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South India Trip Report - Tamil Nadu and Kerala

daveena | Mar 4, 2008 03:18 AM

I'm making my way through South India with friend and fellow CH'er Cicely - this portion of the trip has been mostly about temple-hopping, with less of an emphasis on scouting out great food, but we've had a number of surprisingly good meals in hotel restaurants (as well as a number of frustrating meals, in part because it's taken us a while to adapt to the rhythm of South Indian meals), so I thought it would be worth it to record them for other travellers. Cicely will have her take, along with pictures, on her blog frimframsauce.com, after we return to the States in a few weeks.

Our itinerary:
Chidamburam, Gongakondacholapuram
Allepey (backwater tour)

One problem I've had that as I love dosa, I've been greedily ordering them (along with vadai and iddly) at breakfast... but then I won't want them for a second meal, at dinner. I thought I would see a lot of South Indian-style vegetables (dry, with mustard seeds, curry leaves, chilis) on dinner menus, to have with rice and curd and rasam, but almost every restaurant we've been to has predominantly North Indian-style vegetables, with lots of gravy, and those just haven't been very good. I've finally settled into a better rhythm - pongal or iddly for breakfast, vegetable thali for lunch (I wish these were available for dinner, too!), dosa and vadai for dinner. I always scan menus for special items not seen on other menus and try to order those, too.

I'll do a separate post for each city.

Also, can anyone tell me what it means when a dish has the number "65" in it? Gobi 65, chicken 65, etc etc.

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