Day 751: I Love Indian Food

30.03 is almost as good as 03.03, isn’t it? The numbers in these dates are the same, only in a different order. My birthday was on 03.03 but I redeemed the present – a theatre visit – on 30.03. I almost joked that my husband mixed up the dates and told him that there WAS a difference between 03 and 30. Anyway, we drove to Tallinn, I parked in yet another place (luckily, the city centre zone is free after 3pm on Saturdays, couldn’t afford to park in the Old Town – 6 EUR/h), and we walked into a huge cellar somewhere in Tallinn Old Town. It was supposed to be the very first thrill theatre in Estonia. Indeed, if you are doing Poe’s The Murders in the Rue Morgue, the whole thing is a bit grim anyway. But it was good, well played.

Anyhow, I didn’t want to talk about theatre, although I should mark the occasion. We see plays too rarely. I guess, my husband’s last play was our attempt to better understand Shakespeare when we visited the Globe in June 2018 and failed because it was a story neither of us knew, the place was stuffed, was had standing tickets and the planes flying over our heads didn’t allow us to hear what the hell the actors were saying. I was better off, having gone to a play with my mother and sister only in January. Ah, let’s get on with the food part already! Although it was nice that the theatre had small tables between chairs where you could place your coffee cup (first time I ever saw that!), the evening’s most anticipated meal was had in an Indian restaurant.

Elevant. “Elephant” in English. Serves glorious Indian food. The place is located on Vene street in Tallinn Old Town, itself a Unesco heritage site. You do need to climb steep and winding stairs and it would be impossible if you had really bad knees or were in a wheelchair. But for everyone else, it’s worth it. The interior oozes warmth, the walls are yellow-orange. I do remember from school that the colour orange is supposed to make you hungry. A good choice for a restaurant. Why the hell did we choose the same for our living room, hmm? I don’t want to eat that much but my home is making me do it! Back to the restaurant! The weather outside was a bit chilly, so it was a pleasure to enter such a warm place. Moreover, the smell of spices greeted us already at the front door, which is downstairs and a bit away from the kitchen. Delightful! As I read from the menu, the entire interior has been decorated by using natural materials. For instance, the paint for the walls is a mixture of cottage cheese, eggs, and natural pigments from North Africa. In fact, painting the walls with cottage cheese is quite common in Estonia. Many eco-conscious people do it. If you go to any supermarket in Estonia, you can find plenty of cottage cheese and a wide range of dairy products. Nothing like that in Asia where they don’t use much milk (except India, just take look at their typical cuisine) or even in the rest of Europe. Estonia is the king of dairy.

For an appetizer, we ordered small vegetable pies (samosas) with some yoghurt dressings. Even these two small pies were quite filling and waved off the worst hunger we’d developed by that time. But the best thing was the main meal. If you’ve ever ordered Indian, I guess you know how generous the portions are. How rich the sauces taste. How the spices open up your nostrils and wipe away any signs of an oncoming illness. How many different flavours you can enjoy. My husband had aloo gobi tamatar masala, which is cauliflower potato tomato curry. I devoured shrimps in a creamy coconut sauce: South Indian jhinga curry. For me, anything with shrimps and coconut tastes like bliss. Add a little spice to it and I’m hooked! All the mains are served with nice long-grain rice, slightly boring salad, and batura bread, a bit crispy and chewy bread. When it comes to salad, I was disappointed by dullness. Slices of cucumber, tomato, and onion, dressed with some lemon (or was it lime?) juice and cumin. Meh. The slices were too big. I think that if all the veg had been cut into small cubes and then dressed and mixed well, it had been a whole different kind of experience. Juicier indeed. Considering how great curries they make, the chefs should have some skills. Maybe these simply don’t extend to their salads? I’ve had a similar experience in a Georgian restaurant. Everyone knows that they prepare the most delightful shashlik but their salads are mediocre. I wouldn’t even call carelessly thrown tomato and cucumber slices a salad…

And what did we drink? Of course, it had to be a spicy pot of tea. The pot was to be shared between two people and it had 3 cups for both us in it. Huh! Afterwards, we were so warm inside and filled with tea that the walk back to the car wasn’t that bad. The walk to the restaurant had been a chilly one. Maybe it was also because the theatre was a tad cold (though they did provide throws to cover yourself) and the cold had found its way into our bones.

Progress Report

1. Own and live in a house.

The day wasn’t bad, actually. I decided to work a bit on marketing the e-books I’ve written. I believe that they are good. Well, I don’t see anyone buying a book with loads of Christmas-related recipes in it, but the 31-day meal plan e-book is relevant at any time. You could switch to a healthier eating regime today or tomorrow. Doesn’t matter when you start, it’s important that you do start. Anyway, I updated the book information page and there you can see some examples of what they include. I do hope they start selling. I put so much of myself into them.

2. Write AND publish a book.

Basically, I was working on the books I’d already written a few months ago. See above.

3. Win a major race.

An easy run and some sprints. Fine. The distances are about to dry up before the marathon. I need to rest for the big day.

Photo of the Day

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The Indian Feast!

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