“And now, guys, we’ll be passing a wind farm – look out for it on the right” – announces husband as we drive down the eastern coastal road towards Kanyakumari from Tuticorin. Shocked silence from the backseat as my five-year old digests this information.
“Appa, they actually have farms that make WIND???! Won’t it stink??” finally squeaks Kanch, thinking this farmer who grows wind must be a guy worth meeting – after all, she’s been told umpteen times that it’s rude to even crack jokes about stuff like this and here’s an adult (presumably) who’s allowed to produce the stuff by… what? the sackful – for all she knows – WOW!!
The final sight of and explanations about windmills are a sad let-down for someone who’s been expecting something far more exotic!
Her remark passes into family lore as we nearly have an accident from the resulting laughter!
This was a memorable trip in more ways than one. We finally reach Kanyakumari after much sightseeing along the way. I notice vaguely that Kanch seems a little more hyper than usual but put it down to enforced confinement in the car. As we walk towards the beach from our hotel, it is apparent that she is growing more and more nervous. When we finally reach the sea, she hangs back – quite unusually for a kid who has grown up in Madras and loving the sea. Refuses to put her toes in the water.
“What’s wrong, Kanch?”
“Amma, we’ve reached the end of India, no? What if we fall off over the edge and drown?”
More explanations follow – about the earth and it’s curvature and so on… but out of the mouths of babes…
We do very often fall off the India map in the kitchen, though! There’s only so many days that one can stomach any one kind of cuisine for our spoiled-for-choice urban palates!
Here’s yesterday’s dinner – adapted from a recipe from another food group…
PASTRY-LESS QUICHE (LOW FAT) (serves 5 or 6)
- Boiled, mashed potatoes – 6 (about 3/4 kg)
- Spring onions (shallots) – both onion and greens chopped – 1 cup
- Broccoli – thinly sliced – 1 cup
- Capsicum – sliced – 1 cup
- Green chili – minced – 1
- Paneer (cottage cheese) – cut into small 2 mm cubes – 200 gm
- Onions – sliced – 1 large
- Butter – 1 tsp
- Olive oil – 1 tsp
- Milk – 2 1/2 cups
- Eggs – 3
- Grated cheddar – 1/2 cup
- Nutmeg – 1/2 tsp
- Dill – 1 large pinch
- Italian herbs – 1/2 tsp
Mash the potatoes togther with the olive oil, 1/2 cup milk, salt, pepper and dill and spread at the base of a large flan dish or any baking tray – to a thickness of about 1/2 cm. Bake for 15 minutes on 220 C.
Saute the green chili, onions, spring onions, capsicums and broccoli in 1 tsp butter. Add the paneer pieces and salt. Spread this over the top of the potato layer.
Beat the eggs, milk, cheese, salt, nutmeg, pepper and herbs well. Pour over the vegetables.
Return to oven and bake for a further 35-40 minutes at 220 C till set in the middle and golden on top.
It’s a surprisingly light but filling dish and you only have to fall off the culinary map of India!