Okra sliced lengthwise is prepared into a red curry.

Okra Curry

This simple delicious okra curry is inspired by the plethora of fresh vegetables on display at our roadside market stop in Madurai. The recipe is adapted from A Spicy Touch: Family Favourites from Noorbanu Nimji’s Kitchen, where eggplant is used instead of okra. Both are equally delicious as prepared here.

A shirtless, elderly South Indian man wearing a light coloured dhoti squats on the ground with his knees near his shoulders as he waves open-palmed to the camera. Unshelled roasted cashews and a grinding stone sit at his feet.

The Cashew Man

The day was a body bulging with the pregnancy of humidity. Breathlessly still, the air grew palpably heavy waiting to deliver its burden. Our pace slowed as if in sync as we wound along the narrow roads in southern Tamil Nadu. The dreamy pace could have lent itself to complete inertia had a hammock been …

Three 2" squares of creamy, nutty cashew coconut fudge sit on a turquoise blue plate stacked in a pile one on top of the other, with garnishes of white shredded coconut, yellow candied ginger strips and raw cashews strewn about on the plate.

Cashew Coconut Ginger Bars

I may not have known until our visit to Tamil Nadu that India grows much of the world’s cashews but, now that I’ve been to South India a few times, I can tell you that along with cashews, you can’t turn around there without bumping into a coconut tree. The same goes for ginger. It …

The massive white columns of Nayakar Mahal Palace tower above the central courtyard, where black folding chairs are set up for a performance.

24 hours in Madurai

Madurai is a bustling beehive of a 2500-year-old city. The River Vaigai flows through the centre of the city and pulses, millet, oil seeds, cotton and sugarcane grow on the fertile plains surrounding the area. Automobile, rubber, chemical and granite manufacturing are the key industries. Lying within 10 degrees of the equator, it’s also famed for …