Monday, December 28, 2009

Kerala Part 2 - Food, Surprise and Unni

Kerala food - when I think about it, all I can see is a plate full of rice served with Rasam, Sambhar, three vegetables and Papad - a full platter on banana leaf!

Our third day of Kerala Trip at Munnar is one of the most memorable days for us. The day before was dedicated to visit to tea gardens, rose gardens with few rose plants, waterfalls and speedboat rides, Ayurvedic massage and Kathakkali performance. To read the post on Kathakkali performance that we saw and to see a small video clipping of it it, click here.

That's Mutthu - the person who took us on the speedboat ride and clicked splendid photos..

This is a surprise according to Mr. Unnikrishnan

On the third day, the guys decided to stay at the hotel and the girls were in mood to explore the place. We asked Unni whether he could take us to few places around. He was so much on for another visit to the SURPRISE, but we had seen enough of them; so the first destination was the Eravikulam Wildlife Sanctuary famous for Nilgiri Tahr - the goat like looking animal. We reached there and saw the long queue; and decided not to visit the Sanctuary after all as all we could have seen was the animal shown below in the image!

As per our schedule, the Keralite Vegetarian Thali was sounding more tempting than standing in the queue for more than an hour (well we assumed so; for longer the waiting time assumption, better we feel for not visiting one place).

Savarana Bhavan - the famous authentic South Indian food chain was the place we were very much looking forward to; and not disappointed too; after we had our meal.

The Thali that we had at Savarana Bhavan

Few people do have certain myths about Kerala food - Kerala is not a good place when it comes to non-vegetarian food. But our experience was opposite - my husband had a better time when it came to food; as he is a hard core non-vegetarian. The spices that are used in the preparation were way too amazing. And the prawns were as huge as a lobster. Mouth watering already? Then let it water a bit more people. See the image below:

Post our wonderful and delicious veg meal at Savarana Bhavan; we called up Unni; unaware of the problem we are soon going to face. Immediately upon answering the call, Mr. Unnikrishnan informs us:

"Madam, Unni out; keys in. What to do?"

Sigh! We reached where few men were struggling to break open the car door. Well, look at it yourself what they did!

The struggle for almost an hour; the success and the next destination - church. But the church visit and our visit to the tea museum will be coming up in the next post.

PS: My last post featured Mohanlal. I must have hurt many sentiments of Mammootty fans. Thus, I am posting his image in this post. Thank you Kavi for pointing this out to me.


  1. Kerala has awesome sea food delicacies. And the typical veg meal complete with pappadam, avial and all....sllluuurrrppp!!!

    Saravana Bhavan is a nice place to be if you want veg food.

    If Mohanlal is cute, Mammootty is handsome :-)

    Waiting for the tea museum post :-)

  2. Informative and interesting post.
    Mouth watering food! I love going to Saravanaa Bhavan, the food out there is just amazing!
    Ooh...the keys in the car...experienced it thrice!! What a pain!

  3. Slurp slurpppppppp..!!!!
    That looks damn delicious. And Saravana Bhavan! Oh, they make awesome delicacies.
    Hey that opening the car door without key is kinda fun really. I tried once and got it right. Now have to learn how to start a car without a key, and then tada! I'll be perfect. :D
    After reading this yummy yummy post, I'm ravenously hungry. :-)
    Waiting for the next part.... :-)

  4. The post is really mouth watery....and i am raving for a lunch at Saravana Bhavan.
    Can't wait for your next post :)
    And Happy New year dear

  5. Great summation... well, there is a logic behind serving hot food on a Green leaf. The food when it is hot initiates a chemical reaction with Magnesium/Iron in the green leaf. Thus it stimulates the enzymes to digest food better as well as those chemical supplements are very much required for our body. Another fact is that it increases the aroma of food again.. good for digestion!
    The only thing that i found a bit problemacious was the cocoanut oil being used for all sort of dishes... somehow a bit difficult to get used for non-keralites!

    Nice post :) It made me recall our trip to Munnar.

  6. Yea, Mamootty...i am a biggggg fan.....and who says Kerala is not for non-veg......its the best place to have nonveg.......Saravana Bhavan is not kerala style.its more Tamil.......

    Kerala food is made in coconut oil, so not all will like it, but someone who is a foodie....its a treat. its very different coz of arabic, chinese and christian influence...much more than any place in India. TC

  7. Thanks for the excellent narration. I am glad you were able to take care of the "keys in" poroblem. The picture of food on a banana leaf....mouth watering. As is the custom in South, did you mix the rice and sambar with your fingers and palms. That is a lovely experiece. Especialy eating rasam and rice with hand.

    Long time ago a friend of mine asked me: Do you eat your food with your fingers? I said: Yes, with my own fingers. Not with somebody else's fingers.

