From time to time I come across a particularly special food item and I ask for the recipe. We were In Southern India at Spice Village Resort. We were amazed at the quality of the food there, of course all organically grown,fresh from the garden, and totally wholesome. The menus were inventive and presentation was beautiful. This is a small out of the way resort, so we had not expected great dining and we were pleasantly surprised!!we were up for an early morning hike and these cookies were piled on a large platter for fortification. Divine! Thanks to chef PJ Aneesh
WHOLE MEAL CHOCOLATE & COFFEE COOKIES
CREAM THE BUTTER & SUGAR .FOLD IN THE EGG TO IT.
MIX TOGETHER REMAINING ALL INGREDIENTS AND GENTLY MIX IT WITH THE BUTTER-SUGAR CREAM TO MAKE SMOOTH DOUGH.
TAKE AROUND 10 GRAMS OF MIX & PRESS IT BETWEEN THE PALMS TO GET A MEDALLION SHAPE.
PLACE IT ON A GREASED TRAY. REPEAT FOR THE ENTIRE DOUGH.
BAKE IT ON 160 C FOR 20-22 MINUTES.
REMOVE FROM OVEN & COOL IT ON WIRE RACK.
Marari Beach, Kerala. Marhta Gaughen and I went to mass a few days ago, at Marari beach. It was described as a Latin mass, the ceremony was comfortably Catholic but the language and music were Indian. All the ladies were dressed in their best and most colorful saris. Men were on one side and ladies were on the other. All sat on the floor I sat in the back and was struck by the beauty of all those covered heads in glourious colors. It looked like a field of multicolored flowers. The music was enchanting. Christianity was brought to India by ST. Thomas in 52AD. We saw his tomb and the Basilica built above it. Mylapore’s Basilica of San Thome is said to be the final resting place of St. Thomas the Apostle. Legend relays that St. Thomas, one of Jesus Christ’s 12 disciples, was martyred at St. Thomas’s Mount after spending his final years preaching the gospel on the nearby beach. The Basilica’s stain glass windows depict the saint’s life and deeds, and superbly carved wooden panels describe Christ’s final days.
We departed Cochin and I so sadly separated from my traveling buddies, Meg North, Martha Gaughen, Vicki Upchurch, Yeardley Williams, and Julie Lemish. I had an even better traveling buddy arriving, my husband, Gerry. Our first stop was to the Backwaters of Kerala on a houseboat! It was a delightful experience! The whole houseboat was just for us. We had a crew of 3 men, Shadib, Jacob( a wonderful cook) and Shadeesh. They welcomed us with Jasmine leis and a delicious fruit drink. We just took off our shoes and relaxed. I ordered wine, and they had a great red wine brand, Grover. We stopped along our way at a very old vilage, Champakluam. We visited an amazing Basilica, St. Mary’s and a Mass was going on. Again it was the most amazing experience. All the ladies were on one side in their colorful Saris and the men were on the other. A very moving service. They were all singing when we got there so I’m enclosing a video. The church was built in the 5th century by the Portugese. We then reboarded our houseboat and were served a most delicious dinner of vegetables, fish fillets, fresh, pineapple, Nan, and wine.
One of the main attractions of Chettinad is the huge country homes of the Chettiars. These ancestral houses, that were built more than 100 years ago, have massive high walled structures and were decorated with the finest of wood and craftsmanship. They are packed with imported period furniture, chandeliers, curios and paintings. The Chettinad museum, which is housed in an old converted house. It showcases the traditional jewellery, textiles, household implements and utensils, and all other unique lifestyle products of the Chettiyars. We checked into a beautiful country house hotel called Visalam.
We met pilgrims who walk 104 Kilometers to visit their temples. They were resting in the courtyard of the temple. Srirangam is famous for Sri Renganatha temple which is one of the 108 vaishnava temples and is called Earthy Heaven (Boologa vaikundam). Srirangam boasts an historic past rich in conquest and civilization which is very old and it is proved by carbon dating test and containing the most ancient, genuine and recognizable traces left by the aboriginal Indians.
I am assaulted with a riot of color in the the structures, cars, costumes and sari’s. The simplest worker on the road is colorful and elegant. There is a dignity and peacefulness with the people we meet. They are so happy to meet us- their smiles light up their faces.
Toby Sinclair, our illustrious leader, is a bottomless fount of information about Indian History. Toby tidbits: there is a connection with New England and Southern India. Ice was shipped from NE. It was packed in sawdust in the early 1700’s and was a huge industry. The ship took 6 months to get from new England to Madras. It was off loaded to an icehouse in Madras. There were icehouses in Calcutta and Bombay also. The ice came from “kettle ponds” in Massachusetts. Walden’s pond was one of the Kettle Ponds.