Good morning 🌤
Friday evening we had a visit once again from the Carnival Cakes & Breads people; they had a couple of new items on their menu this time – Focaccia bread, veg puffs, egg puffs and vada pav😘. The egg puffs were in demand and were over in the first thirty minutes of sale, the last two pieces were bought by the man just before me😏. The Focaccia bread was nice, very soft.
I bought choco croissants to have with tea next day morning😋; it was a treat before eating the frog. Eat the Frog is a concept by Brian Tracy, involves completing the most dreaded task of the day first. I have not read the book, but came to know about this concept in Nina Lekhi’s biography Bag It All. The idea is good; frees your mind, else all through the day you have to deal with the gnawing thought that the unpleasant task has to be dealt with.
As mundane as it sounds, the unpleasant task is grating coconuts🥥. It is a laborious process but coconut is so essential to cooking, it cannot be avoided. The coconuts are cracked open with a heavy machete we call an aruval. An experienced hand by mere sight can identify the area of the coconut where just one hack of the aruval can split open the coconut into two. Me on the other hand has to feel out several hacks around the coconut, before identifying the soft spot. Thwack, thwack….the continuous hacking noise wakes the kid from his slumber. “What are you doing? What’s all the noise. You will wake up the whole building.” says the kid coming to the kitchen to investigate.
“The whole building is already awake, it’s past 8:00🌤.” I reply.
“You are grating coconut !? That means we can have Appam😘.” announces the kid with a happy smile.
With the fresh stock of grated coconut, the first dish that comes to mind is Appam. Appam is our favourite breakfast; served ideally with chicken or mutton stew. Today we are having appam and mutta curry (egg curry). The batter for the appam has to be made the day before so a day’s notice is required if you are planning for appams.
I remember long ago I was in Bangalore staying with my uncle and aunt. It was a Sunday and post church we were returning back home. My aunt suggested that we stop at the appam place. “It’s run by a Malayalee.” she said
“On Sundays the shop will be very crowded.” announces my uncle. “He sells the appam maavu (appam batter) and not appams itself. He charges by the ladle. One ladle of batter can make one appam.” This was years before it became a norm to buy ready made batter from supermarkets. That was the first time I heard of such a thing, I guess it makes sense; the batter can be stored in the fridge for upto 3 days and you can make hot appams. If you bought the appams themselves, re-heating or even steaming them will not be as tasty.
Appam is a celebratory dish; every special occassion will begin with appam and stew or even fish molee. If nothing else, they can turn an ordinary day into a special one !!
Here’s wishing everyone a special day today 🌸.
Till next post, take care !!