C’est mon dix aliments preferes!
And disclaimer – there are photos from my Instagram included in this post. I hope you are not done with your meal yet 😉
1 – First off, I love my Coffee. Not any coffee, but proper filter coffee that my mom makes. I mean one can brew it with Bru instant, but it doesn’t come close to that particular emotion that a good filter coffee invokes. And you cannot find the same thing anywhere else, but in here in Tamil Nadu. Also, there is nothing like mummy’s coffee, in my cup to begin my day!
2 – Breakfast. I love breakfast foods. Being a south Indian means idli or dosa for breakfast most days, which I am okay with. Idli or dosa with sambhar or chutney works fine, sometimes mummy goes an extra mile with her ‘chinna vengaya (shallot) sambhar’ or a chicken curry. Those days breakfast becomes a very elevated experience. Sundays are favourites though. Toast, grilled veggies etc. I could have breakfast for every meal if I could. I have had cereal, oatmeal, pongal and even mallu staples, the heavy guns of puttu, aapam, even adai at times. The only complaint I have against such a breakfast is the lack of veggies.
3 – Vegetables! I love my vegetables; the more the merrier. Be it beans, spinach or yam and potatoes I love most of them. I think every vegetable needs to be cooked a certain way – like chow chow(chayote) kootu rocks, but a chow chow poriyal is rubbish. My favourite vegetables are okra, bitter gourd, beetroot, and most greens vegetables.
4 – Biryani! Come on, who doesn’t love a good biryani. I love a good chicken biryani. Both my parents are from the Kannur-Telicherry belt. And famous there is the thalassery biryani. But I think it is rice and some gravy; not biryani. Here is Chennai you get a lot of different types of it. The proper Tamil style is awesome, and the dum biryani is a world-class dish. Then there is the Mughlai style of it, which is drool-worthy. And the Hyderabad biryani is a spicy variant and it takes an iron stomach to deal with one. Then there is the recipe that varies from home to home. My mom does make a great biryani, it is her own version of the food, but there is nothing to complain about. The biryani is a celebratory food, and one must have a celebration every now and then.
5 – Jackfruit. That one oblong thing serves up so much variety. I know some people whose noses are personally offended by the smell, but I do not care. Ripe, raw, or anywhere in between, the jackfruit can be dished up in many ways. My grandmother knows what I think are a zillion recipes with them. I just binge on them.
6 – Chicken. This is a protein that can be made a thousand ways. However, not everyone makes a good chicken dish. Sometimes they tend to overcook it and it really becomes chewy & rubbery. There are very few restaurants and people who get it right. Between my mom, my sister and me, I make it best. Chicken needs to soft, tender and juicy when cooked; if not there is no justice done to it.
7 – Rajma & Peas. These two can just be cooked and served to me, and I would eat them. Plain or in a curry or a sundal or a salad, I like them in all their avatars. But not mushed! I still got my teeth to chew, so that is a no-no!
8 – Chinese Food! This food is primarily take away. Thanks to Swiggy or eating out, Chinese food is always a favourite. I know there will always be people who go on about additives or health issues and all, but what is life without a little risk! I am not the sort of person who would dive off a cliff with a rope around my feet, so this is the manner of risk-taking I enjoy. I also like Thai food.
9 – Eggs. I cannot live without them. Scrambled, fried, sunny side up, poached… and then the curries that can be made… such a humble thing, yet so much variety!
10 – Fish. If fish doesn’t figure on a Malayalee favourite food list, then the list doesn’t make sense to me. I love, Love, LOVE fish!
And since it is close to lunch time for me, I am leaving you with a personal favourite dish, a tangy and hot sardine curry. Mathi molaysium.