ItalyIndia design
ItalyIndia design
ItalyIndia design
ItalyIndia design
ItalyIndia design
ItalyIndia design
ItalyIndia design

35. Chalai Vegetable Market

green capsicum, green chillies, red tomatoes..indian vegetables

One of the many reasons that make India a unique place to live in– and for which she is totally worth a visit, are fruit and vegetable markets. It takes a glance only, maybe through the glass of a bus, to fall in love with the exquisite taste of Indians when it comes down to sort vegetables by their colors.
Indian people are very gifted at setting up feasts. Maybe it has been inherited from father to son, just like their artisanship, but they do really set up feasts. Vegetables create magnificent color graduations in order to exalt the perfection of each piece. The beauty comes also with the shape of the vegetable structures they make: you will see pyramids of all sort, according to the local fashion.
Then you feel the life of the market: traditionally clothed merchants screaming negotiations, the queer-looking shapes of fruit you have never seen before… Do not be afraid to ask about them! The lady in the stand will be glad to teach you something new, and curious customers will stop by and teach you some culinary tips.
India is full of marvelous markets: just think about the flowers' market in Benares, or the royal one in Mysore. Each city hosts a special one, and Trivandrum as well.
When I have some time to spare or a friend comes to visit, I always find myself happy to spend some time in the exquisite taste of Chalai market, in Trivandrum’s historical center.
Vegetables are placed carefully on metal plates, by color graduation. There are also many banks of bananas: you will never imagine the huge variety of bananas you can find in southern India! You will experience the incredible aroma of spices and the sight of the main tower of Padmabha Temple in the distance. Isn’t it worth a visit?
Totally. But in case you need more reasons, we took some photos of the last market we attended. There will be no perfumes on them, but we hope that those colors can keep you good company for the rest of your busy day.



Karela (bitter melon). The lumpy, knotty shape of this fruit hides a bitter taste with healing powers: gives a special kick to all your suppers and keeps the doctor at a distance.


Eggplant comes from India. It was exported in Europe in I.V. a.D. and that’s why it has no Latin name. Eggplant comes from badingian (also known as brinjal in India), that became petonciana and, subsequently, melangiana. One of the most delicious dishes in northern India is called: bhaigan ka bharta, and it’s basically an eggplant puree.



Ginger. An aromatic rootstock with a spicy taste and a mild aftertaste of lemon. India is the greatest producer and consumer of ginger, which is used for many preparations and, of course, in the chay – their typical spicy tea. Indians say that ginger drives flus away, and makes digestion easier.



Okra, or lady’s finger or bhindi (hindi). This awesomely tasting vegetable has many names. If you’re not into new food experimentation, you should avoid them. But you’re missing something here.




Coriander, also known as cilantro. A unique-tasting India’s special; coriander is to India what parsley is to Italy!


Curry leaves. Aromatic spice common in southern India. Add some leaves to your sautéed onion rings and experience a tiny piece of India in every preparation you cook!


Drumstick. Gatherable from trees, drumsticks come from eastern India (West-Bengal). Perfect for the sambar preparation (a typical vegetable soup).



Padmanabhapuram Palace

Spend a day to visit the Travancore King's Palace and you will experience what royal life was in the past.

Kerala Tea plantation in photos

A post for tea aficionados and for those who ever asked themselves: “How is a tea plant like?”

Chay pienghè? Would you like a cup...

In the streets or in a fine dining room, with or without milk, sugared or spiced – but always scorching hot. India loves to drink her tea.

Pattachitra, painting Oriya style

An old sari becomes a canvas, stones and plants are the colors in the ancient tradition of Pattachitra: a visit to Raghurajpur (Odisha) reveals the story and the secret of this beautiful art.

Desi animals

Indian cities are crowded with a unique animal population. This is a photo-reportage of what you might see there.

Two sides of India

Sethunath speaks of himself: a computer technician by destiny and Kathatali actor by passion.

Attukal Pongala

Pongala gathers a thousand women in the historical centre of Trivandrum to praise goddess Attukal. For a day, the city is Woman.

Torna Su