Soup for Soupy Skies

A really old photo of a delicious Korean beef rib soup.

After the gray skies of Lima, I feel like it’s blue skies here in Rome every day. But, of course, that’s not true. There are rainy days and I’ve had to use my umbrellas for the first time in years (it never rains in Lima). When it’s rainy out, I really like to slurp soup.

One of the delights of Peru was that I never had a bad bowl of soup. It seemed like everyone knew how to make “sopa criolla” or creole soup — basically a chicken noodle soup. The kind your Jewish mother used to make (as David Chang says).

While I like chicken soup, I love spicy Asian soups with spice and treasure trove of ingredients in my bowl. Some of my favorites are hot and sour soup, pho, and laksa. Pho always allows for lots of greens which I love in spicy soup. Laksa is a curry style soup with noodles and seafood, plus tofu cakes, and many other things.

Pho is a clear bone broth soup.
Look at the serious amount of greens this couple is putting in their pho.
Laksa with hard boiled eggs, fish cakes, and other yumminess.

In Singapore, I went to the most famous location for laksa. It was good. One day I went to a mall (it’s a country of malls), and found a “pick your own 100 ingredients” soup place. Heaven! While not on par with the famous place on the number 14 bus, even the laksa at the airport was good.

Laksa with tofu cakes, seafood, and the usual noodles.
Laksa on the menu!

Here’s to happy virtual traveling and soon, slurping at the source!

Dhaasu = Buenazo. Awesome Indian Food in Lima

IR33OySPr3S-PxSsCn7pWpnEQ8f1LMq7ad1geUORh3VqGcc83leQSvag50Lpkoqy4GMnM-pzWiNvHxg7PHKZwJp4SWVxogs1bYGexDSGjNRLHjUbnwYLRNsZeg46bTOTaqRBD6awzJ6yp92laigcu0mkKaJezNijFgBSytGaW2KnD8BuwEdziZd5jNDhaasu=buenazo=awesome! Really, that is the definition of the name (“DAW-ah-sooo” is my best guess). Dhaasu, Av. República de Panamá 245, Barranco (between Avenida el Sol and Salazar). Step down into the eatery located on the side of the BRT Metropolitano line. Open 1-4 and 7-10 on Wednesday-Sunday, closed Monday, and open 7-10 on Tuesdays.

L9yxOsHdAnNKOhLG_TmPW3XhzF9J4hb00_pQzGf_Mr5knVtpMyrQv0ZwgDbp7aN1jLneYFpYrIxt4h2DMrI6yciKZWjIgnR25lLstArYXf-2F2FIiyif_esSibmJ2efl1pxOFtJI-MJaEvootxIlH2QFFPTJ7R7KjbLFRinqux5Wf-CYs8Sw2Pgg3nApparently, in Arequipa, there is an Indian guy named Roy who has a restaurant named “India Indian” — just to make clear that the food is Indian. In Peru, the term for Indian food is “comida hindu.” In Lima, there are four restaurants claiming to be this kind of food: Dhaasu opened in just recently (instagram) and will conquer South America with its yumminess; Guru out in La Molina and is run by a Pakistani; Mantra is acceptable if desperation takes you there; and Masala is not worth the desperation. But, now back to talking about awesome!

OBFvLu4EjrV8HUvuSdML8nEb35I8pMXpF9KLSDtuQIFk_WY2bXmyxhisc_VlpmDn43llwLbhCYwhzHg3KEZa0AF6R0QPe2eD-kiemUPRfHb6WQYQBYZMooTeWUQ5SBWUN3ig-yNzTvN-SMEPlM1XWZ8Or3pC6tAQIBODCyJhJO3Fq8xvLueFg-R_NxDhaasu is a hole-in-the-wall or huarique (Peruvian term for a hole-in-the-wall) with eight stools. No tables, no tablecloths, no reservations. Dhaasu translates to “effing awesome” or “buenazo” in Peruvian Spanish. It describes how delicious the food is at this newly opened eatery run by Rish and Camilla. They both speak English and Spanish, the chef has over ten years of experience from cooking in Delhi, and yes, there are vegetarian versions of everything. Currently, the menu is a few types of wrap sandwiches and curries. Those words are pitiful descriptions of the yummy spicy (but not spicy) meat in masala sauce (or curry by another name), the warm and fresh baked flatbread (naan) sandwiches wrapped around tender, marinated, caramelized juicy meat…

… where was I? Oh, yes. Possibly my highest accolade is to compare something to ice cream. The butter chicken is like a meaty ice cream. To be eaten by spoon (or dessert shovel?). In terms of spiciness, Rish has not developed the top level of spiciness. To many people, the food here will seem spicy. It didn’t make me sweat but I did enjoy the deliciousness of the food, even if it wasn’t vindaloo spicy.

SxgZjr6tsSGkvi5Jwsqpzcb1ufRW2FsVXLHiyPLbP6jcAkO7r4T8IF0XPzGFfTuC924G7u0l8bl6QkL5yvf3VB4yjHHY774Ovnnmw-VVP1BCtrzbjlhEiw3Sbw1i0BBHcktE6KApa82Yt_BLfGGRfW5_wvve2EaWvvY4R2jPcWcXPFFRCWh_x63XffRish comes from a family of restaurant owners and Dhaasu is just the beginning of his empire. Dhaasu uses biodegradable containers and utensils for those who feel better knowing this.  I plan to take my own lunchboxes next time and load up.

D-9kNZIvhqFVcABA7hDH_dheve5gLbU6hnhtcmMEGIpuUYe0vWNznkljPSkXzIZX9Zg_0Gd9d6CLtl1IdNAriwr4aoXBiBKl3OW_nCGnDBTRYk5q-dIvfzLa0YA3YbgmpuHKYZ--MwHB6MA4YDyX6x_KcSzGHp4tMCNhJ4jyyR4w54f4d9Q7X5jn7CRish plans to expand, take his tandoor on the road, cater, and can he hurry up already? Speaking of India food, I asked about dosa which is from south India. Rish said that he had a friend who was thinking about this too… Here’s to the rise of the Indian Indian food in Lima!

Pica No Pica

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Three chili sauces. Only one is spicy.

“Pica no pica” is a phrase one hears here in Lima. It translates literally as “spice no spice”  but actually means “seasoned but not spicy.”

So not spicy on the scoville scale but flavorful.

I may start responding with “pica q pica!”

The Chile Lady of Paloquemao

Not the chile lady.
Not the chile lady.

It took six months for her to smile. But, I find that sort of fascinating. The lady in the photo is not her but I liked her style.

Boxes of dried chiles.
Boxes of dried chiles.

When I moved to Bogota, I was told about the chile lady. It took me a long time to find her because Paloquemao market, while not immense, can be confusing because so many of the stalls look exactly alike. Now I know that she’s a right turn from Peter’s Chinese vegetable stall, located in the Chinese vegetable alley.

The Chile Lady was wearing a chile shirt last weekend.
The Chile Lady was wearing a chile shirt last weekend.

There is also a “Mexican” stall but I usually get my chiles from the Chile Lady of Paloquemao.