Perfect meal at Auroville – Can I recreate it?

Scanning through the Borosil website, admiring the crockery – elegant, feminine and classy I was nostalgically reminisces of that perfect meal I had in Auroville and how I wish I could recreate that magical platter and serve it in such Borosil’s beautiful crockery.

In 2010, I was to Auroville to volunteer for Wellpaper, an NGO to help Tsunami hit women rebuild their lives and livelihood using recycled paper. During my stay in Auroville food was a surprise experience – FOOD that was simple yet so international.

I was amazed to see how Aurovillains have taken the concept of healthy and conscious eating to the highest notch.

My roomie and friend, Zara, a petite girl from Spain invited me for dinner. Around 5 pm she came breezing in her second-hand luna, which you can easily rent there and signalled me to hop on. Her English was just manageable so body language is what completed our conversations.

A short distance of 1 kilometre was covered in approximately 30 minutes owing to her bad driving and bumpy road. Frankly, we could have reached earlier if we walked. But time is not a concern when you are in Auroville. It is the experience which matters.

She took me to La Terrace, a restaurant above the famous solar kitchen. We took the winding stairs at the entrance. The roof top restaurant was splendid. Huge terrace, cool evening breeze that swayed the green plants placed in a particular pattern to allow natural air to cool the place. Dim lights and setting sun created a perfect ambience. People were casually sitting, chatting, reading books, playing music or just gazing out in blank. It was peaceful and perfect.

We sat on a table amidst trees and hanging lights overlooking the expanse of Auroville. We didn’t talk; we just sat  absorbing the peace and simple beauty of the place. Zara went up to the counter and placed the order. And within half an hour the food was served.

The Hibiscus Flower Mocktail

There was a slender glass with the edges coated in tiny brown crystals, filled with a pinkish-red juice, a fresh green mint leaf floating atop, half a wedge of lemon thinly sliced with a slight lip cut out and precariously placed on the edge. After admiring the beauty of the presentation, I picked up the glass and placed it under my nose to whiff in the aroma. It smelled so fresh, I took a sip of it and this amazingly refreshing sweet red syrup passing through the brown crystal edge gave it just the required zest and the mint leaf slightly brushing against the lips when you take the gulp wraps up the feel and flavour of this incredible drink. This was a hibiscus flower syrup made of nothing but fresh, organically home-grown hibiscus flowers. The glass edge was coated with a mixture of Himalayan salt (purest, unadulterated form of rock salt) and brown organic fine sugar crystals. When you sip the juice and it passes through the coated edge it adds a zest. I have had experimented with many cocktails and mocktails but something so delightful and simple is avant- garde.

The Meal

Next was a platter something like the one you see in contests like Masterchef. It was not just food; it was a piece of art. I couldn’t resist but take out my camera and click a few pictures.

A transparent rectangular white glass plate with a gold line around the edges gave it the royal and elegant touch.

Mashed Potatoes

A small serving of scumptious freshly mashed potatoes with a whiff of butter sat beautifully on one corner of the platter. The mashed potato was neatly stacked into a roundel; not an inch splattering here or there.

Stir Fried Vegetable Salad

Besides the mashed potato was stir fried vegetable salad. All the veggies cut in exactly equal shape and size. The colour of the veggies spoke volume of its freshness and superior quality. Green beans, red carrots, blood-red beetroot and light green zucchini; all of them par boiled to perfection and lightly tossed with lemon, garlic, sesames seeds, olive oil and salt. A few drops of olive oil that was poured on top slowly began to percolate down creating a small puddle around the veggies. It seemed as if these veggies are still hanging on a hypothetical tree and the first drops of rain have brought them alive. They were happily brimming with colours. It was divine.

Lemon Fish

At the centre of the platter was the highlight dish – the lemon fish seasoned with olive oil and fresh herbs. Two thin layers of fish were rolled in together resembling a dancing couple, staging a perfect cart-wheel. Light yellow and white colour played hide and seek. Glamour was added when the beads of olive oil was slowly dribbling off the fish made and a fresh twig of parsley sitting delicately on top of the dish resembled a pride crown. Fish was simply seductive and being a Bong I just fell in love! Fish was so succulent that is melted the moment it touched the tongue.

Freshly Baked Cheese Bread

Two pieces of freshly baked cheese bread were delicately placed slanting on one side of the fish. The bread was hot and fresh. The tantalizing aroma just got into my nose and I had to dig in.

Walnut-Banana Cake with Chocolate-Coffee Syrup

On a small side plate was a piece of walnut banana cake and a small kettle. It was so small that it couldn’t possibly have tea in it. Curiously, I peered into the kettle and voila’ it was chocolate –coffee sauce to be poured over the cake and devoured. The cake was heavenly.

Sinful gluttony!

How I wish I could recreate that perfect meal in my kitchen. I was imagining serving hibiscus flower mocktail in Borosil’s Endessa glasses and decorating the main course in English Summer Milano plates. The delectable cake in Borosil’s designer bowl set would have added panache to my dinner meal.

 

Well, someday with the help of an expert and motivation of state-of-art borosil glassware can bring my dream come true.

Yes, all food lover will agree with me that good crockery can actually motivate you to cook art and not just food.

This blog is a submission for a contest, My beautiful food, on Indiblogger hosted by the champions of crockery, Borosil.

 

We have heard a lot about dream travels and bucket list but what about dream food and food bucket list. Food that is an integral part of our lives, atleast three times a day and sometime more.

What are your thoughts on this?

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