Posted in Daily post

Pining for Spicy Penang Laksa

penang laksa

Cough and sniffles…  head pounds… throat’s on fire

My mind wonders what can I? what can I?  …

I could kill for some Penang Laksa.  It is simply, spice in a bowl.

Laksa – which is available in Australia or for that matter in most western countries would be modified to the local “white” pallet.  Laksa is usually coconut milk based. Which makes it to be rather creamy and rich.

But the Penang Laksa holds it’s own, because it is so different to the rest.  It is tamarind based. (Tamarind is a tree that produces pods, these pods when ripened are then used in many Asian cooking, it adds a sourness to the dish)

The soup itself is not as thick as other Laksa’s but it is loaded with so much spice and flavours that it will definitely clear my nose, my sinuses and  definitely numb my throat. And to use a regular cliche’ ” it will blow your mind”. I haven’t had this laksa since my last visit to Penang about 4-5 years ago.  But the memory of the taste is well embedded.

When leaving Penang, passing time chatting to some locals on the plane, I mentioned my love for this spice bowl.  As per them the broth is started with gently tossing a few anchovies in hot oil, then gradually all the other ingredients eg ginger or galangal go in. I am looking through online recipes and there is no mention of the anchovies.  But, I guess with any of the traditional food, each grandma from each region will have their own method of cooking the dish.

Along with the super spicy broth, there is also noodles and meat or seafood.   It will be topped with more fresh chillies, spring onion etc.  This is definitely worth adding onto your bucket list of things to try.

If I didn’t pay any taxes, I could probably afford to fly over to Penang right now, maybe even on a private jet to get my Spicy Penang Laksa.

If I didn’t pay any taxes, maybe I wouldn’t be contributing to a stupid vote on whether same sex couples could get married or not.  Food for thought.

Daily word Prompt: Spicy

https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/spicy/

 

 

Posted in travel

Destination Goa (final)

Goa beach

Four am start.  Jan and I hardly had any sleep.  We were planning on a early night as we thought we need it for our 4 am start.  Didn’t exactly stick to our adult like responsible decision.  One more night of being back to our teenage days.  We weren’t exactly throwing up into the toilet bowl.  Just more chatting and reminiscing our past, the last couple of days and making promises for the future.  Relationships, Kids, loss, survival…. both of us in our own ways have been through a lot.  We are like two weeds that stood stubbornly through the storm and now looking a lot lusher.  We did bend, we did mellow, but we refused to wither.  I guess, neither of had a choice.

I so wish she lived next door and not in the opposite hemisphere. Every time I needed a hug she would have come running to me and every time she needed that hug I would have happily run over to her. But I think my hubby is relieved that there is a reprieve on the credit card and shopping. I treasure these holidays.  It’s truly a blessing that I can meet up with her once in awhile. Even though there are many days and weeks and years in between, thank god to Whatsapp and Skype, it makes it bearable.

Our bags gets rolled out at 4.00am.  We stood at the middle of the airport hugging and hanging on to our tears within our eyelids, interrupting and maybe blocking the other rushing passengers.  One big heave and then we headed back to our mundane travel procedures.

Getting through security took a lot longer than in Australia.  However, it wasn’t chaotic like it was in Chennai a few years ago.  I had about an hour or so before boarding.  For a small city, the airport was pretty good.  Very clean toilets.  Yes, this was in India.

Some Murals that caught my eye

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An hour went quickly with a bit of writing and taking pictures.  Next an uneventful flight to Mumbai.  Plane was clean and service was better than Jet star.

I had a long stop over at Mumbai before my next flight to Singapore.  After my stay at Niranta transit hotel on my way over I had decided I wanted to go back there again and get a room for a few hours.  This would give me a chance to meet that young man who helped me so much last time as well.  Unfortunately they were fully booked.  And that young man was not on duty that day either.  But, the young lady at the counter was still very sweet.  She asked me to stay in their lounge area, instead going back to the main airport area.  She even offered me a bottle of water and the ever useful wifi password. At this stage I had not spent a dime with them.  I was astounded by their empathy which went over and beyond the call of customer service.  I had breakfast with them, and left a small token of thank you in an envelope and left with plenty of time for check in etc.

I thought my bubble on perfect trip was going to unravel when the guy at the counter said my visa has expired.  I knew it hadn’t, I had checked and rechecked, so with a stern and irritated voice I replied “no it isn’t”.  On checking with another officer (lady officer) he realised he needed to have a “mummy look”.

This time around I had more time look around the airport.  Rather a big, classy, clean airport.  Yes, it’s in India and it’s clean.

This was a mural by the side of the travelator.  What a great welcome as you get off the plane.

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More quirky cafe’s and art work.

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As usual I was rushing with something and I think it was my bag zipper made a cut on my finger.  Nothing major, but the darn thing was bleeding.  So I got to the toilet and kept my finger under the tap trying to stop the bleeding.  But no joy.  The cleaning lady saw this and came to my aid, she couldn’t speak English and I couldn’t understand her.

Language didn’t matter, the beauty of humanity expands past language barriers.  

She got me a band aid from the first aid kit.  She didn’t know or didn’t care that she probably should be wearing gloves when dealing with blood.  I thanked her in English and went rummaging in my hand bag to get some money.  She held my hand and shook her head saying words, I think that meant “no, no need” and she left.

Yes, this was India.

How wrong was I to pass judgement, that India was going to be dirty and crawling with cheating, thieving vermin’s.  Am I a racist who was hiding behind past experiences as an excuse? I am not going to say entire India going to be this rosy.  Jury is still out of Chennai for me.  I hear Delhi is no paradise either.  But, lesson learnt is that there is going to be good and bad places every where, there is going to be good and bad people every where.  If you aren’t willing to give that destination a chance, you will never know and never experience and that would be a damn shame.

It’s a red hot yes to Goa and maybe even to rest of India.