We began our South Indian tour with a few days in Goa — India’s smallest state, known for its beaches. We thought it would be a great way to get over the jetlag, and oh it was a perfect plan!
Our hotel had fantastic breakfasts — from the morning masala dosa to the buffet laid out with all sorts of treats:
Idlis, vada (lentil fritters), and poori (a.k.a. puri — deep fried, whole wheat flatbread) with bhaji (potato curry):
Bhatoora (giant poori) and chole (chickpea curry), mint idlis, and vermicelli upma (breakfast noodles with spices, chilies, ginger, onions, and veggies):
Paratha (stuffed flatbread) and bhaji, and an idli:
The hotel also had a gorgeous pool over which hung a tree with gorgeous white flowers — I bet my friend Ashley would love to wear one of these in her hair:
We also did some sightseeing. Goa was a Portuguese colony until 1961 (!) so there are many churches and beautiful displays of Portuguese architecture!
We visited the Basilica of Bom Jesus in Old Goa (a World Heritage site, built 1594-1605). The church holds the remains of the incorruptible St. Francis Xavier, and is beautiful:
The church has a gorgeous carob tree out front:
We also saw a cashew tree (up in the fork of the branches at the top of the picture is a cashew nut growing out of a beige cashew fruit):
Then we took a trip up to a gorgeous vantage point at an old chapel with a perfect view of Old Goa and the palm trees:
And one of my favourite stops was at an indoor market with tons of fresh & local veggies, like white radishes:
Hot, green chilies:
Fresh, young green coconuts:
Earthy & nubbly ginger:
And such an array of fresh deliciousness and bright colours:
Outside of the market was a vendor selling families packets of highlighter-coloured dyes for Holi, the Hindu festival of colours. Maybe not the natural colours of fruits and veggies, but bright and colourful!
My new find of the trip was my favourite new snack/lunch food — a veggie kati roll. The roll is a whole wheat roti (flatbread) filled with paneer (homemade cottage cheese), sauteed onions & peppers, and served with mint & cilantro chutney. Ohhhh yes.
And believe it or not, they came with the world’s best onion rings. Ever.
We then ate kati rolls wherever we went in South India, whenever we needed a snack. I think they’d be awesome for picnic lunches too. And definitely good for recovery from jetlag!