Friday, August 30, 2013

My Happy Food Trail of South India!

Travelling has always been fun, from the days when I was tiny and used to travel to my nani’s place in summer vacations with my family, till today when I take de-stress holidays with my husband. But no matter which exotic destination I choose to travel now, it would not match the childhood excitement we used to have while travelling in a second class train compartment, digging in every passing local snack, making new friends, be over joyous to meet cousins, shop in local markets, gorge on the favourite roasted chicken and play and sleep on the terrace together. Those days have carved a deep memory line in my mind.

Today, given a chance I would like to travel with all those people including my late mom and go to some place where time stops at that moment and relive those sweet memories all over again.

But everyone says ‘Live in present’, and I too abide by it. So, If I have to plan a trip in future, being a great food lover and food explorer, I would like to book me and my husband on a 15 day coastal food tour of India and let him wonder exactly what our destination is. A combination of food, travel and exploration is what can create happy travellers like us. Here goes my trail story………

My South India Food Trail ….

Start off from our all-time favourite destination GOA, and make it a point to try a new place for every meal, no repeat is the only rule. Sample the Indo-European romance delicacies from local Goan Masala fish fry and Vindaloo, to Xacuti and Balchao. Witness the Russians indulging in raw oysters plates after plates and wonder if we should also try it. Truly there is no other place like Goa. One place, endless experiences!

Saying bye to the ever welcoming Goa we would head to our next stop, that is MANGALORE, which is known for its Konkani food and pickles. What more motivation would we foodies need. Following our rule, we take the highway, inquire with locals about popular eating joints amongst them and start ordering the best on the menu. Not to miss are the city’s coconut curries, neer dosas and variety of fish, prawn and shrimp pickles. A great souvenir for friends back in Delhi.

After stuffing ourselves enough at Mangalore, we move on to KOCHI, the most famous coastal town of Kerala. Pick up some fresh fishes, crabs and prawns from the local stinky fish market, make a special request to the hotel chef to make something aunthentic Keralian for us and what a treat it would be to have our handpicked sea food. Other popular eateries of the town are awaiting us too, so move on to the next, without missing the local street food at the beaches.
KOVALAM calling! Moving on to another darling of Kerala, we head out straight to the neat gorgeous beaches. Lay back sip some amazing fresh mocktails, bite on some amazing fried fishes and go slow as the destination calls for a laid back attitude. Relax, before the last luxurious meal in the city and say bye to the God’s own Country ‘Kerala’and Hello to Tamil Nadu!

Though there are many awesome coastal destinations Tamil Nadu also boasts off, PONDICHERRY retains its position of being the beloved one. Unlike any other place in India, Pondicherry is more of a French colony, so its cuisine also speaks similar language. Mix is not only shown in it’s traditions and culture but also in the food. Special Pondicherry masala Mackarel fry is not to be missed at all, along with the authentic French and Vietnamese cuisine offered by many restaurants. There is still a lot to explore here. Can we eat while trying the Yoga positions at the Ashram too?

The whole idea of this food trail is like a cool breeze, that goes as quickly as it comes. Our final destination – CHENNAI! Eat, Shop, Roam is our agenda. Take it easy and just soak in the whole aroma South India has given us. Take back the exclusive flavours, this part of the country has treated us with. We aimed for eating fresh and authentic only and followed it religiously. Fly high back to our everyday dal roti sabzi, with unlimited memories, delectable taste on tongue, a few Malayalam and Tamil words on the tongue and unlimited photographs capturing our journey.

Many of us travel, but forget to travel with open minds to be ready to live like the locals do and eat what the locals do. If you search for butter chicken in Kerala and Goa, the whole point of travelling is lost. Go out explore without any regrets coz Journey is the real Destination!

Yatra will help you plan your dream holiday or turn your holiday ideas into reality. Indulge in Travel. Travel On!

[This post has been done for the Indiblogger & Yatra contest "Creating Happy Travellers". ]

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