There seems to always be something or someone keeping me awake, be it day or night. If it’s not my neighbours making lots of noises then it’s something else. Last night it was barking dogs, this morning some annoying birds woke me up from my nap and later in the week it’ll be Diwali with all the firecrackers. I think Thursday is the main Diwali holiday. At least our landlord is Christian so I suppose they won’t be celebrating Diwali but who knows what the neighbours will be up to.
Thinking about where we lived last year, which was a very lovely but a pretty loud street, made me think about the time I woke up in the middle of the night to this odd sound. I don’t remember if I ever wrote about it last year. For a while I lay awake, wondering what on earth was going on as it sounded like someone was yelling or arguing. Finally I got up and went out on the balcony to see if I could see where the noise was coming from as sleeping was impossible. Right there on the street, just opposite our house, was a small gathering of people. A man lay on a mattress on the ground. He had passed away. The sound was of a woman, maybe his wife, crying loudly in the street. The people around her were neighbours and I suppose family and friends trying to console her. Some time later the crying stopped. The man had been moved away somewhere. Just something I came to think about. I remember thinking then that here everything comes so close upon you, life and death and everything in between. Much more so than what we are used to from back home. It’s in your face and it gets under your skin, like it or not. Sometimes it’s very easy to get offended by some things or to feel uncomfortable with the bluntness. But that’s the way things are here. Kind of refreshing really if you think about it.
Anyway, I kind of got off track there a little as I was really about to write about Anu’s cooking class that I joined today. Anu is this lovely woman who serves a lovely lunch at her house, but also smoothies and and other small stuff in the evenings. In additions she gives the occasional Indian cooking class. Today we learned how to make dosa (rice and ragi), the potato filling for masala dosa, tomato chutney, mint chutney and masala chai. For those of you who don’t know what a dosa is it is basically a thin crepe or pancake that is made from gluten-free flour (rice, ragi, chickpea, lentil) or soaked rice and lentils. Anu showed us how to make two kinds of dosa batters. Once the batter is made, either by mixing flour with water or by soaking rice and lentils in water and then blending them to make a smooth batter, the batter needs to be fermented, usually over-night. Only then is the batter ready to be used. So preparation takes some time.
Brown rice, parboiled rice, ragi flour, fenugreek seeds (bockhornsört), fenugreek flour and lentils for the dosa batters, ginger, garlic, herbs, chilis and spices for chutneys and potato stuffing.
Anu’s masala box with turmeric, chili, fennel seeds, cumin seeds, mustard seeds and something I can’t remember.
So much delicious food: dal, tomato chutney, mint chutney, upma (made from semolina), carrot salad and cucumber salad.
Now, doesn’t that look amazing?
P.S. I can definitely feel yesterdays led class in my body. Yes, every time I do something “new”, even if nothing really was new, just different from what I’ve been doing since being here, I feel it. But it’s fine, it’ll pass and the body will get used to this too. And a few sore muscles just shows that I’ve done something :)