Kodaikanal Avocado

Kodaikanal is known for its thriving organic farming community and excellent agricultural produce. Garlic, coffee, pepper, citrus fruits, hill banana and cotton have been grown in the lush green hilly terrain of Kodaikanal for decades.   Avocado, the latest entrant has truly been the surprise package for small and marginal farmers of this region. Avocado... Continue Reading →

Kodaikanal Cheese

This will probably come as a big surprise to many, but Bharat in fact produces some of the finest artisanal cheese in the world. Since the days of yore, Bharat is known to prepare the best and most innovative sweets and dishes from milk and its products.   Cheese was introduced in the 1960s by... Continue Reading →

Thiruvathirai Kali (Thiruvadhirai Kali)

Periya Puranam, a Tamizh magnum opus of sixty-three Nayanars (poet saints of Lord Shiva) compiled by Sekkizhar in the 12th century is a literary masterpiece evoking a wide range of emotions from tears of joy to astonishment to bliss. Chidambaram or Thiruchitambalam, one of the pancha sabhas which witnessed the tandava of Lord Nataraja is a mesmerizing tirthasthala with... Continue Reading →

Mangai Inji (Mango Ginger)

It is well known that India is not only the largest producer of ginger in the world but is also a treasure trove of ginger diversity with more than fifty indigenous varieties grown since the ancient times. Each and every district in each and every state has its own local variety that has a distinctive... Continue Reading →

Vella Dosai (Jaggery Dosa)

One of the most popular fasting meals of South India is vella dosai (jaggery dosa). This scrumptious dosa is made by Tamilians on the auspicious occasion of Maha Shivaratri, Ekadasi and Shasti.   Vella dosai, as the name suggests is made from wheat flour, jaggery and spices. Three-quarter measure of powdered jaggery is dissolved in hot water on low flame. The jaggery water... Continue Reading →

Veppilakatti

A delightful spicy yet tangy accompaniment to curd rice, adai, dosa and chapati is veppilakatti. Veppilakatti is a truly masterful innovation of the Palakkad Iyers (Palghat Iyers) that is loved by people from Kerala and Tamil Nadu.   One naturally will think that veppilakatti is made from neem leaves (veppila means neem in Tamizh and Malayalam) but is actually made... Continue Reading →

Ganapathi Naranga and Vadukapuli Naranga

Bharat is home to several types of indigenous citrons that are widely used in the preparation of local delicacies, medicines, jams and pickles. Though some of the best native citrons are available in the foothills of the Himalayas, citrons cultivated in Kerala and Tamil Nadu are an acquired taste but equally delicious.   The auspicious... Continue Reading →

Cuddalore Cashew Processing

It is perhaps not known to many that Panruti taluka in Cuddalore district in Tamil Nadu produces one of the finest variety of cashew nut in the world. Such is the demand for the Panruti cashew across the globe, that it has been titled as the 'goldmine' of Cuddalore.   Cashew nut cultivation and cashew... Continue Reading →

Pollachi Cocoa

Pollachi, known in Tamil as Pozhil Vaitchi meaning land blessed with stunning natural beauty, wealth and prosperity is famous for its innumerable cocoa plantations and delicious world-famous bar chocolates. Owing to its proximity to the Western Ghats, Pollachi has the ideal climate (hot summers, cool winters and adequate annual rainfall) to grow cocoa.   Cocoa (Theobroma cacao... Continue Reading →

Pal Therattipal (Paal Therattipal)

Pal therattipal is a traditional milk sweet that is said to have been first offered by Periyalvar in Srivilliputhur. This delicious sweet derives its name from the Tamil words pal (also written as paal) meaning milk and therattipal meaning the product obtained by constantly stirring and reducing the milk.   Tamilians especially Tamil Brahmins define palkova and pal therattipal... Continue Reading →

Totapuri Mango

One of the best midseason mangoes is Totapuri that is found largely in Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka and Tamil Nadu. Interestingly Totapuri also known as Ginimoothi Mavinakayi in Kannada literally translates to parrot's beak (face)!   Totapuri is cultivated in the Rayalaseema region (Chittoor, Kadapa, Anantapur and Kurnool districts) of Andhra Pradesh, Krishnagiri in Tamil Nadu and... Continue Reading →

On the history trail: The Grand Meeting of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj with Ekoji I (Vyankoji Bhonsle)

After the decisive rout of Sher Khan Lodhi, Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj headed towards Tanjore to meet his half-brother Ekoji to effect a reasonable division of their father’s holdings. He encamped at Tirumalavadi (Thirumalvadi) that lies on the north bank of the Coleroon River, a few miles from Tanjore.   As Maharaj was awaiting the arrival... Continue Reading →

Thanjavur Art Plate

The ancient city of Thanjavur is famous for its culture, literature, music, magnificent temples, stunning sculptures and breath-taking artforms. Every dynasty that ruled over this territory has contributed to its rich history and the pre-eminence of this city has steadily grown over the centuries. The Maratha king, Raja Serfoji II was a distinguished litterateur and... Continue Reading →

Arumbavur Wood Carvings

The quaint town of Arumbavur located in Veppanthattai taluk of Perambalur district is renowned for the five-hundred-year-old craft of wood carving. In the earlier days, the sthapathis used to travel from temple to temple creating masterpieces like the ratha (chariot), utensils, statues and other iconography as per the tenets of Shilpa Shastra. Many of these original pieces of art are... Continue Reading →

Virupakshi Hill Banana of Tamil Nadu

The deliciously sweet Virupakshi Hill Banana commonly referred to as the 'fruit meant for the Gods' is an indigenous crop of commercial importance grown in the eastern parts of the Western Ghats and parts of the Eastern Ghats like Lower Palani Hills, Sirumalai and Kolli Hills.   Virupakshi Hill Banana belongs to the pome group... Continue Reading →

Temple Jewellery of Nagercoil

The temple town of Nagercoil (derives its name from the Tamil words Nagaraja Koyil meaning Temple of the Serpent King) has been a prominent trade centre for spices (Nagercoil cloves) and rice for centuries. Nagercoil located in Kanyakumari district was a part of the erstwhile Travancore kingdom for more than 700 years and the architecture seen in... Continue Reading →

Jigarthanda of Madurai

The ancient city of Madurai is famous for its temples (Madurai Meenakshi and two Arupadaiveedu of Lord Murugan namely Thiruparankundram and Pazhamudircholai), art, culture, literature, different kinds of biryani and of course, the legendary jil jil jigarthanda! Jigarthanda is derived from the words jigar meaning heart and thanda meaning cold and so roughly means heart... Continue Reading →

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