Monday, January 11, 2016

Thrissur@Roadside Eats

All over the world, roadside snacks are usually a major temptation, often offering things you won't usually find in an indoor eatery. India is huge and each region has its share of exquisite eats dished out by wayside hawkers.

This December I was in Thrissur and spotted quite a few tasty foods being sold on carts. Sadly, as I have a very delicate digestive system, I could not taste many of them but I did manage one opportunity for which I'm most grateful.

Near the KTDC Beer Parlour

 An eminent film maker took us to this stall for breakfast. The morning air was pleasant and a goodly crowd was busy stuffing their faces with the delicious fare. Most of the customers were auto rickshaw drivers. 

Appams and Vadas and Chutney and a Tapioca Curry

On our last evening in Thrissur we passed some hawkers whose carts emitted the most divine aromas. A whole lot of young men were sitting around these carts and eating dedicatedly.

Quail eggs?

The gravies look and smell heavenly!

The proud owner of such excellent food!

We often ask my husband who is from Kerala what were his favourite roadside eats in his youth. His stories make our mouths water but, alas, we did not find any pathiri to match his memory and, so, though we saw some, we did not try them.

I could just reach into the picture to grab one of those fluffy dosas!
The food you can get in the restaurants is rapidly pushing many local treats into oblivion. Tourism, also, by pandering to the homesick, threatens the delicate existence of regional cuisines. The dominant regions impose their tastes producing a plethora of butter chicken type curries. And of course the ubiquitous Indian version of Chinese food. Add to that the craving of the locals for exotic fare and you have the tragic disappearance of many local dishes.

Sometimes we bought sand roasted peanuts from such carts
Groundnuts and roasted gram sell like hot cakes and evoke nostalgia in many Indians as these are sold almost throughout the country. So are pakoras or bajjis, as they are called in the South. 

The black fruits to the right are toddy palm fruit
Strolling aimlessly, one saw and smelled many fruits. I adore a couple of varieties of the small bananas that one finds in the South: Poovan Pazham and Elakki but, since they are readily available there, a host never offers any. As luck will have it I manage to get the latter off Big Basket

I'm determined to find a way to travel with a big group of hardy travelers who won't mind taking the lion's share of way side snacks when I travel next!

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