On a recent day, while the children were at school, N and I decided to take our boat out on the river. N was in the stern of the boat, stroking the water with a short handled oar. Normally, when we are sitting on the banks of the river, the only thing we see are the fishermen in boats, casting their nets, but on that day, I saw the river in a new way..from the middle, where the current was the strongest We rowed upriver…on either side of us, trees sprouted into the sky.There were more images …a temple, women washing vessels and clothes, a makeshift landing stage churned by many feet. I saw the life of the river, a timeless life that seemed to burst at the afternoon’s seams and spill onto a moment that had occurred many years ago or would occur at some time in the future..I was sure of very little in that moment other than my presence on a tiny boat in the river, with nothing ahead of me but a shining rail of water, that stretched to eternity.
A fisherman was hauling up the day’s catch when we came up alongside his boat. Spying fresh prawns, I told N to buy some for our dinner.
“You can row us back if you like” said N. My heart thundered in dread…how on earth was I going to get this boat back home in this large river with strong currents?
But once I angled the boat around ( no mean task I assure you), I understood. All I had to do was twist the oar in the water to point in the right direction..the river took us home.
Shrimps(Chemmeen) - 1/2 kg
Chilly powder - 2 tbsp
Turmeric powder - 1/4 tsp
Coriander powder - 1/4 tsp
Pepper powder - 1/2 tsp
Lime juice - 1 tbsp
Salt - 1/2 tsp
Oil - enough to shallow fry
Water - if needed to make paste
Curry Leaves - A few
1)Mix together all the powders along with the lime juice and a little water.
2)Marinate the shrimps with the above for 30 mins.
3) Add 2 tbsp water, and cook in a pan till well cooked and dry.
4) Add oil( I prefer coconut oil) and fry till almost crisp.
5)Add curry leaves, and fry again for a minute.
6) Serve hot ..