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Dhanya and Mittu share their memories of Kerala
Even though I was bought up in the Middle East, I have always worn my ‘Mallu’ tag with much pride. For me, Kerala is all about food, lush greenery and excellent movies… in that order! A hundred words is not enough to describe the cuisine of God’s own paradise, the land that gifted ‘black gold’ to the world. It’s a cuisine that venerates and celebrates spices; be it the fiery beef roast, mild coconuty fish curry or the sweet payasam. It’s also the state that comes together irrespective of caste, creed or religion over a banana leaf and the ubiquitous Onam sadya. And it’s also the land that gifted coconut oil for the health freaks of the world! Ente Keralam…
Dhanya Samuel Food writer and blogger (Melbourne)
The “wow” factor of Kerala is in its enchanting temples, Nadaswaram (drum beats with trumpets), Sadya (typical Kerala feasts served on banana leaves), the coconut tree-filled landscapes, mesmerising backwaters, houseboat cruises… and the legendary actor Mr Mammotty!
Key nostalgic moments for me revolve around the major festival of Onam – the excitement of laying the flower carpets, cooking the Sadya, and then eating it with friends and family.
Every visit back home, the most exciting moment is when I see the coconut tree canopy from the plane. The smell of the monsoon as it hits the earth, spice aromas from cooking wafting through the house, the rustic charm of Fort Kochi, and the lush beauty of the Western Ghats.
Kerala is indeed “God’s Own Country”.
Mittu Gopalan Lawyer (Sydney)