Last night I made Keralan Inspired Pork Curry and it made me think about our wonderful trip there in 2003. We Arrived in Cochin and stayed at The Malabar Hotel using it as our base to explore the town, the Chinese fishing nets, the Jewish Spice Quarter, Syrian Christian Churches, Kathkali dance and of course the beautiful food!
From there we embarked on a 3 day journey on a houseboat through the backwaters which was a fabulous way to get an insight into rural living in the state floating through the peaceful waterways and enjoying divinely prepared meals by the onboard chef/boat pusher. Our visit to Varkala saw us swimming in the Arabian Sea, experiencing Hindu temple rituals and relaxing at the nearby Taj hotel pool when it got too hot for the beach. Throughout the trip we learnt about the history of spice production, the importance of coconuts in every form. The memories of fresh seafood, vegetables and fragrant dishes redolent with local spices still makes my mouth water!
The influences of so many different cultures and religions from Portuguese, Syrian, Chinese …Muslim, Hindu, Jewish and Christian meld together to create a fascinating and rich heritage. I would love to visit again to see what it’s like now….17 years later!