So yesterday someone told me my breath smelled like coffee and chocolate. I was taken aback and thought back to what I’d eaten, trying to figure out where that smell could have come from.
That morning I’d brushed my teeth with Ayurvedic toothpaste that someone had given me at Narayana Reddy’s organic farm. The stuff is great, but is definitely more clove-y than coffee-ey or chocolatey.
Breakfast. Mmmmm breakfast! Had some dosa, chutney, banana. It made me happy. Obviously. It was food. Dosa is flat, round, porous, soft, made from rice and lentil flour, mostly a vehicle for chutneys (for me…other people like different ratios, Roshen is always telling me I do it wrong). Chutney is…ugh. It’s so good. I don’t know how to explain it though, mostly because I don’t really know whats in it. When we have it at Visthar it’s usually got blended coconut and chili peppers and curry leaves and other things that are a mystery to me, but chutney is a family of condiments. It’s good. Bananas are still the same, but better in Karnataka than Minnesota. (I left out the coffee that I had at breakfast because I’m being tricky, but I don’t want to lie so I’ll admit that I had one…or three cups of coffee at breakfast.)
So that’s not where the coffee and chocolate smell came from…I thought farther along in the day, trying to identify the reason I had coffee and chocolate on my breath.
Maybe it was morning tea. At 10:45 we took breaks from our paper writing (this week’s employment for SJPD students) for tea and snacks and hanging out. The milk to sugar to tea ratio was really good yesterday. We talked about it. Sometimes there is more milk or sugar than I like, but yesterday it was perfect. The snack was also better than usual (I thought). At morning tea there is usually a sweet snack to accompany the drinks, coconut cookies or some other piece of heaven. Yesterday it was a donut hole shaped thing with cardamom and banana pieces and dense yellow dough. (I’m being tricky again, as I actually had coffee instead of tea, but its all part of the post so just follow me. Also the cups here are so tiny it’s really not that much coffee.)
So it wasn’t morning tea…maybe it was lunch. What was for lunch? There was other stuff too but I had sliced carrots, cucumbers, and tomatoes, sambar (a soupy thing with some eggplant and beet chunks floating around being delicious), a curry with chick peas and vegetables, a mixed cooked veggie thing (green beans, chili peppers, coconut, mustard seed, carrot pieces, other stuff), and something else that I have now forgotten. No coffee this meal. Lots of good food. Indians eat a lot of rice. There’s always two kinds of rice at lunch.
Afternoon tea must have been the culprit. Since I had coffee and chocolate and it was five minutes before my chocolate-coffee smell was pointed out.
Wow. I eat a lot. And I really like it. Not eating would be just the worst. And there’s a little window into what I’ve been eating in India, the local cuisine for those who can afford it.
So…that was yesterday. And today is the first day of a solidarity fast. Please please please read about it.