The tastiest snacks sometimes come from the most questionable food joints. In Kanyakumari Marc and I ate dinner in a place that didn’t even have running water. The boss man sat on a little stool behind the tiny cooking area picking his teeth and blowing his nose through his bare fingers onto the floor, and when picking same said nose his fingers disappeared well past the first knuckle.
The masala (any saucy or topping food might be called masala) was in two giant, dented steel pots, one on the bare concrete floor that for all the dirt that was on it would have been better served to be the bare earth. Give it a chance to seep through. The plates were dented steel and covered with banana leaf beneath the food. The bright green was so fresh and smooth it gave everything a lovely “what the hell, this is awesome” feel. The masala was spicy enough to kill anything on contact, and the flakey/rubbery paratha was plopped onto our plates straight from the inch thick, three food diameter slab of black steel set over a steel drum fire.
Kerala parotha. Parota, Parrotta. By whatever name, it corresponds to Jamaica’s bust’up shirt style roti, and what it is is a delicious, super stringy flatbread. Kind of like roti meets a dense croissant. Dip it in the three to eight – or more! – sauces that come with it, or maybe just fresh yoghurt, or wrap it around some tandoor fish or spice crusted fried chicken. And eat with the hands, of course! Sometimes I have yellow under my fingertips for days straight from the lavish amounts of turmeric in the meals.