Day 3, July 19th
Dress Color – Pink.
Agenda for the day – South Indian thali, sakinalu demo, Andhra avakaya demo, mango ice cream demo and chaat.
Veena, Sandhya, Priya Srinivasan, Priya Suresh and Gayathri prepared a delicious Tamil meal for us. While the ladies were busy cooking away in the kitchen, the rest of us were busy in our own activities.
Vaishali prepared 5 varieties of pani for evening chaat. Baking team was busy feeding the sourdough. I did a demo on how to edit videos on iMovie while tasting Amara’s delicious homemade mango ice cream and also taking group selfies. I recorded the video session but did not share with the group as the session got too lengthy with other activities that we did simultaneously.
Around 12:30pm, South Indian team served us a yummy, wonderful Tamil meal the traditional way. Veena, Priya and Sandhya wore 9 yard sarees and served us food in a banana leaves. Veena explained what each dish is and how it is eaten.
Vaishali had invited her nieces for lunch and Valli invited my cousin Ramakka for lunch when we picked up Vaishlai’s birthday cake the previous day. Ramakka got us all a goodie bag consisting of a small cake and biscuits from country oven. Cakes were so popular among the kids. Biscuits were so yummy that I finished off more than half the box all by myself!
After everyone had lunch, Veena and group gave us a thamboolam. It was perfect south India meal with a very traditional touch. I can’t thank the ladies enough for giving us such a nice experience.
After lunch we had a series of demo sessions while Vaishali and others were busy preparing chaat for for us.
I asked my mom and aunt to do a demo on how to make sakinalu. Sakinalu are Telangana speciality and it is quite challenging to get a thin row of dough twisting fingers. I asked mom to prepare the flour at home and made the dough at the villa. Some of the members tried making sakinalu and few of them did a decent job.
By then chaat counter was ready and we lined up for pani puri. Vaishali prepared pani puri with 5 flavors of water and Ragada patties. She prepared all the pani masalas at home and brought the mixes to Hyderabad. It was very thoughtful of her to keep us NRIs in mind and have it on the menu. We all enjoyed pani poori to the core. That reminded me of Chennai where she prepared pani poori shots for everyone.
Later, Amara did a demo on how to prepare avakaya (mango pickle). She used the mangoes from her garden and also brought a big jar of pickle for all of us to take back home.
It was time for Pradnya to leave. Since Pradnya was leaving, Amara got her a pack of biryani from Melting Pot and she also got an extra pack of chicken biryani for some of the non vegetarians in the group. Since most of the members are vegetarians, it was suppose to be a secret and we hid the biryani pack in Archana’s room on the 2nd floor.
The next demo was 3 ingredient homemade mango ice cream. We tasted Amara’s mango ice cream in the morning and on popular demand, she showed us how to prepare. She used homemade mango pulp and she has one of the sweetest mangoes in her orchard.
After the demo, Archana, Priya Suresh and I slowly made our way to Archana’s room to eat our biryani. We told Valli why we were going upstairs. Archana took two glasses of water, Priya Suresh who was eating Amara’s mango pulp from a glass came up with the same glass in her hand. Seeing glasses in our hands, the ladies sitting downstairs made their own assumptions, a booze party upstairs!! We were totally unaware of what the ladies were thinking downstairs and biryani session was supposed to be a secret.
We enjoyed our chicken biryani and Preeti came upstairs asking us all to come down. We reluctantly went down and to our surprise Ramakka was there and she came to invite us all personally for breakfast the next day! It was a kind gesture and no one could refuse her.
Our secrete upstairs session lead to lot of curiosity and ladies made up their own conclusions which lead to a series of hilarious events. Whenever I remember the incidents after the biryani session, I can’t hold my laughter!!
That night I planned on going home and asked my driver to pick me up. By the time I was ready to leave, it started pouring and the Chennai girls who went upstairs to sleep, came down seeing the rain!! They were so excited as if they had not seen rain in ages!! Vaishali tempted me with pakoras but since I already asked the driver to come and it was almost midnight, I left reluctantly.
But the fun at the villa continued. Ladies danced in the rain, Preeti made pakoras and later Preeti organized some games. From what I gathered, they all went to bed pretty late!!
This concludes day 3 of our meet. There is so much to write and am unable to decide what to share and what not to. See you all tomorrow for the finale of the meet.