It was around May or June in 2002 when I met Paul and Jutima Dallaghan in Mysore - they are yoga teachers who certify other yoga students as teachers and have studied under Pattabhi Jois, THE Ashtanga yoga guru based in Mysore who just passed away a few days ago.
They were conducting a month long program in Nov of that year and invited me to join as Manager / Liaison person / Nutritionist / Chef [Indian food]. That meant one month and a few days on Koh Samui, an exotic island off the eastern coast of Thailand. Well of course I jumped at the opportunity - looking back, it was a huge leap of faith at the time, but I trusted them and knew I could handle whatever the job required.
Towards the end of my stay there - I held a chapati making class for all the women in the group - well you know what happens when a bunch of women cook together - we have a lot of fun and we bond. I stayed in touch with them for a few years after we parted ways and even met several of them again when they visited India but we've lost touch now. I wonder how they all are.
Massaman Curry [a spicy Thai dish]
Well first of all, since I’m a vegetarian, there’s no meat in this recipe. So here goes,
200 g Tofu [soybean curd]- cubed
Steam the vegetables for 8 mins. Heat the oil in a wok, add onions and the cinnamon. After 2 minutes, add masaman curry paste and turmeric powder. Cook for 2 mins then add the steamed veggies and cubed tofu and mix. Add coconut milk, chopped lemon grass [or lemon rind] and tamarind juice. Mix well, cover and cook for 10 mins. Switch off the flame and sprinkle the peanut powder on top. Garnish with coriander leaves.