CHAI, MASALA DOSA AND DHAL

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Looking back on my days in South India I must say that I enjoyed the food very much there.  All the dhal dishes, the variety of vegetable dishes, the spices and fragrant herbal dishes were all very much to my taste, and rice as a accompaniment was delicious.  While sorting through photos the other day I found some of my visit to Vijayawada and the surrounding area in Andhra Pradesh, and I picked out some of the ones that portrayed foods, street food sellers, and chai shops.

Man selling his vegetables using his bike as vehicle, both practical and colourful.  The carts on wheels are also very practical and you see them a lot in all the towns and villages.  The young boy was minding a cool water stall, big smile on his face as he was obviously enjoying this job.

Along the road on the way to Vijayawada we came across a rice harvest, the people harvesting were working in the hot sun, laying the stalks of rice on the road, we were told that the trucks and busses driving over this would dislodge the rice grains and make the job easier for them to gather the rice.

A lovely lady preparing vegetables, and a storage place where the cabbages and green chillies seem to be a popular food item.

Another popular street selling item would be the bananas, I ate some lovely little bananas in South India, they tasted so creamy, a bit like banana ice-cream, delicious. The hot food stall in the dark, this was around Christmas 2009, the smell was very nice and wrapped itself around us while we browsed the other stalls in the area.  It was the first time I saw the Christmas stars on sale, beautiful crafted from light cardboard, I bought some and took them home to give to my grand children.
IMG_5485I’m always fascinated with the vegetable types that I am not familiar with, here are quite a few on display, the okra, and the bitter gourd (though I have tried to grow these in Ireland), not even sure what the purple vegetable is.  I would want to try them all out.  And when I find spices or herbs between them I go altogether enthusiastic.  Loving it all.

Another street food seller, love the amount of green beans, they make any meal worth eating. So colourful too.

Here I cannot remember what this man was selling, I thought some sort of nuts perhaps.  And on the right it was the children that caught my attention more, they were very curious about me for some reason.

About the chai houses I have fond memories too, you would be walking or driving along the road and there you would regularly come across a chai seller, lovely to sit in the shade and drink a delicious glass of chai, and chat with the local people who would be just as curious about you as you about them.  A relaxed way of living, having all the time in the world, the way it should be.  Materialism has not reached these parts it seems.  I still think that rural areas are healthier and nicer to live in wherever you go in the world.  In India you are never far away from other people even in rural areas, it is not a lonely sort of place.  It’s colourful and friendly.  I was fortunate to travel both in Tamil Nadu, in Andhra Pradesh and in Kerala, in each place I made very good friends.  In Kerala my good friend Mary even gave me demonstrations in preparing traditional Kerala dishes, she and her husband also took me into the mountain areas where they showed me a variety of trees that produce spices, very interesting, but I will write about that another time.  My friends, I do hope you enjoyed my little photo journey through this delightful part of the world.

26 thoughts on “CHAI, MASALA DOSA AND DHAL

  1. I have not been there but it seems a paradise of vegetarian food in its way. I love that some of the photos are grouped in ways that reference each other while not necessarily being of the same place–

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    1. Yes you are right Donnalee, some of the photos I took in the town of Vijayawada, and some on the way there, one wat taken in Jammalamadugu, and one in Mylavaram. Thank you, and yes it is a paradise for vegetarian foods, though not necessarily. I love all the spices together with the vegetables 🙂

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      1. I have always loved Indian foods, although now the very hot is not good for my system. The tastes are great though. I am still looking for a good source of preferably organic plain paneer in the Woodstock NY area, but the coop there doesn’t have any. Hmm–maybe if I get to new York City sometime I can get some frozen–

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  2. Alas I will never get to india so thank you for taking me there. I love going to produce markets – how the sight of food makes us happy. 🙂 The Chai houses reminds me of the tea houses in Turkey; sometimes just a few stools against a wall but so welcoming when one is weary and thirsty.

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  3. I did indeed enjoy your ‘return journey’. I was particularly taken with how colourful the women looked in their saris. A wonderful array of vegetables. Okra curry is my favourite, although I have to say I haven’t tried all Indian vegetables.

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    1. Helen, I think sari’s are the most elegant of dressing, I love the colours too. Having worn them I must say that they do not give your legs the same freedom to walk around, but they sure look lovely, and they are cool too against the heat.

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    1. I had to chuckle Derrick reading you lovely comment 🙂 I do know that you are into foods and your descriptions of food at the end of your blog articles are always a welcome read. So glad you enjoyed.

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  4. It was so nice to travel with you in my thoughts to a warm and sunny country sitting here in the terribly grey and rainy Hamburg! I really enjoyed all the foods you showed and wrote about. I like Indian food, too, especially the nice spices. It’s a completely different world but very interesting, dear Agnes. Hope you are fine, have a nice day, kind regards Mitza

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    1. And kind regards to you too dear Mitza, gosh I never realised that Hamburg would be so dreary in the winter too – I thought it was only like that in Ireland! Spring is only around the corner though, I hope it comes soon for everyone.

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    1. Hi, yes like you I love South Indian food. And yes I actually use curry leaves in my dishes. I was able to buy in locally and like you I love the scent. Sometimes I just open the little box and smell the contents, and it so lifts my spirits! 🙂

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