Southern India

It’s about 755 AM here, men playing soccer on the field, a man cleaning up this living room, to the right is St. Francis church, the oldest in India, so I’m told, cocks crowing, crows squawking, and the view from this building, which once housed the Dutch East India Co, is blocked by trees.

This is a quiet village of many churchgoers, the occasional Muslim, and a Hindu past, with self definition apparently informed chiefly by religion.   Yesterday we waded through crowds of schoolboys who wore long, dark blue pants and light blue shirts and ties on recess from the church school.

At night we’d been invited to dinner at Malabar House.  A tasting menu followed: Tapioca and cumin fritters with mint chutney, roasted eggplants and tomatoes served with uppuma that had been flavored with mustard seeds, marinated and sesame crusted tuna, small meat balls cooked in coriander and served with pathiri, fish biriyani, and a dessert of vatteappam, which is carmelized fruit and accompanied by coconut sorbet.  Everything was very fresh and cooked from scratch with flavors varying from small tapas size dish to the next so that the deepness of taste could be appreciated.

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