be honest, they don't look all that enticing now.
Some other Keralite food - coconut based porridge type thing, chickpeas, and some sweet banana type jam.
And that's all I have to say about Indian food.

These are Churros and I love them with chocolate and ice cream sauce and strawberries and I'll be forever thankful that we don't get them here in India (or at least in Hyderabad) :P The road to overweight hell is paved with such things.And moving away from food types and on to food timings - according to me, the best time to truly dedicate oneself to the process of ingestion is when one is down in the dumps. I'm such a comfort eater I think if I was an inherently unhappy person, I'd weigh like a ton right now. If I'm blue, I'd definitely order more food than I could eat and then sit and mope in the company of my food.

Picture below is of me and a meal I'd just ordered in my hotel room at the Hilton, San Francisco. It's also easy to order more than you need when your company is paying for the meal :-) (and when you're in the U.S. The size of the food servings there - Omagah!) I was obviously not very happy here I guess. That meal I ordered was big enough for 5 people.
Then of course, pictures like the one below are the diet foods you switch to immediately after you go through your happy-eating phase. Fortunately, I even like my diet meals (or maybe unfortunately?)
And if you've never gone wine tasting in your life, you're missing out on a LOT!
Sometimes you eat some fancy meal in some fancy restaurant, and then you look at the pictures later and just feel sad that you cannot remember anything about that expensive meal, the taste or the people you were with or which city exactly you had that meal. Meals such as these -
Then there are really good restaurants where you had the time of your life as well as the meal of your life. Amazing pork knuckles below in some German restaurant were expensive but worth it all because I still remember how good that was.
Round white things are some Lotus bread thingies, gooey one is some soyabean based dessert, and dark on on corner is sticky rice wrapped in leaves that we Mizos use to wrap Bekang. Some Chinese place in Melbourne.
Yum chas, or Dim Sums, or Sui Mais, or (my personal fav) Momos :)
And of course chicken feet. My host ordered this hoping to get some fun by grossing me out, but how can you gross someone who's eaten chicken feet all her life by ordering a chicken feet dish for her? Nothing gross about this for Mizos.
Bavarian pastry! "Cream colored ponies and crisp apple strudels.." goes the song in the Sound of Music. I used to wonder what an apple strudel was, what it looks like, tastes like and unfortunately, it did not taste as divine as the one in my dreams. I liked the other pastry stuffed with poppy seeds on the side better.
But without a doubt, the best food in the world to me will always be Mizo food. Hastily prepared, simple, plain Mizo food is better than the most elaborate expensive meal the best restaurant can serve.
And the ones that are not available to you normally all year round, such as these! I would pay quite a lot of money to be able to eat these Zawngtahs right now! Chil ti put!
Chakawk, hmarche te rawt, Tuaitit - as I continue to salivate...
And of course, let's end this with the all important trip to the Bara Bazaar second-hand lane because the 'chow sa tui leih' and 'Channgban kan' they make in those tiny, humble eating places are the real reasons we all make our trips home to Mizoram!

Lucky it's lunch time now :-) I'm off!


Alejendro said...

Yummy.... :-) I don't eat much but I love cookin' I'll cook a special dish for you if you ever come visit... :-) and btw Momo's my specialty... ask Kima :-P

Almost Unreal said...

weinch...tui hmel hlom ltkssss...pan cake hi ka ei chak ltksss

chawhmeh rem thrip threp ho hi ka ei peih reng2 lo

Mizo style tak mai hian thlengah hian buai nuaih mai se....zongtrah, chakok, hmarcha te...oiiiii

Jerusha said...

Alej - You know what>? Why don't you come here and cook for me instead? :P We'll trade. You cook, I'll tell you stories :)

Unanu - hahahh Chawhmeh rem thrip threp tih hi dik chiah. Sawhchiar te hi a tui em hi, thil rem theih ani miah lo a..

Alejendro said...

