And here we have our very own Rick Stein taking notes in the kitchen, the chef, in a fetching pink and white spotted apron, showing us how to make fish malabari and paneer maka walla (please note : spellings may not be totally correct!) Best of all we had these for dinner, sat outside on a candle lit terrace with 10 other companions. Other dishes we had were an auburgine masala, green bean curry, carrot and coconut salad, parathas and rice all washed down with kingfisher beer……or two. Our plan to loose weight is looking foolhardy.
Who knew pineapples grew in bushes? For some reason I thought they grew on trees, clearly they don’t! You get one pineapple in each bush and each bush lasts one year, these are prickly little things as well.
No photos for the next activity of the day, but I (Alison) had an ayuruvic massage. This is where you lie on a smooth, polished table top and 2 women pour loads of warmed sesame oil all over your body and they massage each side of you whilst you grab onto two handles in an attempt to stop sliding onto the floor in a massive oil slick. It was an interesting experience and I now smell like a chinese stir fry, delicious!
Lunch today was individual fish biriyanis, they were fabulous, tasty and full of fresh spices. Washed down with the pink water we have here which is water boiled with cinnamon and cardomen, refreshing.
Afternoon refreshment is coconut from the tree, freshly picked by men old enough to be my Dad and who are happy to shin 10m up a tree to get the fruit…….not sure my Dad would do that for us…..no offence meant Dad!!
Coffee beans growing in the garden, when they are red they are ripe and ready to send to roast in a local coffee bean roasting shop. If they are green they are underipe and black means they are overdone.
After the rush of the transfer, we were delighted and surprised to see our rucksacs. (One nil to Guy on carousel challenge) Even more pleased to see a man with a board which had Alison Roberts written on it. He drove us calmly with minimal horn honking at oncoming buses to our homestay where we were wonderfully greeted with jasmine flower garlands, coconut bindis and lime juice by our gracious hostess. Our bags were taken to our spotless room and we had time to relax before and amazing lunch of south Indian food on a banana leaf. The food was delicious, colourful, spiced and eaten very messily with the hand despite the offer of cutlery.
After lunch we were shown round the organic garden which we were both looking forward to. The tour was carried out by Tara, the daughter of the Homestay owner and was fascinating. She showed us black pepper, curry leaf, sweet potatoes, coffee, ginger, tumeric, all spice, clove, cardamon, vanilla, nutmeg, lemongrass, passion fruit, star fruit, cinnamon, bananas, pineapple, snakebeans and gourds. They also keep bees, chickens, turkey, goats, cows and water buffalo. Whilst on the tour, the kitchen chef was out collecting veg for tea and we would also have water buffalo yogurt with the evenings curry.