Some of the ironies in life can be best explained in terms of food, dont you think so? I happened to read an article recently about how Mumbai has developed a mania for Sunday brunch. It seems people are spending around $ 40-80 per person for a Sunday brunch! According to the magazine this trend reflects rising numbers of wealthy people. Well it is said about Mumbai that you can live there with 5 rs per day or 50 K, rs per day. The magazine further goes on to say that this idea of brunch is unimaginable for the millions of Mumbaikars who live below the poverty line.
Well, what got me interested was the ending of the article. Inspite of this so called “Sunday brunch mania” , hotels admitted losing money on those brunches. Here's the irony, for the rich, the problem is their waistline! Those who can afford, can't eat and those who can eat, can't afford!
Coming to think of it, the star of our dish “kappa” also has a shade of irony attached to it. Kappa (tapioca) used to be considered as poor man's food. It was a good starchy substitute for rice for those who cant afford rice. But over a period of time, it got transformed from poor man's staple to an exotic dish. There is a star hotel in Cochin, which has a party hall with thatched roof outside the main building. I'm not sure whether it's still there. I remember seeing this hotel's advertisements in newspapers during my school/college days. They used to have “Thattukada (street food) food festival” in this party hall. Now when I look back, I can see the irony in it. People are paying exorbitant prices to eat poor man's food in a thatched roof hall!
Talking about ironies in life, the biggest irony for me is… I'm not a foodie in the true sense of the word and I've been running a food blog for 7 years! There are days in which my mind keeps wandering and I feel like floating in the ocean without knowing where I'm heading. On such days I'd like to have some comfort food, just to anchor my thoughts somewhere, while I put together the pieces. Kappa and Fish curry, is a kind of food that soothes me. May be because it helps me to feel connected to my roots again, when I'm confused about my identity.
I like my kappa vevichathu to have a smooth almost buttery like texture, with an extra crunch added by the coconut. Not to mention the fiery red fish curry on the side to balance the whole dish :)
Magazine Data from The Economist (July 6th – July 12th 2013)