Sunday, March 30, 2008

There is always something ‘fishy’ before marriage.


In ancient times amongst suriyani Christian families in kottayam, homes with girls of marriageable age would look for certain prized catches…Well talking of prized grooms, it would be guys who could successfully devour that hardest and most intricate piece of fish during the pennu kaanal* lunch …The ladies at the bride’s home would cook it the day before in richest and spiciest of all spices…On the doomsday. I mean the D-day…the most complex piece of the fish head would be served exclusively for the groom’s plate…it marks the beginning of an epic battle.

The air is tense on that day…even the cats don’t meoooow…forget that they have competition here.

All eyes are trained on the boy and the fish...The fiery fish curry and the quest. Both unbearably HOT!

The bell rings in the nearby parish church...The ammachis at home are reciting the kontha (rosary) in murmurs.... Appachan is talking in hushed manner with the other karnavars
The bride’s cousins are already gossiping in the other room…

WILL HE MAKE IT?’

The guy would be thinking of the years of practice and training he had gone through…karimpumkala shaap**…. He graduated from the best Ivy League F-school (its not what you think.)…The long sessions over a school of fish and kallu…

Yes … the real battle is what matters…The girl’s appachan is an old fox…He got the best possible piece in town…

It is simply too nauseating for the groom’s mother too…In hushed tones she asks her husband.
Achaayo…nammalude mon pass aavo…’ (Will our son clear the test?)
Achayan doesn’t like last minute jitters and in a harsh tone...’hmmph…THRESIAAKUTTY!!’

And then…

They all sit down at the dining table. Children are told to leave. It is all going to be adult material in there.

Like the man who loved to revel in big stage, the groom dissects the meen thala*** with Lecterisque ease…The gory cries...
ssspppsssppssssshhaahhaa……pspspssssppspppsssss…ssshhahaa…
The fish brain ease out of the skull due to the huge vacuum created by the skilled fighter’s labial suction.

Meanwhile the umpire Perappans and Appachens are mentally noting the points…they will sit down and tally em in the end…

They examine the kill ...Antonychen’s Power 10 glasses don’t lie after all...They seem to be talking in professional lingo....’ eemballu...meeninte andharkadaakam….

Was he too fast…Is there any puli (tamarind) sediments still left?
Does the cranium now look like the dinosaur head we saw in Jurassic park?
Did the boy drink a glass of water after that? *Well he is sissy if he did that*

Many question…It was the battle de mother of the pennu kaanal chadangu…Much much harder than Arjuna did with that reflection on pool archery trick…

The girl is simply wondering… Does that guy deserve me?
Last time Johnychayan from kozhencherry was thrown out of home because he had hidden sugar cubes in his mouth…Or Kunjoose who tried to bring his own fish skeleton super cleaned with some ‘safedi ka chamkaar powder’…but that unfortunately got stuck in his trouser pocket…14 stitches is what it took.

WILL MATHAIKUTTY MAKE IT…??

The question that Thavalakuzhi and Mutathupadi family awaits.

After a few minutes the warrior was escorted to the living room…
Mathaikutty is tense...and tired…He is given a glass of brandy for mild relief…

The judges huddled in another room for brainstorming…Gossips run around the kitchens…
Mathaikutty was too loud !!…Mathaikutty was too brusque !!…. Mathaikutty was sweating !!


His friend from Calicut Meenchantha rings his mobile.

’edaa…did you make it’

‘Yes...barely.’

‘Wow…I can’t believe you …’

‘Pray for me...’



The doors creak…The jury is coming out…Crowds gather around chief judge 96 year old Annamma chedathi

‘Hello everyone…calm down ...please calm down’

‘I the chief matriarch of Thavalakuzhi family declare Mathaikutty has cleared the practical for eating our fish curry with CMM level 5 standards’

‘Vakkacha...Kariacha…Thankacha…Mercy...Susy...Gracy…everyone...We have found the right groom for Meency…Now that the major chadangu is over…LETS FIX THE DATES!!’



*Ceremony of visiting the girl’s house before marriage
**The best fish and toddy shop back home
*** Fish head


I was planning to write the recipe for this curry..Hey but c'mon we have professionals here..Do check out this and this. Ultimate fish curries..you wont be disappointed after this.

20 comments:

Dhanya said...

hmm too tempting.. Think I should find some bakra's to try this on soon :P

Mishmash ! said...

Torture!!! one week of packing 2 weeks of hotel stay and a weekend of resetting and i havent tasted fish curry all these days and now i ;m dying for that puli ettu vecha meen curry and thats when i read this post ....honestly speaking i couldnt really enjoy the humour in this post as at every part of ur story telling i was imaginging how it would be like to have one day old meen curry...the taste...the sourness...the flavour...slurrrrrrp!!!
well, i had company while going thru this torture...my hubby was sitting next to me and readin this :P

Seema said...

