Friday, May 4, 2012

Taco dreams

For a blogger with an appetite, I have been contemplating starting a food blog for a while. The only thing that held me back was the urge to let off steam about other things I love and hate about living in Colombo as well. Finally, I have found the perfect middle ground- a blog about food AND other things (GENIUS!). And where better to start a food blog on Colombo, than with a food item that is not available in colombo to 1. the food blogger with a budget and 2. the food blogger with a discerning tongue for the genuine thing. 

That said, I recently had a craving for a new-york-food-cart-on-14th street and 9th avenue-mexican-taco. Yes. I know. Its far away. But when I want food, I want it. No, you can't offer me a fountain cafe hot dog to compensate. No, you do not want to offer me a Sri Lankan pol rotiya (coconut flatbread for those not in on the local lingo) with chicken on top and call it a chicken taco. And charge me for it. Yes, one establishment tried to do that, and I still have nightmares about it. And yes, I did pay for that particular abomination. 

Given these the lack of a decent taco in this nation of sun and sand, I decided (as usual) that I had to make one. The tortilla (I made flour tortillas), was made with wheat flour and a pinch of baking powder, similar to our kiri roti (milk flatbread? forgive the direct translation). You can find the recipe here. I would use less water next time, it was difficult to roll out the dough (just keep using flour to take away the stickiness), but they were deliciously thin and soft. 

For the topping. Ah, the topping! With a taco, there are somethings that must be there, that define the very character of a taco- the avacado, the tomato, the sour cream (I just used local buffalo curd mixed around until it resembled sour cream/ stirred yoghurt), and the indispensable fresh cilantro. And fresh Onion slices. These five ingredients define the taco. as opposed to the chicken pieces on a rotiya. The creamy avacado, the citric tomato, the cool, sour, sour cream, the crunchy onion, and the herby pop! of cilantro. An ode to a taco.

You can then add chicken (left over roast chicken would be great), or fish, or any other meat you fancy. You can also add cheese, monterey jack being the cheese of choice, but I guess any melty cheese would do. I just ate it vegetarian, the four basic ingredients just transporting me all the way back to west 14th street in mere seconds. 

My husband's first comment when eating one, i.e when he could wrestle one away from me, was 'interesting'. There he is, grabbing a taco before I could eat it. And then he ate several more, which I presume to mean, that he liked it. 

Tacos, ladies and gentleman, are awesome. Colombo supermarkets still do not offer tortillas to the discerning consumer (or else I have missed them all together). But let that not stop you from making your own. This whole thing you can put together in an hour, and believe me, its a great, nutritious, healthy, delicious, (did I say great?), week night dinner.

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