Sour necessity

There has been a sharp spike in the daily count of COVID 19 cases in Bangalore. The IT hub of India hosts a large number of people from the neighbouring states and the newspapers on Sunday reported that the residents, anticipating another round of lockdown are fleeing the city; the inter-state borders are open and you need to get the necessary online approvals in place and you are good to go🚙💨. Work from home and online classes for the kids have virtually cut off the roots binding people to the city; now they are free to be anywhere as long as they have high speed internet. Why not make the most of it and head back to the native place ?

Maybe that’s just my reasoning, the newspapers reported that the families are leaving fearing the sudden rise of COVID 19 stats in Bangalore; they will be better of at the native place !? Sounds like a good time to make that road trip to Kochi. We missed the April-May school holiday trip to Kerala this time🌴.

As is the case with all Indians, visiting parents and native place includes a mandatory to do item; replenish my stock of native and home made ingredients indispensable in the daily cooking. I too have a list of food stuff that I restock every six months or during the yearly visits – home made fish pickle, jackfruit halwa, Kerala mixture, banana chips, fish tamarind (kudum puli or Malabar tamarind), sambar tamarind (valam puli), certain locally made spice powders etc.

In the middle, the almost empty glass jar of fish tamarind or kudam puli

Among the items listed above, I am running dangerously low on the fish tamarind. The tamarind is the pivotal ingredient in our fish curries and we eat fish almost daily. I inform my mom of my situation and she says she will courier some fish tamarind as soon as it is feasible. To me this seems a pressing enough reason to visit Kerala!?, I say. My folks advise that we avoid the travel, The situation is not congenial, they say.

Kochi too is now seeing a sharp increase in COVID 19 cases and the area where our flat is located has been blocked off as a containment area. So no luck going there right now. So what do we do about the tamarind situation? I have not yet used store bought ones and those who have have nothing good to say.

My mom has an idea; she suggests gooseberry as a substitute for one of the fish tamarind requisite dishes namely the Meen Peera (fish with grated coconut). I try it; works and tastes good. Gooseberry provides the sourness of the tamarind and unlike the tamarind, we can eat the gooseberry pieces in the Meen Peera.

Screenshot 2020-07-08 at 07.54.06
Meen peera – a dish of fish cooked with grated coconut. Gooseberry is used instead of fish tamarind for sourness.


So it’s home bound in July too in the company of kid’s online classes.

“I am playing PUBG after this.” announces the kid after the third class of the day. He has 4 subjects a day in his school’s online class timetable and conveniently last class is Counselling today. I don’t protest; he attended the last two classes on Counselling and moreover it’s not a core subject….so let him be, I rationalise. “Who are you playing with?” I ask.

“Classmates” he replies

“They are bunking too!?” I ask

“If it makes you feel better, consider it as an application of the Physics class. Laws of Motion; we are testing the angle of projection at which the gun has to be fired so as to hit a moving target.”‼️

Have a nice day💐.

Till next post, take care !!


5 Comments Add yours

  1. Beautiful post!! I love to read and research about Spices and homemade masalas😍😍😍
    First time heard about Fish tamarind 🤔🤔, how does it look??
    Also jackfruit halwa sounds delicious 😋😍


    1. Miles and smiles says:

      Thank you Shaheen.😀
      Fish tamarind maybe more popularly called Malabar tamarind or kudam puli (in Malayalam) is round, segmented and yellow when it is plucked from the tree or more conveniently picked up when it falls to the ground (but still in good condition). It is de-seeded and sun-dried first. Then it is further de-hydrated by suspending over over slow burning wood fire. It finally curls black and can last for years.
      Jackfruit halwa is super tasty, but the making is laborious, constant stirring.


      1. Thank you for replying dear👍😃


  2. ahhhhhhh, love how there’s tinge of science in almost every post! ♥️


    1. Miles and smiles says:

      Wasn’t intentional. Thank you.😀


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