The Cottage Smallholder

stumbling self sufficiency in a small space

Danny’s spicy return

Indian chutneyDanny returned from a week in Bangalore with a suitcase bulging with spices and the remnants of a tan. It was his first visit to India
“I relaxed on Sunday on the balcony and even though it was overcast I got burnt. I was pink for the rest of the week.”

I experienced this once. If you spend most of your time indoors it can happen so easily. You are not used to exposing yourself to sun and you don’t think to pack the factor 30. Cloudy skies can be lethal. The UV rays still penetrate through the clouds. The burns can be horrendous.

Six days later his bright pink face looked exhausted as he slumped into the passenger seat after 19 hours door to door travelling.

But he was excited as he laid his bounty on the kitchen table. First was a bulging bag of spices including some I had never heard of before.
“Sudheer looked after me really well and he drove me to the supermarket where we found these.”

D lifted another exciting bag, packed with bags of spicy snacks. The Bombay Mix that we buy here in the UK is not half as good as the real thing from India
“PhaniRaja sent you these snacks. He was my food consultant! He also organised an evening out at the South Indies restaurant that was the highlight of my trip and he insisted that I got a lift home on the back of Ram’s motorbike! Great fun.”
He passed me a small box that contained an adorable jar of ginger walnut chutney, presented by the restaurant owner. Delicious chutney and even better, the recipe printed on a small card as we now have the authentic Indian spices.

So D is home and full of stories about his amazing week in India. He was very impressed by the hospitality and generosity of the people. He mentioned a dozen names but I cannot remember all of them. It sounds like his colleagues gave him a great time, taking him out every evening to taste Indian food.
“It was mostly vegetarian and it was delicious,” chatted my companion carnivore.

He loved the cultural differences and the climate. No wonder he can’t wait to go back again. He has not mentioned taking me along on his next trip but I have six months to work on him.

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  1. My son lives in Bangalore, working for a UK bank. I envy your husbands┬┤ visit and your bulging spice cabinet ­čśÇ I love India – amazing country.

  2. Spend that six months working hard, Fi! We had a wonderful time with Zaz’s family when we went to India – especially considering we were all a little apprehensive about taking the kids to stay in a tropical climate with people we’d never met! Best time we’ve ever had: lovely people, wonderful food, so many sights/sounds/smells – unforgettable. And – when and if your hard work pays off and you go – bring me back a recipe for butter naan – Indian takeaways look at me blankly when I ask – and Sophia and I gorged ourselves on them when we were in Chennai… and in Pune… and in Agra… and in Delhi…

  3. No – I am the greenest (especially as I have the forum name Green Rosie!!)

    (Green) Rosie x

  4. I’m even greener than Belinda. Could kill a curry right now.

  5. Im a little green… have fun with your new ingredients

  6. Lucky you to have all these goodies to play with now!

  7. The opening of suitcases after a trip is a real ritual in our family, starting in our childhood when my gran and the aunties would come and stay. They lived abroad and couldn’t visit often so inevitably the bags contained gifts for little people. When we were very little there was also the Christmas parcel which could arrive any time between Christmas and Easter, wrapped in tar paper, containing all manner of gifts ranging from complete tat to exquisite hand made tatting, crochet and embroidery. Nothing was individually wrapped so everyone waited with baited breath to find the scraps of paper to see who’s name was pinned or sewed to each item. Even now if someone has been away we like to be around when they get back just in case there are surprises in the bags.

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