Plantain fritters definitely fall in my category of comfort foods. It brings back memories of those far and few train journeys of my childhood from our hometown on the Southeastern coast of India to my father’s village in Kerala, on the Southwestern coast. The monotony of the more than 30-hour train journey was broken as soon as we entered the lush green coastal landscape of Palghat – the first stop in Kerala. This is where you would hear cries of ‘pazham pori, pazham pori’ from vendors selling steaming hot plantain fritters wrapped in plaintain leaves. My father who otherwise was strict about not feeding us kids anything that was not home made, would give in to our sullen looks and we would all look on in anticipation as he purchased a few of those golden nuggets. Big chunks of plantain fritters and greasy palms were the one saving grace of that otherwise never ending journey!
I have always been intrigued by Mexican food. The same way that Indian food remains mysterious for many people just because it’s so diverse, I feel Mexican food is something that one can spend a lifetime studying. I consider myself lucky that we have the opportunity to try out different flavours of this colourful cuisine living in California. Of course, a lot of it is in no way a hundred percent authentic but if it gives me even a glimpse of what the real thing would be like, I am happy for now.
Last Sunday we visited the farmers’ market held weekly in Mountain View, a very short drive from where we are living at the moment. It’s one of the most popular farmers’ markets in the Bay area and with good reason. A wide range of fresh organic seasonal produce can be found here. There’s no way you’ll ever leave there without bags full of lovely vegetables and fruits. This time round, I picked up some freshly plucked purple kale along with some juicy large Californian oranges among other things.