Sunday, August 30, 2009

a breakfast to remember!

The yercaud express from Chennai, gently came to a halt at this tiny, non descript hamlet called sankaridurg, at 6.00 am sharp. Sankaridurg is located between salem and erode. And I disembarked with my paraphernalia, a collection of some instruments to be demonstrated at the nearby india cement plant. The moment I set foot on the platform this earthen fragrance of sankaridurg, overwhelmed me, rarely I have felt so fresh, so early in the morning!!!

It was a gentle, warm morning, the sun was already up, and jubiliant, first playing hide n seek with the well spread out fluffy white clouds, and then continuing its game with the palm leaves, as the caring rays descended on mother earth, to bring us the heavenly radiance! From the railway station, we headed straight for the guest house, of india cements, they had sent us a princely and majestic our very old desi ambassador.

Very soon, we were trundling along the curved 6 km path, towards the cement factory, passing thatched houses, swaying palms, and a few locals busy with their early morning chores, some of them just lazing around, something that they seemed to have been doing since ages. Sankaridurg is derived from the sankari mountain, which mutely stands guard on one extreme of the village, it also houses an old fort, hence the name “durg”! what fascinated me was a story that from the fort there Is a secret tunnel all the way upto mysore. How about exploring the tunnel, and maybe having a tube railway from erode to mysore? My mind continued to play around with such thoughts, and we soon reached the guest house.

We were welcomed by an attendant, and also some golden silence, to add to it, some pleasant sounding chirping from a few birds. Nature was so refreshing! After a relaxed hot water bath, we finally descended to the canteen, where a heavenly treat awaited us.

Within seconds of us taking our seats, a hefty guy dressed in the traditional knee length tucked-up lungi, and a flashing smile, came with a huge plate containing a couple of snow white ultra fluffy idlis, a bowl of steaming upma, laced lavishly with cashew pieces, 2 varieties of chutneys, and a bowl of hot sambaar! Also served was some mullagapudi, or powder chutney, with oil ofcourse. The idlis were awesome, at their softest best, and the steamy fermented aroma ticking the nose no ends, one of the best idlis I have ever had. I know aarti will make her usual faces the moment I mention soft idlis, more on that some other day. The upma was absolutely well done, delicious to taste, full of tomatoes, cashews, cubes of carrot, and contained urad dal fried to a perfect brown!

While we were about to finish the first helping, the same rotund gentleman served us a fairly big sized wada, fresh out of the frying pan, I could even feel the oil sizzle on the outer surface! The vada was at its crunchiest best, with a right proportion of coarsely grated fresh coconut, half ground pepper, and curry leaves. And next came the gastronomic delight. A plain dosa, soft in the centre, and brown and crisp on the periphery. Sambar was heavenly, full of drumsticks and raddish slices, which I relish a lot.

When I tell people about south Indian food, esp such quality meals and breakfasts at certain locations, a general reaction often is, “ whats the big deal” its just idli and dosa na….” what we had this morning was far far better, it was a heavenly serving of one of the finest cuisines in the world! This was not “just” idli n dosa, this was food, as served to the Gods! This breakfast was something which will stay with me for years! Do you know something? I am eager to get back to this canteen for lunch today, I expect another sublime experience!

i dont know why but after finishing the breakfast, my mind went to last nite, at the chenai railway station, to this youngish policewoman, at the "may i help you?" counter....... cute expressive eyes, a flashing million dollar smile, and dusky comlexion....after eschanging a few glances, for a brief period, we locked eyes........thats all......:)


IdleMind said...

I keep wondering which was the best - the yummy, delicious South Indian food or the cute policewoman who you locked eyes with!

Heavenly can be a small word to describe such dishes. I can smell the warmth and freshness thousand miles away from you!! Ummmmmmmm

vicious said...

just locked eyes????

was it a bfast 2 remember ?? or eyes to remember ..
good 2 read ur post after a long long tym ..
btw where did the last post vanish ???

Anonymous said...

and then continuing its game with the palm leaves, as the caring rays descended on mother earth, to bring us the heavenly radiance!

bahot hi khoob picture draw kiya hai aapne plesant morning ka..... i liked the second para of dis post... bahot hi mastttt likhha hai...

and south indian dish.. idli and dosa.. ma favourite..... mere subah ke breakfast me idli aur menduwada hi raha karta tha.... aur aa bhi wo breakfast hi achha lagta hai.....