A Flavourful Love Affair

Posted on Posted in Cookie Crumbs

It was at a resto-bar here in Chennai a few years ago that I first tasted this unbelievably delicious dish which combined coconut milk with prawns.

Now, you must bear in mind that though I come from the land of coconuts and seafood, the only dish that I’ve had that combines the two is the well known (and criminally butchered around the world, might I add) recipe for Kerala Fish Moilee. And I’ve never been a huge fan of the curry simply because it’s a tricky recipe to manoeuvre, one that I myself haven’t mastered yet for a no-fail recipe. (Not that I’ve given up. I’m simply working up to it, you see.)


I also intensely dislike the flavour of cooked grated coconut in my food, and I dislike the flavour of coconut oil even more (unless it’s used in some very specific beef recipes). I cannot stand dehydrated and desiccated coconut. In my honest opinion, it’s an absolute disgrace to the flavours that the coconut has to offer. Unless I’m absolutely hard-pressed for time and availability, I would NEVER opt for dehydrated desiccated coconut. Coconut oil has always gone more on my unruly hair in my many attempts at taming it, than it has gone on my tongue. I simply cannot bear the mild flavour of it that manages to permeate everything it’s used with. However, Copra deep fried and added into meat and vegetable dishes (specifically when fried, not curried), I could munch on all day long.

One would assume that because I love all things food, I would also love all kinds of food.

One is wrong. Very, very wrong. I am an excruciatingly picky eater (well known to my family, having seen me live on nothing but curd and rice for lunch and chapathis and butter for dinner through the ages of 6 to 13).

I think it’s this pickiness that’s made me critical of bad food (usually that has generic flavour and texture) over good food that’s cooked well, with the right ingredients and fairly decent technique to draw out maximum flavour with optimal textures.

On the other side of the dish that started this post, I must let you know that I am pretty allergic to a lot of different kinds of seafood. Crab and lobster might kill me, prawns and smaller molluscs will give me severe diarrhoea and a maddeningly itchy rash while fish is my safest way to enjoy the delicious joys of the sea. I have frequently put myself in harm and agony’s way for my cravings to be satisfied. I am a glutton in this regard. And a shameless one at that.

With Valentine’s Day around the corner, it’s easy to disregard other forms of love for the regular romantic kind. So, this month I pledge my love to all kinds of love through food. Some will even have some aphrodisiacs to help you ace that perfect date.

I know, I know. The world’s a better place because I truly understand the broke, hungry, lazy and yet hopelessly romantic soul.


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