|Old Rice Barges converted to stunning luxurious houseboats|
|Kumakoran Lake Resort|
We have just been on another tour of India to the south this time.
From Kerala to Tamil Nadu we learnt about the ancient spice traders and the cuisine that the locals
are so proud of. Quite different to the north in many ways but fabulously interesting in different ways.
So many of our favourite spices are grown in this rich land with pepper being gold
Lush plantations of tea adorn the hillsides and palm trees are abundant on the coast.
Coconut is used in many of the dishes and seafood is prevalent.
We started our trip in Mumbai and had our first street food of the south at Chowpatty Beach. We sampled the most delicious snacks and my mouth still waters at the thought of them.
Pav Bahji Vada Pav and Pani Puri to name a few.
|Nutmeg freshly picked|
A tour of a couple of farms Thomas Chettans and Phillipkuttys had us captivated by the size and quantity of fruit vegetables and spices that grown there. Beautiful tropical greenery everywhere
They both entertained us with a wonderful lunch of organic home grown produce
A night on a houseboat cruising the enchanting backwaters of Kerala was a highlight for many. The houseboats are converted rice barges and were equipped with every modern convenience of a beautiful hotel. Animals at dawn feeding at the waters edge were a plenty.
The next night we spent in the Kumakoram Lake Resort another glamourous tropical hideaway.
|Abandoned mansion of Chettinand|
|Ready for anything on the early morning boat cruise|
Thanks to Unesco, these villages and the vast number of old mansions, are being preserved.
We were lucky to stay at the beautiful Bangala hotel . This heritage hotel builds its menus around the basic Chettiar cuisine and adds from a variety of cuisines from countries the Chettiars have travelled. The food is influenced from the late 18th century when they established businesses in Burma French Indo China, Dutch East Indies, Malaysia and Singapore
Chettinadu had an old village of 300 mansions that now sit abandoned. The homes of old traders.....
The french town of Pondicherry was so different you could imagine you weren't in India. Our cooking class was with Shyama who entertained us through the food and flower markets. This was prior to a fabulous and informative cooking class in her home
|Some of the gals and our favourite cooking teacher Shyama|
|Spice markets of Pondicherry|
|House boat luxury|
|At the Taj Hotel in Mumbai|
|Pru at the beautiful Bangala Hotel|
Just planning the next tour !!!