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A food tour through (mostly) southern India.


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We're 50 something Aussies who enjoy travelling, eating, cooking, markets, kitchen shops, cooking utensils, animals & plants (often food related), architecture & photography (both kitchens and food) and exploring different cultures (of which food is a big part). The trip was January 14 - February 6, it was just marvellous. My favourite meal is now masala dosa with sambar, I had many. Here's some highlights of the food.

 

A late afternoon snack of Sichuan pepper squid was washed down with a beer at the Ajantha Seaview Hotel on the promenade in Pondicherry. It's a colonial building with a first floor terrace overlooking the colourful display of women in their finest, and the Bay of Bengal. We're here on a Monday public holiday for the Pongal festival, a four day celebration of the harvest, with many different ceremonies and traditions.

 

 

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A visual bonus, cows (and sometimes goats) get their horns painted and wear flower garlands or other decorations.

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Edited by sartoric (log)
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2 hours ago, bague25 said:

Awaiting more pics and meal descriptions :-)

Okay.

 

Dinner at Surgaru Spot, a vegetarian restaurant opposite the Hotel du Parc in the French quarter of Pondicherry. We had tender pulak pooris which came with a veggie dal mix and spicy tomato chutney, then gobi & aloo takatin, yellow dal masala fry and basmati rice. This was delicious and cheap at INR 360 for two. Find it at 12 Jawahalal Nehru St Pondicherry. 

 

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A local market on the road between Pondicherry and Chidabaram in Tamil Nadu state.

 

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Looking forward to this.  We love Indian food in our house and I am always expanding my repertoire.

 

Any chance you could along with traditional names, give some description as to what the dish is?

 

Many thanks!

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5 hours ago, TicTac said:

Looking forward to this.  We love Indian food in our house and I am always expanding my repertoire.

 

Any chance you could along with traditional names, give some description as to what the dish is?

 

Many thanks!

I'll try Tictac, aloo gobi is a potato and cauliflower curry tempered with lots of warm spices and curry leaves. Spinach pooris are made with spinach worked into the dough, fried in the usual way. More detail going forward ,

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2 minutes ago, sartoric said:

I'll try Tictac, aloo gobi is a potato and cauliflower curry tempered with lots of warm spices and curry leaves. Spinach pooris are made with spinach worked into the dough, fried in the usual way. More detail going forward ,

Many thanks, sartoric.  I am sure this thread will offer many (myself included) inspiration and much eye candy!

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4 hours ago, chefmd said:

I will follow with great interest.  Your photos are amazing.  Are the vegetables in the market (looks like shallots) priced per kilo?

Possibly, I can't read Tamil, and wasn't buying anything. There were so many varieties of fresh veg, herbs and spices. This is a tiny selection. More market shots later !

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Another dinner, this time at Paradise Resort near Kumbakonam. Chicken in creamy cashew sauce, spinach paneer, paratha and rice. The might look the same, a trick of poor light, they tasted very different.IMG_3324.JPG

 

These guys lived outside our room.

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Breakfast of champions. The breads are poori and idly (a rice flour cake) served with left to right, coconut chutney, mint chutney, tomato chutney, vegetable masala and sambar. While they're called chutney, they are freshly made each day, more like a sauce. Most feature black mustard seeds, with many subtle differences of spice and taste. A variation of this was had for nearly every breakfast, say 20....Sambar is a lentil and vegetable soup/stew again varied much between cooks.

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@sartoric  

 

sending several Kudos your way.  thanks.  

 

I love Indian food.

 

a zillion years ago I was actually in both ( back then ) Bombay   and Ceylon ( back then )

 

2 days in B's   One day in Sri Lanka  if that's what the capitol was called then

 

My parents and my sister spent the day in SL  at  a Rug Emporium    no matter  were were ordinary modest Folks

 

but had an introduction to this Establishment 

 

the owner then invited us all to his home for dinner.

 

rugs everywhere    you betcha

 

but I deeply remember that dinner.

 

so One Kudos your way for your group having a fine time.

 

 

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This was dinner at Hotel Gnanam in Tanjore. A spicy mutton (goat) rogan josh, pea and cauliflower khurma, cheese paratha, pappads and rice. Washed down with a gin and tonic for me, a beer for him. Alcohol was difficult to procure at times in both Tamil Nadu and later Kerala.

 

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3 minutes ago, rotuts said:

@sartoric  

 

sending several Kudos your way.  thanks.  

 

I love Indian food.

 

a zillion years ago I was actually in both ( back then ) Bombay   and Ceylon ( back then )

 

2 days in B's   One day in Sri Lanka  if that's what the capitol was called then

 

My parents and my sister spent the day in SL  at  a Rug Emporium    no matter  were were ordinary modest Folks

 

but had an introduction to this Establishment 

 

the owner then invited us all to his home for dinner.

 

rugs everywhere    you betcha

 

but I deeply remember that dinner.

 

so One Kudos your way for your group having a fine time.

 

 

Ohh, @rotuts I bet that dinner was special. Nothing like being in someone's home eh, we did get to experience that later. Sri Lanka is on my list.

 

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The guy in the striped shirt standing in front of this stall is Raja, our guide for a day in Trichy. The shop is in the huge Sri Rangam temple complex. He bought black gram cakes and sesame sweets, both wrapped in newspaper, sorry I didn't get a photo, they were delicious.

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After we shared lunch at PLA residence, tomato soup, followed by a veg thali with aloo paratha. Not pictured, mounds of rice. Incredibly good value at about 300 INR.

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Edited by sartoric
Correct temple name (log)
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42 minutes ago, helenjp said:

I first heard of the Pongal festival a couple of years ago - really interested to see what is going on! I get the impression that food in Tamil Nadu is the closest Indian food to SE Asian food, Really interested to see the food, the people, the shopping and the festival - thanks for showing us. 

It was lots of fun. We were lucky it coincided with our arrival. Driving through the crazy streets of Chennai on Sunday morning after arriving only a few hours prior,  then seeing cows wearing garlands of chrysanthemums, with prettily painted horns, was quite surreal.

 

 

 

 

 

Edited by sartoric (log)
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@sartoric Thanks for this wonderful display! It is 45 years since I was in that part of the world. Memories are flooding back. 

Absolutely love the beetroot pakoras. I would never have thought of them!

 

Looking forward to your take on Sri Lanka. I loved it in 1972, the year it changed from Ceylon. It's been through bad times since, but is hopefully recovering. Its food was wonderful. Maybe the most beautiful place I have been.

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...your dancing child with his Chinese suit.

 

The Kitchen Scale Manifesto

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