Posts for rice

Sweeten the Tongue

Blog, Food - GoroadTrip - November 26, 2015

India has an amazing variety of sweets and all Indians love their meal with something to sweeten the tongue and the side effects of spicy food. Every state, town and village and even the villages have their own special court. Many are Pan Indians, while others are regional specialties. The quality of the candies depends on regional ingredients such as water, milk, flour, rice, sugar, gur or molasses, ghee and oil. While Kolkota can be famous for its milk-based sweets, Delhi and Punjab rest their laurels on the sheer quality of ghee and wheat. The south has many sweets made of rice and more than sugar, it is the natural gur that plays a predominant role.

Many places in South India are associated with a certain sweetness. Tirunelveli Halwa is known worldwide for its viscous elasticity and dripping ghee. The word Halwa comes from the Arabic word Hilwa, which means sweet. Halva are usually sweet, rich and full of nuts and nuts. This sweet can shut up! If you put a piece on it, you first fight with its pulling and stretching force and then you really have to chew it! Among the famous creators of Tirunelveli Halwa is the “Halwa Iruttu Kadai” .. literally the halva of the dark shop. This store opened in 1900 and sells the Halwa for a few hours after dark. People are waiting in the queues to buy this sweet and often the stocks of the store are over when you reach the counter. The recipe is a well-kept secret!

Another test that can literally break or break the reputation of a cook and the teeth of his family / guest is Mysore Pak. Made with just three ingredients: Besan or Gram flour, sugar and an infinite amount of pure ghee, you need great expertise to make this modest appearance look sweet. If it does not come out of the wok and fire at the right time, Mysore Pak can become the Rock of Gibraltar! A good confectionery manufacturer from Coimbatore-Krishna Sweets has reinvented and popularized this candy as “Mysorepa” – in fact it is none other than the Besan Ka bartender from northern India with a consistency softer and melting.

The Darward-Peda has risen because of the mass production of this lump of milky pleasure by the Dairy Cooperative of Karnataka. Sweetened milk is reduced to a brown consistency and rolled into balls and squeezed with the thumb. The shelf life of this treatment is longer than that of most dairy products.

Payasam – Sanskrit for milk – is a traditional sweet milk pudding and can vary depending on the terrain. It can be rice, milk and sugar or Chana / Moong Dal, Gur and coconut milk. For any occasion or family event, the banana leaf or plate is first served with a spoonful of Payasam. The Ambalapuzha payasam of the Lord Krishna Temple in Kerala is an incredible dish of sweetness and worship. Vermicelli and Whipped Rice are modern variants added to Payasam or Kheer. The cooks began adding fresh fruit to the milk preparation.

Poli comes from Thanjavur. Polished Pooran is a thin crepe filled with dal and sugar and pureed Gur and flavored with cardamom and nutmeg powder. This dish was introduced to the south by the Maratha invaders and became an integral part of South Indian cuisine. In the border areas of Tamil Nadu and Karnataka, near Kerala, there are pancakes filled with Ubbuttu or Coconut and Jiggery. Po-Pois-Poal-fried in a reduced milk-rich sauce is a variation of this polish.

The flat rice and jiggery paste flattened and fried into balls, the adirasam is also a dish shared with the marathas. It takes an important place in religious celebrations. The Somasi or Gujjia or Karjikkai Fried Crescent is filled with the sticky mix of dal, sugar, nuts and raisins – is another sweet Indian pan that is famous all the southern states.

Chettinad has a traditional and rich cuisine. Their paniyaarams have many avatars and small dumplings dipped in a sweet sauce, coconut milk and paal paniyaram milk is a pudding to dying. Padirpheni is a local paste of angel hair that is crisp until a mixture of almond milk is poured on it. Phathirpheni is especially popular in Karnataka. He is also called Chirotior Surul Poori. Pathiri is the version of Kerala.

Kozhukkattai in Tamil Nadu is immediately associated with Lord Ganesha. It is a momo or a sweet dumpling of rice flour and stuffed with a walnut

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51 Things to do in Chennai

Blog, Things To Do - GoroadTrip - July 6, 2015

51 Things to do in Chennai

1. Make a beeline for the Marina Beach, Chennai’s most popular tourist attraction; it is the second longest beach in the world! You can’t leave without enjoying the vast expanse of sea, sand and sun. And try to catch a sunrise on the beach; it’s a mind-altering experience!

