Category Archives: Kerala

Avees Puttu House, Alappuzha – Kerala Restaurant

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On my last trip to Kerala, my family and I were on our way to Trivandrum when we stopped at a restaurant, on the Alapuzha – Changanassery Higway, for breakfast. It was my first time there although my father-in-law is a regular visitor and he  suggested the place.

I’ll break down the blog post into shorter sections to make it easier to make it  easier to skim through.

Location : The branch that we visited was located right on the highway on your left, traveling towards Trivandrum. You can’t miss it, its got a giant ‘Puttu  Kodam and Kutti‘ that looks like a giant penis from afar. Here’s the location on  Google Maps [link]

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Interiors: The restaurant is right on the bank of a canal (or estuary? I’m not  sure) and one side of the dining area features large open windows and doors which  leads to an outdoor seating area.  There’s a mock Snakeboat inside that has tables in it and also tables around the  periphery of the boat.

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Food: Although the name of the joint implies its a place specializing in Puttu, I  ordered the Iddiyappam and motta curry as I’m prejudiced against eating puttu with traditional Kadala curry. I prefer my puttu with the regular white ones. Yeah, I’m  racist when it comes to chickpeas.

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The food was good, soft, stringy appams with the right amount of shredded coconut and the egg curry comes with two eggs per order (which is the correct number of eggs for breakfast) and was quite spicy so I had to chug down some cold water to cool off.

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I did try a little puttu and kadala curry from my wife’s plate and it was OK I guess. My kids had a little of both and although both are picky eaters we managed to get them to eat a little.

Overall I’d say the food was fine considering its a highway restaurant and most of the patrons would be people traveling across districts and looking for a decent place to sit down, recharge and then continue to their destination.

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Added attraction: when we entered we found out that they also make their own brand of rice flour, masala mixes and even in-house ground coffee. You can pick up a few bottles of flour or spices to try out in your recipes at home.

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Avees website [link]

Quick Trip To Kerala

I made a really short trip to Kerala during the Eid holidays last week to attend to some personal matters.

I knew I had a tight schedule but while packing my cameras I figured I’d get some free time to go out alone but that didn’t happen.

Here’s some of the few photos I did take during the week I was there.

Cormorant

Boatman

Navigating

Vigil

Another thing I found out that most of the bars in Kerala have now been shutdown due to some court order and that means getting a drink with your lunch means you’d have to go to a place that’s above 4 Stars. Quite a shame really as there are many hotels in Kerala that have a nice ambiance but the alcohol bans keeps out the clients during lunch time like this place below.

Bekal Fort – Kasargode

Since we made the trip all the way to Kannur, it would’ve been a shame if we didn’t visit Bekal Fort in neighboring Kasargode district. The route from our hotel to the fort would take us along the coast of Kerala and a distance of approximately 45 kilometers. Due to traffic conditions and flooding in certain areas it took us around 90 minutes to get there.

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Exploring Ezhimala Hills in Payyanur

This summer my family and I traveled to a couple of places in the farthest corners of our state of Kerala. We were attending a wedding in Payyanur in Kannur District so our stay had been arranged at Payyanur town. This is going to be a long post as I’m going to include a couple of areas in a single post to make reading easier.

Payannur
Our journey started from Ernakukam and we took the day-train from Ernakulam North Station to Payyanur. The journey took a total of seven and a half hours and offered some great views of our beautiful state.

We stayed for a total of 3 days in Payyanur and since the wedding and other ceremonies only took a day, we had the remaining time to explore this new place. We had imagined the town of Payyanur to be a sleepy little place but on the contrary it was almost as busy as other major towns in Kerala state and there were a lot of shops, restaurants and establishments catering to both the locals and visitors.

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RIP 98.4UFM?

On Valentine’s Day many of us were surprised to see this message on 98.4UFM’s Facebook page. It was not secret that running the radio station was a huge expense but most of us wished that advertisement revenue would somehow bail it out from the red to black.

This was the message from the COO;
Dear UFM 98.4 Listeners,
We regret to inform you that we have to stop the broadcast of your much loved UFM 98.4 for reasons that the Broadcast License fee by the Government was too high to run the station. The owners were funding the project for the last 11 months making huge loses, more like a charity to Indian community.

We couldn’t get good advertiser support and couldn’t generate funds , so the owners decided to stop the funding and hence we had to silence the station.
We thank all our beloved listeners for all the Love, Encouragement and Life you brought into the station making us feel the station is yours with your loyalty.
We also thank all the advertisers who really supported us to reduce our loses and bring it this far.

We will be bidding for the new license if it comes for bid under the same banner and hope that we will win at affordable rate and then your voice will be heard again,.
Meanwhile thank you again and keep us in prayers.

Please note; All the winners for all competition going on 13 will be announced thru FB , web and direct contact if possible and will be awarded.

Vinukumar Nair
Chief Operating Officer

Hope they get back on their feet soon.

 

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Punarjani Traditional Village – Munnar

Ok so my main PC that I use for blogging is still FUBAR so will have to use my laptop till its back to operating condition. Unfortunately I don’t have LR3 on this machine so I’m using Photoscape for processing the pictures. I’ve also compressed the two hour show into a 3 minute highlight video.

Punarjani is a cooperative venture by a group of artists based in Munnar. They’ve set up a small area near the town where they conduct shows daily. They’ve got a couple of scouts standing by the side of the road to attract tourists so you won’t miss them if you’re driving by. Our driver suggested we book our tickets on the way to the resort coz these shows usually run at full capacity.

Click ‘more’ to read the full post.

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Visit to a Spice Garden – Deepa Spice World

One of the things I noticed this time around was a large number of ‘Spice Gardens’ on the way to Munnar and also on the way to Thekkady. These privately owned properties host a variety of plants and spices and they offer a guided tour within the property.

We stopped at a place called Deepa Spice World and bought tickets for a guided tour in Malayalam. You can choose between Malayalam, Hindi and English. Our guide took us through the narrow garden path where she pointed out the spices and explained how each one was harvested and which part of the plant was used to make the spices that we’re familiar with. The plants are all marked with signboards that display both the English name and the scientific /botanical name.

I’d never seen a cardamom tree and many other spices in their natural state before so it was a good learning experience.

One interesting aspect was they also collected and preserved nests of birds and insects. One such display was this huge hornets nest that was the size of a child.

At the end of the tour there’s a shop where all the locally grown spices are available in different sized packages. I bought some nutmeg, vanilla pods, star anise and raw bitter chocolate to use for desserts. The locally made chocolate was really good and I recommend you give it a try. I broke open one of the vanilla pods and took a whiff of the beans inside and I can tell you that the essence you get in bottles can’t hold a candle to this stuff.