Enroute from Thekkady to Trivandrum, we took a diversion of about 40kms. We also enjoyed the taste of puttu with vegetable stew. Absolutely exclusive! While eating Sadhya in Kerala, you might notice…. …so many vegetables in a single meal, healthy food options & amazing serving style. Rice, curd & chili,…. …these 3 things make for a delectable combination together. Absolutely delicious! We left Thekkady early in the morning. After multiple stops on the way,… …we reached Trivandrum at 1 am, after midnight, but we enjoyed this journey very much. Namaskar! Welcome to Visa2explore! This is your host, Harish Bali. Right now, we have left Thekkady and travelled 4kms already. Today’s journey is going to be more than 200kms long. We’ve stopped at this vegetable shop. We will eat a banana and… …continue our journey. I just noticed here…. ….that dry fish is also sold at this vegetable shop. This was something different that I encountered. Now let us eat some banana. One banana! Kerala has a lot of banana varieties. In the coming days, I will try to eat one banana, at least, of each variety. Sweet! Good! After travelling 5kms from Thekkady, we’ve stopped here for breakfast. We’ve understood what dishes are readily available. We’ve brought a table outside. We’ll enjoy the scenic view with our breakfast. Parotta, chutney, with this curry, made of onions. They explained that in this onion curry they have also added mashed potatoes. The curry and parotta was ready already. It is a good meal! So, if you eat it hot, you will enjoy it better. Parotta and this curry, both should be warm to eat for you to enjoy it better. In this curry, I’ve noticed, mustard seeds are imparting a delicious flavor. It is cooked in coconut oil. The most special thing is the use of coconut pieces. All this was good! But this chutney is very good! I mean to say that its taste is interesting. It is a small dhaba. The only thing is you won’t get piping hot food here. They prepare their food early in the morning and keep serving it over the next couple of hours for breakfast. If you want more chutney, they have placed this pot of chutney on the table itself. You can help yourself. We’ve covered 15kms so far and stopped here, at Pattumala to do ziplining. To hike from this tea garden to the starting point of the zipline is an interesting & amazing experience. While going down this zipline, I was thinking what an amazing v!iew Quite magnificent! Just imagine, ziplining over these sprawling tea gardens, in the distance…. …tea gardens and below as well…. …this view is so beautiful. For your information, this stretch of zipline is 400-450 meters long. After travelling 400 meters from the zipline… …we’ve stopped here at this waterfall. It feels good to stand near this waterfall, I can see a lot of tourists here. Good! We can spend 15-20 minutes in this area, which is called…. …Valanjanganam. We’ve travelled 45kms from Thekkady so far. We’ve reached Mundakayam. Let us see what is available in the market here. We have come to visit this vegetable shop in this market. So, there is a lot of variety in vegetables available here. I wanted to check out the onions here, especially the smaller shallots, popular in Kerala cuisine. Kokum, Jimikand, this is Dosakai (type of gourd), I remember in Hyderabad, I ate Dosakai in sambhar. They have a lot of Jimikand. This means this vegetable is quite popular around here. This is the owner of this vegetable shop and he is showing us around. Sir is this famous? Famous? Yes, it is famous! Pumpkin, apples, lots of variety in banana. There is a lot here. So, tapioca? This shows that tapioca is quite famous here. I say this because I see tapioca being sold everywhere. Tapioca is sold for Rs. 25 per kg. Ohh! I can eat it raw? Should I eat it? Yeah, go on. I can eat it raw? Don’t worry, eat it! She told me I can eat it raw as well. Add a bit of salt and enjoy its taste, rest…. …it tastes a bit bland with no salt at all. But good! There is a lot here. They are cooking pakoras (fritters). Egg Bajji, vada, samosa, banana fry…. This Bonda, I remembered, I had eaten in Munnar too. Sir, give me one piece of this and a piece of this. Thank you! He explained to me that both of these are made with rice powder. This one also has jaggery. One has been deep fried and the other has been fried. This is a good snack! This rice pathiri has rice powder as well as maida (refined flour). It is slightly sweet. And it has a lot of oil. However, it makes for a good snack to be enjoyed with a cup of tea. Decent taste! Just look at this snack, Neyyappam, on both sides. Now this one is made with rice flour and jaggery. But its taste is amazing! Now, it may be because of the combination or… …because of the way it has been fried…. …it tastes good. Again a good snack, not too sweet, because of the jaggery. Good snack! I am going to get one anda (egg) bajji (fritter) as well. With this chutney made of onions and tomatoes…. …egg fry! Awesome! Egg fry is good on its own and tastes better with this chutney. We are going very slow. We started at 9 am and it s 2.30 pm now & we haven’t covered even 25% of the distance yet. Anyways, 30 minutes from now, we will stop at a restaurant for lunch. On the highway, we’ve reached this Tharavadu Hotel to eat Sadhya. While eating Sadhya, the first thing to enjoy is watching being served. How, on this banana leaf, one after the other dish is served. One thing, I have to admit,… …in Kerala, while eating Sadhya like this, if you close your eyes and…. …smell like this for a minute, you will identify the presence of coconut in the meal. This is because every dish has coconut in it. First of all, I have to add this papad to the rice and dal mixture. Take this papad, crush it like this and add it to dal and rice. Then enjoy! During this tour, I’ve understood how to enjoy papad. Mmmm! Eating just dal and rice doesn’t give you that