  8. One more thing Neha. Unni out keys in (said in Hindi) reminded me of this incident.

    A friend of mine who does not know Hindi went to New Delhi sometime back. He went to an ordinary eating place...not an upscale restaurant. No one spoke English there. He wanted one more chapathi. He explained in so many ways and the waiters could not understand. Finally, he pointed to his plate and said: Rotti bito here. He got the chapathi.

  9. Now, one Mammooty fan is happy ! :)

    Well, Kerela is an awesome place that i can go any number of times and not get tired of. With so many friends, colleagues and people that i know cannot be more idyllic than that ! :)

    And the banana leaf and the pappadam...well, mouthwatering.

    Seems like you have had one heck of an adventure with a keyless Unni !


  10. wow..Saravana is a favourite of my whole family. We went to Top station and saw Nilgiri Tahr over there..Munnar is the most beautiful place.

  11. Kerala !! my most fav place ( yet to visit though! ).. nice pics!!

    and btw.. Kerala is famous for good food, good liquor and beautiful women too !!

    hehe !! .... but good to see that u had super time!! real good pics dear!


  12. That was indeed a very delicious post...yes, as you said, it is a haven for non-veg lovers...especially the seafood fare...
    waiting for part 3 :)

  13. Nice post.
    Savarna Bhavan thali is available here too but I have tried Kerala non veg food which is out of this world.
    Those who are fond of coconut-Kerala offers the best food.

  14. excellent post.. and the pictures you have put are excellent too postcard stuff... Would like to go there one day .. and Eat all that food.. I love FOOOOOODDDD

  15. Wowie!!!Kerala....God's own country!!
    Never been to this place bt so want tooo....n now after reading this sumptuous post..I have to..waiting for more posts to follow!!:)

  16. @ Insignia, thanks for the comments...Saravana Bhavan food was really nice...hope you enjoy your Kerala trip as much as I did..and tea museum post coming soon :)

    @ Shilpa, oh my! thrice? poor you.. but this experience was super :D

    @ Karthik, you talking about jhols on a lawyer's blog? cool cool; try doing it..and I will make sure that the owner is my client :P

    @ Communi, thanks for your comments girl...wish you too a very happy new year :)

    @ Mohan, phew! that was some logic..I never knew about it...and thank god I have studied commerce; I wouldn't have anyways studied all these things :D thanks for sharing :)

  17. @ ZB, read the comment section of the previous post - part 1; and you will know why I mentioned about food here :P Savarana Bhavan may be tamil style, but we enjoyed the food there..and everywhere we went, the food was awesome..thanks :)

    @ sm, thanks..and Wish you too a very happy new year :)

    @ SG, thanks for the compliments..I did mix the rice with my fingers, but not palms..I usually have rice using my fingers..not a spoon person on the dinner table u see :) and both those anecdotes were hilarious..:D

    @ Kavi, Mammotty picture is specially for you :D Kerala - I can go there again and again too..amazing place..Unni - I can write a whole post of 1000 words on Unnikrishnan :)

    @ Antarman, Munnar is a heaven on earth..thanks :)

  18. @ Rammy, welcome visit it... good food - yes..good liquor - if you know the local language and get along well with the liquor depot owner..beautiful women - well I don't look at women..will ask my husband and let you know ok?

    @ DC, is indeed a heaven for sea foo lovers..thanks :)

    @ Chowlaji, I agree with you..thanks :)

    @ Bikram, thanks..if you are a foodie, you have have a great time there :)

    @ Jaunty Anima, welcome here..thank u for your comments.. if you like greens, your will love this place...more posts coming soon :))

  19. So you guys had some unplanned adventure too. Waiting to see what you had in the non veg section.:)

  20. Heard a lot about Kerala....would love to go there. Waiting for your next post!!!

  21. no wonder my friends always keep boasting of the kerala spices!! and hey thats Saravana Bhavan :D ... yu can find like almost 10 in Chennai and almost all over the world...they are the best for South Indian indeed!

  22. Hey.....thats a real big lobster.

    OK so now I know how to break into a car !!

  23. @ Holy Lama, I had only veg food...:)

    @ NR, thanks :)

    @ Hary, true..thanks :)

    @ Haddock, its a prawn..and not a lobster :)

  24. Visited Kerala 3 years back a 8 days trip yet did not had a chance to taste kerala food, we took chefs to cook food for us...

    next time in kerala will surly try kerala cusine...

  25. Interesting to read anything related to homeland/...


  26. very nice.. like the step by step pictures most you have come up with i am tried the similar recipe, you have many of good recipes.. do try to visit my place when time permits love to have your feedback dear ..i have followed u glad if u follow me back.. Have a good day.....!