With great cheer & hopes for a successful year, we wish you an enlightening 2017. Winter is in its full glory with festivals, weddings and celebrations all over and this time we take you to Temple city of India – Madurai, its culture, food and a charming ethnic resort that will tempt you to make a visit to this colourful land.
So, stay warm and embrace the weather with the special Masala Chai recipe. Hope you would enjoy reading!
Eyed By Indian Zing
Kadambavanam Ethnic Resort, Madurai
Kadambavanam is an ethnic and rustic styled resort located in the country side of Madurai.
Surrounded by 360 degrees of a sea of greenery it is just thirty five minutes away from the Great Temple of Goddess Meenakshi and fifty minutes away from the airport. The USP of Kadambavanam is that it offers cultural, spiritual and traditional content to visitors wishing to understand Tamilnadu and Tamil living. Yoga and meditation,village walks ,hill trekking, nature walks and bicycle trips are added attractions.
‘Adisil’,the multi-speciality restaurant is situated atop a hill with a sweeping view. The cuisine is a big hit, with the highlight being Tamil ethnic delicacies. A sprawling swimming pool adds charm to the romantic setting. The cottages are laid out in a village cluster nature. The resort truly follows green principles and promotes endogenous tourism.
Pongal is one of the most awaited festivals in Tamil Nadu in the month of January. It is in celebration of a good harvest as thanks are directed to the Sun God and other higher powers for the food on the table and prosperity. The festival spans a duration of four days.
The word 'Pongal' means overflowing in abundance, this is also represented in the overflowing milk and rice that is prepared onpongal. The first day of the festivities is the Bhogi Pongal, this day people purge the old and bring in the new.
On the second day, people wear new clothes, prepare both sweet and spicy pongal dishes and enjoy the day with friends and family. The third day is Maatu Pongal, a grand gesture for the farmer's best friend; the cattle. They are bathed and decorated, worshipped and fed their favourite dishes!
When:14thJanuary 2017 Where:Tamil Nadu
The soul of the state Tamil Nadu, Madurai is one of the oldest cities of India, a metropolis that traded with ancient Rome and was a capital long before Chennai came into existence. Also known as the Temple Town of India, the city is uniquely constructed in the form of a Lotus.Meenakshi temple is the excellent master piece of the area.
Visiting Madurai and not making a trip to the Meenakshi Temple is akin to going to Paris and not seeing the Eiffel Tower. It is the most exquisite piece of architecture, dedicated to Lord Shiva & Goddess Parvati.
Gandhi museum is a must visit when in Madurai for its great historical relevance.
ThirumalaiNayak Mahal was constructed way back in the 17th century by Muslim dynasty. Several buildings and temples had been constructed by him in the region and they have been splendid piece of construction.
About 90 minutes from Madurai, Chettinad is that little pocket of Tamil Nadu famous for its fortress-like homes and temples that are architectural marvels.
Shop Sungudi Sarees
Made from 100% cotton, the Sungudi sarees are dyed through extracting natural colours from sources such as leaves.The main feature of Sungudi saris is that they have bright colours along with contrasting borders which are generally in gold.
Wear the Malli (Jasmine) flowers
When in Madurai, you cannot escape the heady fragrance of jasmine flowers that wafts from the numerous stalls that line either sides of its streets.Do not feel shy to wear one on your hair and soak in the tradition of the city. Malli is not just a flower but an intrinsic part of the city’s ethos.
Sip the city’s signature drink
Jigarthanda- A dessert unique to Madurai that's reputed to cool you down faster than an air con. Part falooda, part thandai, it’s a concoction of milk, khus, vermicelli, menthol and some strange seeds whisked together in a secret proportion to create the ultimate traditional cooler.
From the Kitchen...
Masala chai is the favourite drink of Indians, especially during winters. It not only helps warm down your body but also helps in blocked sinus and sore throat. Here is a quick recipe how you can enjoy your cup in this cold weather.
Tea Leaves 4-6 teaspoon
Milk 1 cup
Chai masala 1 teaspoon
Sugar Free 4 measures
Cinnamon 1 inch stick
Green cardamoms 4
Black peppercorns 16
Nutmeg grated 1/4 teaspoon
Dry grind all the masala ingredients to a fine powder. Let it cool completely then sieve. Store in an airtight container.
Use the masala as and when required to make tea. Boil three cups of water in a pan.
Add tea leaves, milk, the powdered masala and Sugar Free and bring the mixture to a boil again. Boil for a couple of minutes. Strain and serve piping hot.