I have been lucky to experice life in Thailand, India and Nepal, and in each country I have learnt a lot.
Thailand taught me the respect for spices, the use of roots, the incredible flavours delivered by the subtle balance between sweet and sour. There I have been initiated into patience, the art of giving and taking time, and I have received the gift of the sweet memory of coconut milk.
There I understood the roots of curry and its preparations, dry and as a paste, as well as the fine art of using coriander.
I will never forget the sensation of having a hot soup under the scorching Thai sun.
In India I experienced the life of an ashram, serving the locals, sharing their habits, their chores and their thoughts. During the Navaratri, a 9 days long celebration, you can only eat once a day, on big leaves using only your hands.
On that occasion, together with some Italian friends, we prepared a version of “panzerotti” using local ingredients; we kneaded the Puri: unleavened wholemeal bread fritters.
For that shared meal, people arrived from the villages along the banks of the river Ganges and the mountains on the border with Nepal. They patiently waited for their turn, first the monks, then the children, then the women and finally the men.
Even the grey monkeys joined in the banquet, they climbed off the rocky sides of the mountains hopeful to get our leftovers.
Thinking of Nepal and its vast horizons, the flavour of Momos comes to mind: delicious ravioli, traditional and ever present, with a filling of vegetables and meat. Each mother has her own unique way of combining mutton or chicken or potatoes with fiery notes or sweet and sour sauces, and the aromatic scents of garlic, ginger, cumin and coriander, fill the room during the steaming process.