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Did You Know People Eat This Too?

There are people who travel to eat and people who travel for adventure.

And then there are those who travel to eat adventurously.

Divya and Vivek are one such couple.

From using sign language to haggle over ant eggs in Bangkok to being hungry enough to eat a horse in Luxembourg, from finding out the perfect eel to barbecue to discovering the best place to source emu eggs in India, Dare Eat That explores their journey to eat every species on earth, at least once!

Here, we present to you six things you would have never thought people ate-

1. Top Snails

“Snails, like most other shellfish, have a silky earthiness that mimics the taste of the ocean. It was like eating a bean that came out of a tough pod. These snails also had a creamy texture from the coconut juice which resulted in something that tasted like the savoury version of salted caramel ice cream.”

2. Crocodile

“The crocodile was another work of art. The meat was laid out on the vine leaves, with samphire leaves on the side. The honey poached plums added a dash of colour to the plate. The crocodile tasted like chicken keema spiced with something that tasted like chaat masala. It appealed to Vivek’s Indian taste buds, reminding him of various Lucknowi keema dishes.”

3. Water Snake

”His favourite was the snake but it was quite tough and there was very little meat around the central vertebral column so he was left wanting more. It was like biting on a hard ear of corn to get the fleshy corn off the husk.”

4. Ant Eggs

“Wild ants make nests on trees in the jungles. The locals catch them by shaking the nests in such a way that the eggs fall into a basket that’s placed underneath to collect them. The gatherer of ant eggs has a job rivalling that of beekeepers—as he shakes the nests, he gets bitten by the angry ants. These ants are a very popular snack in Thailand and Laos and a major source of protein.”

5. Boat Noodles

“The traditional base for boat noodles is a stock that is made of herbs and spices, with a sweet and sour taste. The ingredients in the broth include galangal, ginger lemongrass, kaffir lime leaves, pepper, cinnamon, coriander, pickled bean curd and coagulated blood from the protein that is used. The blood adds thickness to the broth.”

6. Bird’s Nest Soup

“It looked like the translucent sweet corn soup, with pieces floating around it that was akin to the mango pulp in a milkshake. The thickness of the soup comes from corn starch that’s added into the stock. It’s gelatinous when mixed with water. Contrary to what you’d expect when you think of eating saliva, the soup tasted really good.”

Go on a different culinary journey altogether with Dare Eat That

Cooking Tales From the ‘Suriani Kitchen’

The lure of spices has drawn all to Kerala since time immemorial. The vibrant Syrian Christian community of Kerala brings together not just a rich history, but an equally delightful assortment of flavors and aromas with its amazing culinary secrets.
Lathika George’s The Suriani Kitchen gives us a glimpse into the fascinating kitchen of the Syrian Christians of Kerala with their unique stories of cooking and mouth-watering dishes.
Here are a few snippets from the book.




Can’t wait to find out more from this gastronomic heaven? Get your copy today!

Toddy Pancakes: A Gem from the Suriani Kitchen

The state of Kerala serves as a pandora’s box for culinary and gastronomically exquisite dishes. Since time immemorial, the spices of Kerala have drawn seafarers and traders to this state and the tradition has remained unchanged till date.
Drawing on this rich culinary heritage, Lathika George’s The Suriani Kitchen brings us unique recipes straight from the cookbooks of Syrian Christians.
Here’s a delicious sneak-peek into the book.
Toddy Pancakes
As the name implies, these appams get their name from kallu, the toddy that is traditionally used to prepare the batter. Yeast is substituted here, with good results. Kallappams are cooked on a griddle like thick pancakes. Serve these pancakes hot or cold with curries and stews.
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Grind the soaked rice with the 2 cups of water in a blender or food processor until it becomes a smooth batter. Add the coconut and cooked rice, and process for 2 more minutes.
Pour the batter into a deep bowl and add the sugar, salt, and yeast mixture. Set aside to rise in a warm place for an hour or longer. When ready, the mixture should be like a frothy cake batter.
Pour 3⁄4 cup of batter on a hot, lightly greased griddle, and cook the thick pancakes over medium heat for 1 minute on each side. Repeat until all the batter has been used, keeping the cooked pancakes warm.
Does your kitchen smell like heaven yet?
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5 Important Points of the Pioppi Diet

The Pioppi Diet allows red wine, chocolate and the most delicious Italian food and yet helps you to lose weight, de-stress and live a healthier and longer life.
Based on five years of research and drawing on over 100 studies on Pioppi, Dr Aseem Malhotra, a trained cardiologist, has created a plan which is designed to provide readers with the joy and wellbeing of a Mediterranean lifestyle by making small ‘marginal gains’ over a 21-day period.
Here are five key points of the pioppi diet that will help you lose weight and live a healthy lifestyle.
What Should You Eat?
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What Should You Avoid?
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How much meat should you consume?
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How much should you drink?
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When should you not eat?
Tell us how did you benefit from the Pioppi Diet.

