Over the summer I had the joy of going to Andalucia Spain to look after these two beauties. They are Pippin (the ginger one) and Luna. They have beautiful natures and were such good company. Whilst there each day I walked past a row of …
So as I promised via my instagram page here is the recipe for the soup and bread I made for my tea yesterday. Romanesco and almond soup with garlic missi roties.
First up The lovely Romanesco. Kind of a mix of broccoli and cauliflower and if you don’t have one a mix of thse two would work or just cauliflower would do fine. Technically it is a huge geometric flower bud and I was lucky enough to get one in my veg box from Riverford this week. My usual go to recipe would be cheese sauce and a jacket potato but I wanted something a little different this time.
Chop a medium onion and gently sweat it down. Chop your romanesco into small pieces and chuck in the pan stir around and cook for about five minutes. Grate on some fresh nutmeg and then add some water to cover.
Bring to the boil add a stock cube and then simmer for a few minutes until everything has softened. At this stage just blitz up until smooth taste and add salt and pepper as needed. Finally stir in a couple of spoons of ground almonds which will thicken up the soup (if it gets too thick just add some more water).
To make the flat bread put some gram flour in a bowl with salt and pepper and whatever flavour you fancy. I used a clove of garlic crushed into the mixture on this occassion. Mix together with water until you have a smooth dough.
Divide up into two or three blobs. It will be very sticky so you need lots of gram flour on a board to press each blob out into a round. Keep it quite thick so it is manageable to transfer to a hot plate or chapatti pan. Press out a little more as soon as it hits the pan and then leave until you can see that the mixture has begun to dry out. Then turn it over to cook off the top. Once cooked through smootheer with butter and fold in half to keep in a bit of the heat and the butter while you make the others. stack up on top of each other to keep them warm. Now serve yourself a bowl of soup with a few toasted almonds on top and enjoy!
Kathakali dance is a traditional dance from Kerala. Whilst in Fort Kochi I spent an evening at the Kerala Kathakali Centre which is the best place to experience this kind of storytelling dance. You arrive early to sit and watch the fascinating ritual of applying …
If you do visit Kochi there is plenty to keep you occupied for a few days. The Dhobi Khana Washing Collective is very interesting for a visit. You need to go earlier in the day if you want to meet any of the workers. They do a remarkable job all by hand starting at four in the morning! It provides work for many families who are proud of what they do.
If you get challenged to pick up an iron give it a go they are incredibly heavy. It makes one think of how easy in many ways we have it with our fast everything and easy availability of machines to help with everything. A day working here would be better than a work out at the gym!
After this trip you might be in need of some refreshments especially if its thirty something degrees and eighty percent humidity as it was when I visited. An ideal place to relax and maybe have a spot of lunch would be The Ginger House. As the name suggests all things ginger related are available here, plus lots more so if you don’t like ginger (why ever not?) it is still well worth a visit.
The uniqueness of the place comes from the fact that it is a museum as well as a restaurant. Everything you see in there is an antique of some sort and the space is packed with these interesting objects. It has a lovely calming garden with a fountain and views out over the river.
It can be found in Jew Town, Mattancheri an area of Kochi, not far from the The Paradesi Synagogue which is the oldest active synagogue in the Commonwealth of Nations, dating back to 1568 also worth popping into for a visit. The floor is very old Chinese blue and white tiles and the ceiling is full of beautiful crystal chandeliers. Photos are not allowed in here so you will have to make do with the outside only!
Following on from the previous post which mentioned the history of christianity in Fort Kochi I thought I’d share some images from the Indo-Portuguese Museum which has a range of artifacts from the sixteenth century onwards. The aim of the museum is to show the …
I started and ended my trip to the south of india in Kochi. I stayed in Fort Kochi which is right on the edge of the city and is actually an island. The main city seems to be much like any other big city in the world but in Fort Kochi you feel much more relaxed it’s quieter more laid back and just generally has a nice vibe about it. It is known as a place for art and hosts an international exhibition, the Kochi-Muziris Biennale, the biggest contemporary art festival in Asia. It finished at the end of March so I just missed it unfortunatley, next year maybe… Because of its influence there are remnants of street art everywhere you wander.
There is one particular house I came across which was painted from top to bottom and as I admired it people were passing by and taking multitudes of selfies next to it. The design is just full of fun and brings a smile to your face which is always good!
Fort Kochi seems to be predominantly christian which was a suprise to me. As we wandered around sunday morning all that could be heard was singing coming from a variety of churches. The buildings are very well kept and dominant amoungst the architecture of the place. The oldest churches are from Syrian roots and the communities trace themselves back to around the year 325 apparently. Since then the Portuguese, Dutch and British arrived and established churches the oldest of which is St Francis that was originally built in 1503.
The various colonial influences are very obvious in this old part of Kochi. Walking around I felt a mix of emotions being acutely aware of my european heritage and the horrific things that have been done all over the world often in the name of god. I loved the fact that there is a pride here that christianity was already present long before certain brands of it were foistered upon the communities by explorers from the european continent. But at the same time it makes me sad to imagine how these arogant explorers would have marched in and told the local communities they weren’t doing it right, well that was my imaginings anyway. I would be very interested to find out more about the facts of all this.
All this wandering and musing on the past works up a thurst and an appetite. Kashi Art Cafe is the perfect place to take the weight off your feet and relax for a while. As you walk in you see a white walled gallery space first with a regularly changing exhibition. On through from there you enter a lovely courtyard garden area which is very green and well looked after with plenty of tables and chairs for customers. They provide a good range of food and drink all pretty healthy stuff. There are various opptions for the gluten free traveller which is always a plus!
I had to have masala chai of course but I then really fancied trying an avocado and chocolate milkshake. You might very well pull a face at this idea but believe me it was very good! The avocado provides a really smooth, thick and silky texture and the chocolate provides the flavour if you didn’t know there was avocado in it I don’t think you would guess. Also on my recommended list is watermelon and feta salad which I actually make at home and is a delicious combination especially in hot weather. You can find the details for my recipe here… And finally a big plate of mixed fruit also a very good option when in India it all tastes so much better than the produce we get imported at home. Fort Kochi is a really lovely place to hang out I would have liked longer here, its the perfect place to unwind.