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Travel and Food

“If you reject the food, ignore the customs, fear the religion and avoid the people, you might better stay at home.” ~ James Michener

Travel and food – they go together for me.

Last October we had the pleasure of visiting a quiet little town called Kumily in Kerala, South India. While we stayed there because of its proximity to the famous Periyar Tiger Reserve, we enjoyed our walks through the little town too.  Whenever we visit a new place, José and I make it a point to sample the local food.  So the first evening there we went to look for tea and snacks and here’s what we found.

These were kind of familiar and can be found in different parts of India  – a bun with a sweet filling – called Dilkush (which in Hindi means ‘to make your heart happy’. However, what made these different was the filling – a lot more coconut – which I love!

Thekkady 033

 These are Thennai kozhakattai a sweet dumpling dish made of rice, coconut, jaggery/ sugar. We also tasted a sweet rice cake called vattayappam. Both of these were steamed – so they were easy on the stomach and made a good evening snack.

Thekkady 031

Food is our common ground, a universal experience. ~James Beard (1903-1985) – an American chef and food writer

In this case it’s the tea that makes it a universal experience! 😉  José relished a good strong cup of it, unlike the lighter variety we have at home.

Thekkady 035

Here’s the  shop in all its glory – Irfana Coffee House and Cool Bar –  at Kulathumpalam in Kumily, with its proud owner Zakir Hussain. He was most gracious in letting us take these pictures.  Notice all the banana wafers and tapioca chips in the packets on the counter in front. Fried in coconut oil, these too are a specialty of Kerala.

Thekkady 041

The next day we were lucky to go to a biryani  festival in the town. Now there are various kinds of biryanis that unique to different parts of India and we got a chance to try quite a few of them.  Thalaserri biryani, particular to a region in Kerala, was one we hadn’t sampled before. It was rich with the spices that grown in Kerala – cinnamon, cardamom, cloves and bay leaves. I was certain I got the distinct flavor of rose water too.

Thekkady 052

By venturing out of our hotel as we usually do, and sampling the local food, we get to interact with the local people and find out more about the place and culture.

Are you adventurous with food when you travel?


I’m so glad to be the host of The Writer’s Post Thursday Blog Hop # 73. My prompt is rather long – but it’s open to interpretation.

“If you reject the food, ignore the customs, fear the religion and avoid the people, you might better stay at home.” ~ James Michener

Do join in and add the link to your post here:



22 Comments

  1. Travel Wisdom - Everyday Gyaan Travel Wisdom - Everyday Gyaan December 14, 2013

    […] time to sample the local fare. I’ve written about the food on our trip to Kumily/Thekkady here. On our recent trip to another part of Kerala, we enjoyed the prawns, the fish curry, the pork, the […]

  2. […] talked about our trip to Thekkady and Gavi, in Kerala, South India,  before. I was just going through the pictures that my brother, […]

  3. Meena Menon Meena Menon April 2, 2013

    Ho am loving this space as I read each post :-). You echoed my thots so beautifully… no hol is complete without the local food for us !!

  4. Joyce Joyce March 29, 2013

    I’m not one for trying new foods, so maybe I should stay home. I’d love to travel but it’s hard to find the time and money.

  5. Avik Avik March 29, 2013

    I agree with you that while travelling we should always try the local cuisine. That helps us to get the feel of the place. At least I love to do so…

  6. Roshni Roshni March 28, 2013

    I finally got around to visiting this blog!! Husband and I are also avid travelers and even though husband may be somewhat restricted because he’s a vegetarian, we definitely try to sample the local cuisine wherever we go!

  7. shail shail March 23, 2013

    Familiar things! 🙂 Lovely to read about them. I too like to taste the local cuisine when I travel 🙂

    • from7Eight from7Eight March 23, 2013

      Really close to home for you, Shail! Would love to hear of your food adventures on your recent trip.

  8. Ruchira Ruchira March 22, 2013

    I usually like to order something extraordinary from the menu. Mostly it has been a flop show 😉

    I am glad your trip to kerala was fun. That is one of my place to visit…bucket list!

    • from7Eight from7Eight March 22, 2013

      Wow – good for you that you order new things. But I’m sorry they don’t turn out so good 🙁 Now I want more details, Ruchira. 😉
      Kerala is absolutely a must-visit place. Delightful.

  9. Suzy Suzy March 22, 2013

    Most food makes my dil khush but banana chips – now that is heaven!

    • from7Eight from7Eight March 22, 2013

      Okay the next time you’re in Mumbai we’ll have ourselves a banana chip festival, Suzy. I love them too.

  10. Reiza Reiza March 21, 2013

    I love sweets, especially coconut-filled ones. This post just made me long for my childhood. 🙂

    • from7Eight from7Eight March 22, 2013

      Me too. Tell me more about your childhood, Reiza. 🙂

  11. Cairn Rodrigues Cairn Rodrigues March 21, 2013

    I just finished breakfast but your pictures still made my belly growl 🙂

    • from7Eight from7Eight March 21, 2013

      Actually those pictures made me recall the food and made my mouth water, Cairn. 🙂

  12. Harleena Singh Harleena Singh March 21, 2013

    Lovely to be over at this blog Corinne, and to see both of you together. 🙂

    All the mouth watering delicacies…yumm…I can make out how you must have enjoyed yourself having those. It surely is fun to visit such places and get lost there – keeping everything aside – isn’t it? You made me feel like I need to go on one myself pretty soon. 🙂

    Thanks for sharing. 🙂

    • from7Eight from7Eight March 21, 2013

      Thanks, Harleena. As you might have noticed, Jose is slacking a bit with his posting – but he’ll get there slowly! 😉

      We absolutely loved the lazy town of Kumily. Hopefully next year, we’ll visit Rajasthan and you! And you – do take a holiday. 🙂

  13. janu janu March 21, 2013

    You reminded me of home. The sweet filling with tutti – fruity is called Dilpasand in Bangalore.

    • from7Eight from7Eight March 21, 2013

      I wonder whether we get it here, Janaki. Looking at the pictures made me long for some. 😉

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