taste, which comes from adding this papad too. I had first eaten Avial in Mumbai. Second time in Chennai. And third time, here in Kerala. A lot of vegetables are added to Avial. And, it goes without saying, there is coconut in every dish. Avial tastes good, by which I mean, it has a lot of coconut oil in it. Carrot, coconut and mustard seeds, all are visible to the naked eye. For your reference, Kerala Sadhya doesn’t include parotta or chapati. I don’t know why I had been avoiding karela (bitter gourd) since childhood. No reason for that. And whenever I’ve eaten karela, it was stuffed inside with something or the other. But here, it is not stuffed, instead, it is chopped into small pieces & cooked. Coconut with karela is a good deal, good taste! It is a bit sour too, because of imli (tamarind). I feel that if I eat this karela 4-5 times more,… …my aversion to karela will convert into interest. I mean to say, it is tasty. They have also served this kadhi on the table. Kadhi, made with curd and coconut,… …is a first-time experience for me and one that is tasty too! For the past few days, I’ve been talking to a lot of people about this. The Kerala sambhar is different in taste. Specially in comparison to the sambhar I ate in Chennai. What I know from my discussion so far is this – First thing,… Chennai sambhar has lot more tamarind in it as compared to the Kerala sambhar. Second thing – Chennai sambhar has more fresh coriander than Kerala sambhar. From the first bite itself, I can identify that heeng (asafoetida) has a strong flavor in this sambhar. I just remembered, in Kochi, we took a similar chili and crushed it into rice…. …before pouring curd over it like this. Ohhoo! At that time, I had identified 3 things as my personal favorites. Among those, this is now my number 1 favorite dish to eat. What I mean to say is… …it is quite salty, no need to add extra salt to it,…. …and what more can I say, it is a marvelous combination…. ….to add chili to rice like this and top it with curd! Too good! I cannot praise enough this combination, I don’t have words. I hope you can understand what an amazing flavor this combination has! This payasam is made with semai (vermicelli). A good end to today’s meal! This payasam! For the next two and a half hours, we will have to travel non-stop. This is because our today’s journey… …has only 30% complete till now. And it is already 4.15 pm. We took a 35-kms longer route to reach Trivandrum. This is because we wanted to eat puttu on our way. Puttu-kada, in Karunagappally area, is a very famous eatery. We are travelling towards that place now. Puttu & vegetable stew! Look at their serving style. Look at the texture of this dish. Very beautiful! Especially with the coconut sprinkled around it. It is absolutely hot, I could feel that while breaking it down. Inside as well, coconut is there, I had eaten it in Kochi as well. Look at the steam escaping! Superb! So, in a way, I’ve crushed it completely. If you missed the Kochi episode, then, for your reference… …puttu is made with rice flour. Puttu is made in various combinations. It can be eaten with fish curry. Or with chicken curry. And with vegetable stew like this. Kadala curry, that we ate with puttu, I remember, was quite tasty. So, as I serve myself this vegetable stew, I can smell a fragrance in it. Magnificent! The color of this vegetable stew… …is due to use of coconut milk. And also because of the cashew paste. Inside this puttu,…. …along with rice flour, there are flavors like that of elaichi (green cardamom) and… …these flavors are making this dish delicious. It tastes a bit sweet while eating. Probably because it has kishmish (raisins) in it. And also because of the coconut milk used. That is tasty in itself. And, as I’ve told you before, the original taste of puttu is really praiseworthy in itself. For me it is a new experience, as I’ve eaten puttu for the first time in Kerala. But even in that relatively new experience, the one I am enjoying today… …this experience is amazing. I mean to say that… …if you eat puttu for the first time, you will become its fan immediately. You will also become an immediate fan of this combination that I am eating here today. You know in this vegetable stew, there is just one ingredient in the name of spices. That is a little salt. I mean to say that if you eat just a few spoonfuls of this stew… …for the first time you may find this dish short on salt. That is because it has just a little salt. But once you eat 5-6 spoonfuls of this combination,… ..you won’t feel the need to add salt. What I mean is that even with so less salt… …this dish is so good! In the last 4-5 days, I’ve noticed that black tea is quite common here. In every restaurant… …you will get to drink black tea like this. This is a good end to today’s dinner. If you have some experiences… …regarding Trivandrum, Thekkady or this journey,… …please share in your comments. As always, I shall wait for your comments. I am going to say bye to you here itself because… …we still have to travel for two and a half hours more. It is 9.15 pm now, so you can imagine what time we shall be reaching Trivandrum. Now, for the next two days, we will be in Trivandrum. It could also be 50-50. One day each in Trivandrum & Kanyakumari. I am still undecided. That’s it. See you soon! In the next episode, you’ll see… …what all we enjoyed in Trivandrum. A lot of my subscribers had recommended to me that… ….I must go from Trivandrum to Kanyakumari & Rameshwaram. We did visit Kanyakumari. Standing on the last tip of land in India & watching Indian Ocean, Bay of Bengal & Arabian Sea… …together is an amazing experience. Just too good! In this journey, we had to miss going to Rameswaram. In the Kerala tour, along with food & sight-seeing,… …we also enjoyed water sports activities. See you soon with a new & exciting journey. Till then, goodbye! See you soon!