2. Eat hot bajjis on the beach – crisp onion, chilli, potato and raw banana fritters freshly fried. Nothing to beat the feeling of hot bajjis eaten on rickety chairs on the beach as the wind whips your face.

3. Alternatively, try out the local favorite – sundal, boiled chickpeas, seasoned with mustard seeds and coconut.

4. On the subject of beaches, Elliots Beach in Besant Nagar is quite a happening place with beachside restaurants, ice cream joints and fast food.

5. Tie mallipoo (jasmine) in your hair. It beats buying a bottle of Kenzo any day.

6. Head off to Mamallapuram (fondly known as Mahabs) and soak in the beauty of the Shore Temple and all the lovely monuments.

7. Mahabs is dotted with shops selling stone carvings, woodcarvings, soapstone figurines, handicrafts and seashell jewelry. And yes, you can bargain at almost all of these shops.

8. Enjoy a picnic in the shaded environs of Tigers Cave, on the way to Mamallapuram.

9. Gorge on seafood at Mahabs – fresh catch is dished up in many delicious ways.

10. If you come in January, you can catch the dazzling spectacle of the Mamallapuram Dance Festival and get to see various art forms performed in gorgeous surroundings.

11.From Mamallapuram, keep going till you reach Pondicherry. You can shop, sightsee and eat at one of the many lovely restaurants in this charming town. This former French Colony is a one-hour drive from Mahabs. And, don’t forget to visit Auroville.

12. Spend a day at Dakshinachitra on the East Coast Road and learn about South Indian culture. The centre showcases the living traditions of art and culture, folk performing arts, crafts and the architectural traditions of South India.

13. Enjoy soft fluffy idlis and filter coffee at Murugan Idli Shop. You will get four varieties of delicious chutney and sambhar; you can also ask for podi (powder) and oil.

14. Try out fiery Chettinad food at the many Chettinad restaurants that dot the city.

15. Spend a day at Kalakshetra School of Dance, which was founded by Rukmini Arundale. Soak in the lovely ambience – gracious architecture and the verdant campus – and get to see Bharatnatyam and other dance forms performed by lovely, graceful dancers.

16. Schedule a stop at the Madras Crocodile Bank and get entranced by hordes of crocs! A fascinating place to visit, one can see several species of Indian and African crocodiles and alligators bred in captivity and kept here in open pools. There is also a small snake farm that conducts demonstrations of venom extraction. Not for the squeamish!

17. Pay a visit to the Madras Snake Park and learn about these slithering reptiles. The Guindy National Park is adjacent to it and you can enjoy the beauty of natural surroundings bang in the heart of the city.

18. Spend a day at Vandalur Zoo and catch a glimpse of the many exotic animals that are there.

19. Head to St. Thomas Mount; sit atop the serene hill and be enthralled by the sweeping view of the city and the airport. The quaint church too is where St. Thomas was martyred is worth a visit. Its serene ambience will calm and soothe you.

20. for a thrilling catamaran ride with the local fisherman. Be warned…you need nerves of steel!

21. Check out the local sabhas for Carnatic music kutcheris and Bharatanatyam dance performances.

22. Amuse yourself at one of the many amusement parks like VGP, Kishkinta and MGM Dizee World

23. See artists at work at the Cholamandal Artists Village. This peaceful artists’ colony on ECR is a must-visit for art aficionados.

24. Admire the beautiful Kapaleeswarar Temple in Mylapore with its magnificent gopurams and traditional South Indian architecture.

25. Take a walk down the crowded by-lanes of Mylapore next to Kapaaleswar Temple; the aroma of freshly filtered coffee and hot, spicy bajjis, frying in ladles of bubbling oil permeate the air. Little roadside stalls sell an array of products from strung jasmine and marigold to slippers, an amazing range of bindis to bangles and costume jewelry.

26. Take a walk down history lane with visits to the Government Museum in Egmore and Fort St. George, which is where the British originally settled in 1640.

27. The Fort is also home to one of the oldest British churches in India – St. Mary’s, built in 1680. The highlights of the church are the altarpiece and a striking painting of ‘The Last Supper’ done by Raphael.

28. Pig out on South Indian food at Saravana Bhavan. They have outlets all over the city and their dosas, sambhar rice, curd rice, tamarind rice and thalis are just yum.