LOL I phakar e mai.... tak takin ka la rawn zin ang.. ka kal tumna a rei tawh inkhua kha..but Bangalore ah kal hmasak phot ka ngai... :-) will be leavin' on 14th for Bangalore :-)

Jerusha said...

Alej - chutiang priority sang lo ltk te chu a, thawnthu sawi mood a va tha duh lo awm ve! :P

Alejendro said...

Aizawl ah ilo han chho dawk dawk a nih kha.... i awm silo a hmun dang a kal ka lo tum hman a lawm...

Zaia said...

Tui hmel hlawm lutuk.

A thupui hian Khuswant Singh min hriatchhuahtir zawk chu le! :D

Lucy In The Sky said...

Mizo chaw hi a lo tui ber mai.
Nikum Goa a kan kalin kan thriante ho thrian European ho hi an lo thleng ve a, Norway atrangin Zawngtrah an rawn keng treuh (kan thriante khan an lo ei tir thrin ni ngei tur a ni)a, "khawvelah mizo chaw a tui ber" an tia, dinner ei tur a an chhuah te hian Bekang rep leh hmarcha an pai thrin. An uar tawp maw le.

Kei pawh Indian food hi chu ka ngaina lem lo. Hming hran hran an nei a a rim erawh a in ang vek!
Tamilian ho in bawngbawn phelphawk an chhum thrin erawh hi chu tui ka ti.

ku2 said...

ui, riltam lai takin ka hmu, eichak... mahse food "design" deuh hi chu, ka hlau, ei a inthlahrunawm duh, fork leh spoon leh chemte leh thildang neuh2 hman ngai chi phei hi chu a.
Kut ngeiin ei duai2 ila, huis, chawthring kan bar lawks teh ang :D

Jerusha said...

Zaia - Engatinge Khushwant Singh? Tiang lam hi a ziak ami? (hre lo hah)

Luce - hahah Norway ho chu an va mak ve! Scandinavian ho hrim hrim hi ei ah chuan thil mak deuh deuh ei an ching ve bawk a an ti thei phian.
Mizo food zindabad tiro! :)

Jerusha said...

Kus - nia Unreal i sawi ang deuh khian, chawhmeh in rem thip thep re re itawm a awm lo, hnawk nuaih rawh se a tih khi Mizo style chuan a dik ber alawm! Fork leh spoon chu la zia lawm, restaurant Zwng zawng ami in cho[pstick an hmang vek a, mahni chiah fork dil ngai nih chu nuam lo ve deuh hlek!

Chawthing bar tui le!

sawmpuia said...

OMG FOOD............. i am a menu, i'm a cook and i'm a fun :-) Try me...siamchop restaurant CU..Peihchangchangly...The Mizo way :-)

Pork.....beef...saum..chingal....bai... insual mai ang u..... Mizo dish is the best..

Sekibuhchhuak said...

A van tui hmel bawn tuar hlawm ve! American bf te hi a heavy thei a sin aw!

keimah said...

Khai a, Jerusha! You seem to be really 'romancing' the food! :) Ka ril i ti tam!

Jerusha said...

Boss te ho in zavaiin tikhan chaw ei ah ka sawm nghal vek a che u! In rawn ei chuan helai lem a mi in duh ang apiang hi ni mai - zawngtah leh chakawk leh chow tih loh :P

illusionaire said...

Not a very good post to read while I am on a diet... :D

awmi said...

Mate, long telh ve hram la, thlum viau mahse... chhangban kan thar leh long....

nancy said...

tui hmel hlawm eee.... keipoh eitur thlalak lakkhawm hi nuam ka ti

Jerusha said...

Kim - it's the perfect time to look at these pictures for you! When you can't feast with your stomach, at least feast with your eyes :)

Awm - long chu thlalak ka nei lo hlauh alawm le, khi chhangban kan chu a awm ve khi. Long thlalak min ron thon la kan dah leh dawn nia.

Nancy - I thlalak ho ron show ve rawh. En pawh hi ka phur teh mai nia.