Prawns and pumpkin in coconut milk

No special name, just a simple description, prawns and pumpkin in coconut milk. We’d tasted our ginger lime drink and finished our starter of grilled sardines at Fusion Bay and liked it. This dish sounded like the restaurant, no airs, a simple xeroxed menu in a plastic folder, but exquisite flavours. I wanted to risk it. The Family decided on a pollichathu, a fish slathered in spice, then wrapped in a banana leaf and steamed until the leaf turns brown. It was Christmas eve, and we had set a record of coffee at five different places, a large lunch, and now a dinner we’d looked forward to ever since early December when we called to book a table.

I’d held out for a while in spite of the wonderful reviews because of a little phrase: “no alcohol”. Now I was glad that I’d gone with The Family’s insistence. We shared all the dishes we ordered, and after working through half a pollichathu, I cleared my palate with my ginger drink and water, and asked for a new plate. I dug into the prawns. An explosion of freshness in my mouth, none of of the fiery Kerala spices. Why did I leave this so late? Amazed, I asked about the provenance of the dish. “Kochi”, I was told. “Ernakulam district?” I asked. “No, no. Kochi. The recipe is from the cook’s grandmother.” What could be more authentic! I was bursting, but this was food heaven. The Family refused to help, so I scraped up every bit of it, wishing that I’d had a little less of lunch.

By I. J. Khanewala

I travel on work. When that gets too tiring then I relax by travelling for holidays. The holidays are pretty hectic, so I need to unwind by getting back home. But that means work.


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