Monday, 3 March 2014

Kerala Trip - Part 4

More sketches of food! Yes. Isn't it obvious. Any good holiday is made of good company, good locations and good food. Murali Hotel was in a little town called Kambrathchala. It was five kilometres from us and we managed to walk there and back one evening. Dinner was light fare like dosa with masala... or dosa without masala depending on whether you got there before 7 pm or not. But lunch was an elaborate affair. After a "meals" at Murali Hotel there was nothing else to do but have a good siesta.

The town of Kambrathchala is actually just a small triangle of 3 streets. Most buildings are houses, a few are shops - hardware, provisions,  vegetables, welding and repairs, bakery, mechanic and there are two or three eating places. In such a peaceful and remote setting we amused ourselves as best as we could. It takes a day or two to slow down from our city life conditioning.

But if you have good company, slowing down and staying away from the city is such a lovely thing. The people are more cheerful and helpful. The air is cleaner, water too. So many birds! You take pleasure in the simple things because you have the time to enjoy them. Like the soda discovery.
The day we arrived, Rajiv declared that we absolutely must try the Narangi Soda. It was a glass with freshly squeezed lime juice and some sugar syrup topped with plain soda. Very refreshing in the heat. After stopping on our way home each day for narangi soda I did this sketch on the third or fourth day. There was a little sign and since I didn't know how to read Malayalam I copied it carefully. Somehow it struck me that neither of those two words could possibly be narangi so I asked the shopkeeper what it was....and that was how we discovered Sambaram soda!
The letters there in the sketch actually say "Milma Sambaram" - milma being the name of the brand and sambaram is the local term for buttermilk. From that day on we forgot all about narangi soda because the sambaram with freshly chopped chillies, ginger and topped with chilled soda became an all time greatest hit!


  1. Just realised what I have missed after reading your post. Whenever we were tired after our football/cricket/whatever my friends and I would treat ourselves to narangi soda. We, or at least I, did not know of the existence of a milma sambaram. But to give it its due, narangi soda was pretty refreshing.

  2. I think Milma is a brand name equivalent to Aavin here. But the sambaram soda was really fantastic. Must try it out at home this summer.