Part Four: São José do Rio Prêto, Brazil
[1 2 3
4 5 6
7] Images below are thumbnails.
Click on them to see a larger version.
menu for this morning's class consisted of some of my favourites.
Avyakta, with the aid of his wife (who was translating), had spent
the evening before typing up the recipes in Portugese. The star
of the show was the ubiquitous pushpana rice. I say
ubiquitous not because it is a common dish - far from it - but because
I have been cooking it everywhere in South America.
rice is a delectable Mogul-inspired dish of saffron infused basmati
rice with a whole range of sweet and hot spices, plus a host of
nuts and dried fruit like cashews, almonds, raisins and sultanas.
Also appearing were gobi aloo bhaji, tender chunks
of potato and cauliflower fried in ghee and deluged in ginger, chili
and black pepper-infused sour cream. Absolutely decadent, but I
thought the sensual Brazilians could handle it. And they did! Only
a couple of students spoke a little English, but the universal language
of food and cooking transcended whatever linguistic shortcomings
got in our way.
shared the art of chapati making, and together we
kneaded the dough, rolled out little nuggets into beautifully thin
breads, and cooked them slowly in cast-iron pans, before finally
puffing them over naked flames and brushing them with butter while
they were still hot. We also cooked some spicy, flakey Malaysian
curry puffs, filled with peas, potatoes, sweet potatoes
and carrots, all diced very small, and a nose-tingling tomato
chutney - too hot to bear and too sweet to resist. A cooling
corn raita accompanied the meal, and for dessert,
more of those yummy strawberry malpouras. The local
strawberries were very large and very sweet, with lots of flavour
We also prepared a spicy tea - called masala chai
in Hindi - which Avyakta's wife translated as Cha Quente com
Condimentos. So melodic! The class
was small but enthusiastic, and everyone enjoyed the cultural experience,
and relished the lunch with gusto. To top-off the action-packed
day, some crew from the local Channel 7 TV network came and
interviewed me for their program Tudo Aqui (roughly
translated as 'everything is here'). We shared the food from
the class with all the crew, who waxed lyrical between voracious
bites. Tomorrow we will drive to São Paulo
for the next leg of our Brazilian adventure. But now it's time for
a little rest from all the action.
<< Previous page
Read the continuing story >>
<< Return to Travel Diary index page