Hahaaa the typical Mathew way of giving away a recipe:)) lol was good fun -dooms day,d day ellam oru nalla eruvum pulliyum ulla meen kariyil othuki alle hehe! Guess what I came here for, on the way to office in the morning thought of picking up some easy quick recipe for the trying it out on my bro in the evening lol and caught this pennu kaanal aka. Meen curry saga:) did you miss out on the groom pricing procedure?

mathew said...

@Dhanya
Lol..fish curry is a sure shot way for that.. ;-P

@Mishmash
oh..infact we missed your regular recipe update too..
and one day old meen curry is the best..making it in a cooking pan never comes anywhere near the actual one on meen chatti..

nice to hear that you are all settled down..

@Seema
hehehe..are you serious..probably you have some sibling rivalry isn’t…how else could you think of checking out my blog for your bro..;-P

like Mishmash said...’ one day old eruvum puliyum ulla neymeen cooked in meen chatti..’ OMG…I cant even complete this sentence..

Groom pricing is another segment altogether...check out Silverine’s post on the same..

Seema said...

Shedaa sibling rivalry kandupidichu le lol that is on since he is on a distribution spree of the Chaos n Britney episode..vechu velambal aanu paribadis so till that stops I hv the chance to try my cullinary skills v are on this track! Actually I wanted that egg bonda recipe which is a quick 1:) there's another food blog I visit for the elaborate ones - foodie blog by Asha. I totally agree vth Mishmash on that one day old meen curry..tastes heavenly!
U closed the pennu kaanal vout the groom pricing which most of the grooms find pride in adverising also:( some kinda sadistic pleasure I guess! Vl check Silverine's blog:)

Ps said...

ha ha ha--nicely written :-)
And thanks for dropping in.

anN-series said...

Honestly i think we wud all love to hear abt the original 'Mathaikutty' of blogosphere's adventure with the fish thala in his pennukannal :~P

dude ur yellow fish curry looks like the kinds my grandma makes!!! :~O

VIDYA said...

The fish curry looks yummm.!

Meeshayula mathaikutty Testil pass ayapol samadanam ayi!

btw ur frnd frm calicut meenchanda was dispointed, he lost potential customer for 'meeen with big thala'

:d

VIDYA said...

Btw i always wonder........

is tht u on te picture?

*Stare*

Wanderlust said...

Awesome post dude...I being a Bong can completely empathise with the groom's condition!!
Usually the tests begin after marriage at our end when the groom is placed in front of plate with dishes enough to feed the whole of Sri Lanka.
Its just the beginning of a long long battle .....
Nothing fishy about that eh ;-)

Jyothsna said...

Fishy story indeed!! :) Had a good laugh. Didn't know this blog was alive! Will read the earlier ones now.

mathew said...

@Seema
Gotcha..i knew it.. ;-P
I ll check out that blog too…normally I rely on tried and tested recipes form mishmash and malluspice…
Groom pricing. I cannot think of myself being proud of that trend..sigh..

@PS
Thank you..;-)

@Ann
Original mathiakutty still got to attend one…;-P
And yellow fish curry ..it was actually more redish..my camera had just recovered from a serious bout of jaundice..thats why..hehehe..

@Vidya
I was itching to have naadan fish curry..and luckily I got naadan imported to fish too..the one we get here are tasteless atlantic stuff..

And ofcoz its me in the pic…and meesha as I said before courtesy the mouch seller in Ooty..;-P

@Wanderlust
Thank god..found one guy who understands this..
But honestly I wouldn’t mind such a big meal..hahaha..

And thanks for dropping by too..

@Jyothsna
Oh..yeah its occasionally alive..nice to see u here after a long time..

Homecooked said...

Wow...the fish looks so tempting and story to go alongwith it is too good :)

Anonymous said...

could you please put the recipe for the meen kari in that chatti?

Neena Padayatty said...

Humour in Meen curry...what a wonderful find!Hat's off to you for such a delicious blog.

mathew said...

@homecooked
thank you..

@anonymous
I have used the recipe mentioned in http://malluspice.blogspot.com/2007/01/meen-chaar-fish-curry-wcoconut.html for this curry..though it never comes as good as making in a chatti..

@Neena
thanks a lot!:-)

Agdah said...

Although I can almost visualize the expressions on people's faces and voice intonations on the scene you described, I wish I could understand Malayalam to get the most out of your narrative. I found it very funny.

malayalee said...

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