The Beginnings of the Syrian Christian Kitchen in Kerala

Long before the time of Christ, spice merchants and travelers from around the world would visit Kerala. The important seaport of Muziris or Cranganore was populated with Greeks, Syrians, Jews, and Chinese traders who lived in harmony with the people of the region. It was on one of these trading vessels, plying between Alexandria and the Malabar Coast, that Saint Thomas the Apostle is believed to have arrived in Cranganore in AD 52. He began preaching the Gospel to the people of these areas, and eventually established churches in Cranganore, Paravoor, Palur, Kokkamangalam, Niranam, Malayatoor, and Nillackel. Among those early conversions were several Namboodiri Brahmin families, from whom many of the present-day Syrian Christians trace their roots.
As legend has it, the upper caste Brahmins of Palur were converted after a miracle, whereby Mar Thoma (Saint Thomas) suspended water in midair as a testimony of his faith. Most of these early Christians followed the ancient Eastern Nestorian faith and were known as Malabar Christians until the advent of a Syrian merchant—Thomas of Canaan—who arrived in Muziris with four hundred Syrians, including several priests and a bishop. The Syrians were welcomed by the local Malabar Christians as the countrymen of Jesus and Saint Thomas. The two communities eventually intermarried and merged to become Syrian Christians, now recognized as one of the oldest Christian communities in the world.
The present-day Syrian Christians of Kerala are also known as Nazaranis, the followers of Jesus of Nazareth, and though they are now divided broadly into four sects—the Knanaya Christians, Jacobites, Marthomites, and Syrian Catholics—they share many common religious and social practices, and intermarriage is not uncommon. Collectively they retain a distinct identity and remain independent from other Christians in India because of their unique lineage. Life is centered around their liturgy and the observance of days of fasting and abstinence. They follow old Syrian church rites, chanting their singsong Syriac liturgy. The saga of the St. Thomas Christians is narrated in their song and dance forms—Margam Kali (the way of St. Thomas) and the Rabban Pattu (the songs of Rabban).
Syrian Christians are identified by their family names which reflect the profession of a family elder, place of origin, or sometimes nothing but pure whimsy. My own family, a large Syrian Catholic clan from Kanjirapally, is called Pallivathukkal, meaning “at the church gate,” as many centuries earlier my ancestors had settled near a church in Nillackel. My husband’s family name, Thekkekunnel, means “south hill.” Thadikaren, another family name, means “bearded man,” and the poetic Myladi means “peacock dance.” First names are biblical, and customarily the firstborn is named after a paternal grandparent and the secondborn after a maternal grandparent. Thereafter, aunts, uncles, and saints lend their names to the newborns. The second name is taken from the child’s father, but a Joseph George, say, may be anonymous until, when paired with his family name, he can be immediately placed as Joseph, the son of George of the Pottenkulam family. Syrian Christian names are distinctive and a George may also be known as Varkey or Varghese; a Paul can be Peeli or Paulose; and an Abraham can be called Avira or Ittira. Similarly, the female Syrian Christian name Rachel may be Raahel; Elizabeth can be Aley or Elamma; and Bridget, the melodious Uschita.
Most prominent Syrian Christian families are close-knit and connected by an intricate web of marriages. I have vivid memories of my mother and sisters spending hours disentangling family connections, the links being the women who married into each family. With many of these large clans expanding into several hundred members, some families now hold periodic kudumbayogams, family get-togethers which allow members of the family to reconnect.
Christianity in India has long been synonymous with education and the Syrian Christians have made a significant contribution to this field, partly by means of their large number of clergy. Today they have evolved into a distinct, indigenous community of agriculturists, scholars, industrialists, and professionals. A large number have moved to other cities in India as well as to distant lands, and though erudite and cosmopolitan, they are still attached to the traditions and customs of their ancestors.
Described as “Hindu in culture, Christian in religion, and Syro-Oriental in worship,” Syrian Christians enjoy the status of a prosperous and socially prominent community.
Sautéed Squid
Koonthal Varathathu
Squid turns rubbery if overcooked, so once marinated they must be quickly stir-fried and served hot, with a fresh sprinkling of lime juice. Serve with rice and accompaniments or as a snack.
Grind the garlic, chilli powder, turmeric, and pepper- corns to a coarse paste in a mortar and pestle.
Mix the garlic paste with the rice flour, salt, and lemon juice and rub into the squid. Let the squid marinate in the spices for at least 2 hours at room temperature.
Heat the oil in a skillet and add the squid. Stir-fry over high heat for 3 to 5 minutes, removing from the heat when the spices brown.
This is an excerpt from Lathika George’s ‘The Suriani Kitchen’.
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6 Essential Spices from Masterchef Pankaj Bhadouria’s Kitchen

Straight from the kitchen of India’s first Masterchef, Pankaj Bhadouria, here is a glimpse of her book — The Secret’s in the Spice Mix. Now you’re just a teaspoon away from stirring magic in your pan with these 6 spice mixes you must have in your kitchen:

Greek Seasoning

Pizza Seasoning
Barbecue Sauce
Tawa Subzi Masala
Panch Phoron
So, what is the best kept secret in your kitchen? Tell us as we make our way to gastronomic heaven.

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