29. Add some stunning kanjeevaram and chungdi saris to your wardrobe. They come in a dazzling variety of colours and designs at the many shops that dot the city. T. Nagar and Mylapore have many lovely sari shops.

30. Pay a visit to the Theosophical Society in Adyar. Not only can you learn more about the Society you can also enjoy the beauty of nature in its lovely verdant campus. It’s an oasis within the city.

31. The banyan tree at Theosophical Society is supposedly 450 years old and sprawls across approximately 40,000 sq.ft.

32. A visit to Nalli is a must; their selection of saris, for which they are legendary, is awesome.

33. Buy temple jewellery; it’s unique, it’s beautiful. From earrings, studs, chains, pendants to hair ornaments, there’s a stunning variety. Originally, temple jewelry was made in gold, studded with uncut diamonds and rubies, and emeralds, sapphires and pearls but today you will find more affordable pieces.

34. The gypsies have set up roadside stalls in Besant Nagar and they sell lovely, colorful beaded jewelry at virtually throwaway prices. A great bargain.

35. For fabrics of every hue, texture and design, visit the pavement stalls off Pantheon Road. You can pick up material for curtains, upholstery and clothes at great prices. Remember to hone your bargaining skills!

36. For handicrafts pay a visit to Poompuhar or Victoria Technical Institute and pick up traditional artefacts.

37. Need some retail therapy? Head to one of the malls – Express Avenue, Phoenix Mall or Citi Center. Window shop, choose from a mind-boggling variety of foods at their food courts, and just wile away the time.

38. Sathyam Cimemas, the multiplex, is a great place to go if you have nothing to do. Catch a movie or eat sinful desserts at Ecstasy.

39. If you are adventurous, check out one of the Tasmac liquor shops. Be prepared to push and shove your way through drunken hordes to get yourself liquor; chances are you won’t get the brand you want, very rarely will you get a full bottle (you will have to cart back an annoying collection of quarter bottles).

40. Grand Sweets and Snacks is not to be missed. It is a veritable institution here and their sweets and savories are freshly prepared and delicious. Don’t worry about the calories!

41. The legendary Mysore Pak at Shri Krishna Sweets (which has branches all over the city) is to die for – sinfully rich, soft and absolutely melt-in-your mouth.

42. Chennai’s Mass Rapid Transport System (MRTS) is one of a kind. Want an elevated tour of the city? Hop onto one and spend a morning or afternoon travelling through many parts of Chennai.

43. If you’d like to do a spot of boating, drive down to Muthukadu Lake, which is on the way to Mamallapuram. There are speedboats, rowboats and pedal boats. In summer, the heat can be scorching though.

44. If you care about the environment, from November to April, you could take part in the Turtle Walks that kick off on Besant Nagar Beach. If you’re lucky, you might spot an Olive Ridley turtle laying eggs.

45. A walk down T. Nagar’s crowded shopping areas in Pondy Bazaar and Panagal Park are a must. You will have to jostle your way around but it’s fun, and when you get tired of it, just pop into one of the air-conditioned sari or jewellery shops!

46. For haute fashion, a trip down Khader Nawaz Khan Road, Chennai’s very own ‘Fashion Street’ will leave fashionistas happy and sated!

47. Erected over the tomb of the apostle St. Thomas, the San Thome Basilica is a significant pilgrimage centre. Its graceful spire, the majesty of its structure and the exquisite stained glass windows and its Neo-gothic structure make it one of Chennai’s most elegant landmarks.

48. Chennai is famous for its filter kaapi – made with freshly ground coffee beans that exude a tantalizing aroma; this is an experience not to be missed. Nothing like a steaming glass of coffee served up in the traditional stainless steel tumbler.

49. And of course, don’t forget to eat a sumptuous thali meal complete with mounds of fluffy rice, sambhar, rasam, porial (vegetables), applam and pickle followed up by a delicious payasam.

50. In the heat of Tamil Nadu’s scorching summers, a refreshing plate of the ubiquitous thayir saadam (curd rice) with a dash of pickle will leave you feeling cool and satiated.

51. The best time to come to Chennai is between November and February. Not only is the weather wonderfully pleasant, December is when the music season is on and everyday you can catch concerts and performances at the various sabhas and also get to taste authentic local food.

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