Monthly Archives: January 2012

A Boring Palate: What I’m Eating In Chennai Part 1

Monday: Satay chicken on rice with a paratha. I actually added
a sachet of “oregano spice mix” to this which contains chilli.
And it was good. I survived.
I love Indian food. Ok, that’s not strictly true. I like the stuff you get at Indian restaurants in Australia and New Zealand. Even then, I get the same kind of stuff; the mild stuff. Chicken Korma, Mango Chicken or Butter Chicken if the first two aren’t available and garlic naan. Always garlic naan.
I have never had an adventurous palate. My taste buds are direct descendants from Ireland and love things like mashed potato and stew. The most adventurous I get with my seasoning is to add a bit of sweet chilli sauce every now and then. But usually a bit of cracked pepper or some garlic and herbs are about as season-y as I like things.  My cooking has been described as bland on more than one occasion. I have never professed to be a foodie.

Chennai, by comparison, likes it’s food hot and spicy. Chilli is it’s favourite spice and you can find chilli in almost everything. If it isn’t in the food, it’s offered as a condiment in the form of chilli flakes. Burny hot hot.

So, I have found food to be a bit challenging here. I have tried a few things and promptly added them to the list of things I don’t like. I have found some delicious things too, and once that list is longer than two items, I will share it with you.
So, what am I eating? I have been shopping and found some blandness, so I’m surviving. Why is this a “Part 1” post? Because I hope that next time I write about what I’m eating for dinner, it will be a bit more interesting and a bit less beige. Here is a weeks worth of evening meals in photos.:

Tuesday: Popcorn and non-alcoholic red wine.
It was a long day, I didn’t want to cook a meal for myself.
If you are wondering why I’m drinking
wine sans-alcohol. Read this.
The glass pictured comes from a bottle costing $7

Wednesday: Pasta spirals with corn and tuna.
Thursday: Here is a photo of a coke can that
is on a lean. This is quite common here. Also, I
can’t remember what I had on Thursday but it
clearly wasn’t anything worth photographing.
Friday: Maggi Mushroom soup (from a packet) with
dinner rolls and cream cheese.

Saturday: Husband is home and cooks for everyone.
Chicken with oregano spice mix, macaroni cheese and

Sunday: We order in from the hotel restaurant.
Lemongrass Chicken Satay Sticks with peanut sauce.
I eat the lettuce but give hubby that rice thing.
That rice thing is on the list of things I don’t like.


Dear Millar: Three Years, Ten Months


We’ve been in India for almost a month now. Some days you love it, other days you hate it.
You’re not too keen on people speaking other languages, especially Handy Manny and Mickey Mouse on TV.

You are at a challenging age right now: Defiant, argumentative, stubborn, energetic, questioning, exhausting. You drive me and your Dad crazy sometimes.
But my favourite time of the day with you is when Xanthe is in bed and you and me have some time together. This is not challenging at all. I love this time. I’ve taught you a few card games and you love to play “go fish” but you call it “goldfish”.

Tonight after cards, we made videos on my phone. You love watching yourself on video. You crack yourself up. I love hearing you laugh.

I love you



Pongal Photos

I wrote about Pongal a couple of weeks ago, and I had hoped to get some good photos, but I didn’t get to see much. Here are the few photos I got during the Pongal weekend.
Kolam at a shopping centre in Chennai.

Pongal scene in a shopping centre.

Pongal decoration outside the restaurant in our hotel
Not my photo. I didn’t see any cows on Mattu Pongal
so, I had to borrow this photo from flickr.
Thanks to Kara Newhouse

 I’m a crap tourist. I will try to take more photos of the next thing that goes on here. Which is today, India’s Republic day. Same day as Australia day. The internet tells me there will be a parade.. hope so.