Try Thanjavur recipes from the 1800s on this culinary holiday
Rakesh Raghunathan has spent the last six months cooking up recipes from Thanjavur. But here’s the crazy part — they all date back to the 1800s. “It’s all in preparation for the culinary holiday I am curating next weekend,” says the man behind the food and travel company Puliyogare Travels. Between deciphering century-old measuring quantities from the books of royals (180 tolas = 2 kilos) and sizing them down to tester portions, he’s also been hunting down heritage residences and culinary trails that include stops like a 120-year-old sherbath place.
So if you love to eat and want to consider burning calories by walking toward novel finds of... well, more food — this weekend getaway is for you. Incidentally, Rakesh, who is also the host of a television show called Sutralaam Suvaikkalaam on News 7 Tamil, is fresh off of the success of a curated menu of temple cuisine from Madurai to Thanjavur — that was open to guests at the Hyatt Regency Chennai in January.
Expect to taste everything from Kumbakonam Kappa to Puri Payasam, and of course, jot recipe notes as well. There are a few non-culinary activities lined up alongside, such as a tour of the Thanjavur museum and palace, and a spa session to relax those feet later. Ask Rakesh about what he is looking forward to most, and we’re not surprised that he reroutes us right back to food. “One of the stops on our food walks is a place called Venkata Lodge, which serves something called Pattnam Pakkoda,” he says. Flavour aside, the fun on this plate is the side dish of cinema trivia it comes with. “Sivaji Ganesan had to get his fix of this every time he was in Thanjavur,” adds Rakesh with a smile.
Between March 9 and 12. Cost: Rs 30,000 for double occupancy at Svatma, a luxury heritage hotel. Details: 9884082008