Stepping back to February of 2011 takes me to Kerala, a southwestern state of India. This was perhaps the first time where I visited a country without ever having tried its food previously. It didn’t take long for the masala dosa (an Indian crepe – paper thin and crispy, wrapped around a piping hot potato filling along with various spices it becomes heavenly) to win my allegiance for breakfast. As for lunch only the sadya would do, where plump Keralan red rice is blended with dhal along with a variety of curries, pickled sides and papadum served on a banana leaf. It is dishes like these that can almost entice me to become vegetarian. Almost.
Unfortunately I will not share photos of the dishes I mentioned simply for the fact that it does not do it justice. Instead of sharing images of a soupy mess (photographing curry was not my strong suit) I present to you some of Kerala’s specialties:
I left Kerala with an armful of spices & coconut oil (a staple of keralan cooking) along with a resolve to put them to use. Though most of the bounty from that trip is long gone I did make it a habit to stock up on coconut oil for all of my curry cooking needs. More recently, I tried my hand at making a Keralan Potato Curry with a wonderful recipe from How to be a Gourmand. I substituted sunflower oil with coconut oil and served the curry with coconut basmati rice, all in all it was enough to take me back to my two weeks spent in Kerala.