Keralan food including some very yummy Beetroot.

We have been on our travels for the past two weeks. We started off on the French Alps, our home from home. Autumn was in full swing, the colours were just amazing. Autumn in the mountains ( and in a lot of France) life almost comes to a standstill. Of course most of the population still go to work and kids go to school but cafes, bars and restaurants take a break and this was so with what we consider our local in Morzine. However all that were open, even outdoors scanned our Pass Sanitaire! I now have three versions and the simplest to use is the Irish version and scans well!

We were there for only a few days but found time to do a mammoth shop ( mask wearing of course, after all it is mandatory in France). Why the shop? We were heading to the South of France to meet up with the rest of our family for a long overdue Wedding Anniversary. Twice cancelled we now wanted somewhere warmer than the UK, so wine was needed.

We rented a renovated 16 C farmhouse in the Luberon which would be big enough for 12 of us, and it was. The downside was, the Pool was closed, but the upside was Chantel who appeared and cooked our evening dinner.

Two vegetable dishes have recently come my way. The first was something that is very very French and I have known and have eaten many many times but had forgotten just how lovely it is. Grated Carrot salad. Actually the previous last time I ate this salad was in Brasserie Zédel, one of Corbin and Kings restaurants in London. Here they offer a Prixe-Fixe menu and the starter is listed as shredded carrot. I think the average Englishman might not understand this as being a salad, but it is indeed.The lovely Chantel served this as one of our starters on evening.

To make this very simple but very delicious salad, grate some carrots ( quantities do not matter as any extra can be refrigerated for the next day) add a chopped green onion ( scallion) and if you like some chopped walnuts or pecans along with some chopped parsley. Make a vinaigrette ( or use shop bought )using sone oil, Dijon mustard and lemon juice. Add a pinch of salt. Mix well with the grated carrots and serve.

The other, vegetable which we have both decided is a really quiet delicious, is basically curried beetroot. Himself had taken delivery a few weeks ago, of the second of his cooking class meals. This time it was Kerala Sea Bass with a coconut sauce, Rice and Beetroot.

The beetroot is simplicity itself, especially as it can be bought ready cooked.

Very simply, take a pack of cooked beetroot and roughly chop ( I prefer smaller bits but whatever suits you). Chop about an inch or so of ginger, and a green chilli . Heat a pan and add some oil either coconut or sesame is best. Add 2 tsp of yellow mustard seeds and cook until it pops! Add the ginger and chilli along with a pinch of salt, 1 tsp of turmeric 1/2 tsp chilli powder and the beetroot. Cook for a few minutes until the beetroot is heated through. To give it a bit more umph I added 1/2 tsp of English Mustard powder. One could also add a lump of creamed coconut. I recently served it with some grilled salmon. Will now be on my list of must eat vegetables.

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