The puttu here is made of mung beans and jaggery. When beans are used in halvas such as this, the texture remains slightly grainy but it makes a satisfying post-work-out dessert. I find it fun that the puttu was molded in the cups that they serve coffee in!
Pondicherry, Tamil Nadu, India
Sweet and savory crispy crepes with sticky marshmallows merengue and coconut / extruded duck egg yolks or hotdogs and chili sauce
Kanom Buang Thai
Suan Plu, Bangkok, Thailand
Kanom Krok is a rice and coconut pancake. It cooks in a concave griddle where the bottom crisps up and the middle stays soft and gooey. This is a pancake of textural gradient… and it is delicious! Rice and coconut simiplicity!
South Silom, Bangkok, Thailand
Sticky rice with coconut milk and mangos with a crispy mung bean garnish
An immediate comfort food that has you reminiscing childhood memories you never had!
Sukhumvit 38, Bangkok, Thailand
My father adores these things. It was a ritual for him for the longest time to solve the Cumhuriyet Sunday crossword puzzle, with a palmier, and a cup of tea on Kınalı Island in Istanbul.
Only years later did I come to enjoy the flaky layers of dough, the varying degrees of caramelization, the crunchiness, and the noise that just fills your head and stops everything else around you once you bite into them!
Baker Street, Pondicherry, Tamil Nadu
Here is a sampling from a Kerala bakeshop — Sweet and savory, Western and Indian…
In India, every little unassuming ball bursts with flavor as soon as you bite into it!
This one is a sweet ball of rice flour stuffed with cardamom powder, jaggery (unrefined sugarcane sugar), and freshly grated coconut.
Paan! Who knew tobacco could do such things!
Cured tobacco further flavored by rubbing in a plastic pocket with cardamom, cloves and areca nut; bound with katha; wrapped in betel leaves with fresh ground coconut; rested on ice prior to consumption; topped with mango and rose flavored sugar crystals. Wow!
Here is the dictionary for some important components:
- Areca nut: A nut commonly consumed with tobacco and betel leaves.
- Betel leaves: These have a peppery taste with mild camphory undertones that bring across a piny freshness. Together betel and areca nut act as a stimulant.
- Katha: A paste extracted from a species of acacia tree with pleasantly pungent flavor. Looks a little like mud.
Ok — I think I’ll be having one of these with or without my morning coffee every day now.