At the Home, after the last bell rang and the kids clattered down the two or one flight of stairs, their Taylor Frame Slates & cane in place …(you should watch a blind kid run down stairs!) they served red rice with coconut chutney and bitter gourd fried. It was the tastiest thing I’ve ever had; how did they get the acrid rind to taste juicy soft delicious?
Marie Ann the French girl from Meghalaya, an Intern, she could not keep her fingers off the bowl. She put down her fork and knife and went at it with all her fingers.
It was marinated then fried in chillied seasoned curd, onion shreds stir fried with garlic. All this in turmeric seasoning, dried red chillie, rock salt… cook said. I’m sure there was coconut oil involved, and an amount of jaggery.
What I remember best about that moment there in the dining room with gourd delight, was the little silence around lunch and the relief of laughter later. Oh the sharing of recipes, from totally academic people who could not have touched much Cuisine in their life span. The interest shown here! Detailed love for forms of Gourd and its life: both as vegetation and as essential to human peace.
I love that about what good fellowship of food does to us Homosapiens, I especially love when one is surprised by unexpected flavors.