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Some butterflies of Mangalore

On my recent visit to Mangalore, I visited Sammilan Shetty Butterfly Park located around 42 Km north of Mangalore. I reached there around noon which is not the best time to spot butterflies. Here are a few beauties I could spot...



Parthenos Sylvia - The Clipper butterfly





Blue tiger...








Damselfly...


 Caterpillar of the biggest Indian butterfly - Southern Birdwing


Pupa of Southern Birdwing



I could also spot an empty pupa some butterfly vacated...


 Striped Tiger...


The park is spread across 7.35 acres of land and hosts more than 100 species of butterflies, including some of the endemic and most dazzling butterflies of the world. Next time I'll visit early morning to spot more...

Onam feast at Marriott Whitefield

Marriott at Whitefield is turning out to be an ultimate special-occasion place. It was a truly pampering experience on the occasion of Onam, the harvest festival of Kerala. 

Here's a photo tour of the Onam feast at M-Cafe, Marriott, Whitefield...


Onam is marked by a variety of festivities and the most endearing feature is the OnaSadya, an elaborate feast...


A traditional welcome was accorded by the warm and friendly staff...


Here's the video of the same...



The flower carpet...


The Onam feast is served on fresh plantain leaves which includes rice, curries, other accompaniments and ends with payasam dessert... 


Vegetarian food is served...lots and lots...


There's Payar Thoran, stir fried beans mixed with grated coconut and spices...


The tender insides of Banana flowers make great ingredient for some special Kerala dishes...


Avial is mixed vegetables cooked in curd. This is a classic and comforting dish...


Ulli Thiyyal is pearl onions cooked with coconut paste, tamarind and spices...



My plantain leaf looked like this, when all the fare was served...


Red unpolished boiled rice is served. It has higher nutritional value...


M-Cafe has an impressive wine list. I ordered a  Chardonnay...


The wine from Domaine Hamelin was clear and light with a powerful finish. The slightly sweet and fruity flavor went really well with the food I was having... 


There were live cooking stations where other delicacies from Kerala were prepared. Steamed rice cakes called Puttu being prepared here...


Kerala Parotta, a layered flat bread being prepared...



Appam is a type of pancake made with fermented rice batter and coconut milk...





Banana chips...



Tapioca chips...


Although the custom is to use only vegetables for the Sadya, Marriott includes some non-vegetarian dishes for those who really cannot do without some meat. Here's Erachi(lamb) curry...


Kozhi(chicken) curry...


For dessert there was Paal ada payasam - sweetened rice flake porridge which was creamy with a generous sprinkling of dry fruits...


Coconut laddus....


Many dishes were spot on and there were plenty of choices. The OnaSadya continues at Marriott Whitefield till this weekend. Do check it out if you are around...

Camouflage of prey and predator

Look carefully at the picture. Do you spot a dry leaf? 



Well, that wasn't a dry leaf. It is the defense mechanism of an Autumn Leaf butterfly. It is named so because it closely resembles a dry leaf to deceive the predators...


Now look at this picture. Can you spot something within the dried branches and leaves?


Sitting at the edge of a dried branch is a Mantis. Mantis is an ambush predator that feeds on live prey within its reach. It camouflages itself and remains stationary, waiting for prey to approach...

Where did I find them?

On my recent visit to Mangalore, I visited Sammilan Shetty Butterfly Park which is located around 42 Km north of Mangalore.

Sammilan Shetty’s Butterfly Park was set up in the year 2011 by Sammilan Shetty, a young nature lover and butterfly enthusiast. Situated at Belvai, at the foothills of the Western Ghats, (on Moodabidri – Karkala road), the park is a treasure house of a wide variety of butterflies belonging to this region. The park is spread across 7.35 acres of land and hosts more than 100 species of butterflies, including some of the endemic and most dazzling butterflies of the world. The park is developed on natural greenery and the butterflies are also natural inhabitants of the park. The park respects the butterfly’s freedom and no dome or enclosure is maintained to keep them trapped within the park. Only suitable conditions which are conducive to different varieties of butterflies are created to attract them to the park. The park hosts a significant variety of naturally found host plants and the result is the thriving bio-diversity in the park. Efforts to propagate more native host plants to support the caterpillar stage of butterflies are in progress. The park is being run with service motive and is not a commercial undertaking.

You can check their Facebook page here >> https://www.facebook.com/SammilanShettysButterflyPark/


 

Israeli Food Festival at Aloft

Nook, the signature cafe style restaurant at Aloft Cessna Business Park, is hosting an Israeli Food Festival in association with the Consulate of Israel in Bangalore. I was delighted to be part of the Chef's Table event which was curated by Chef Shachar Aschengrau, a culinary expert hailing from the port city of Haifa. Here's a photo tour...




Chef Aschengrau has traveled and worked around the world, thanks to his diplomat wife, Yael Hashavit. Yael, who is currently the Consulate General of Israel for South India, joined her hubby and gave a glimpse of Israeli culture which is very family oriented like in India...


To mark the occasion, the bartenders executed a J├Ągerbomb domino trail...



My J├Ągerbomb...



Grilled vegetables...



Lamb on Cinnamon Stick... 


Breads included Pita, Lafa, Jerusalem bagel, challah...


Deliciously creamy Labaneh...


Oven baked Cauliflower with its huge flavors and straightforward presentation keeps the things honest and real...


Carpaccio...


As I dine on the stellar specialties, I realize how healthy and diet-friendly many of them were...


Grilled yellow zucchini...


Israeli salad...



A cocktail called Galaxy...


Falafel...



Chef Aschengrau gave a demo where he used paprika and whole chickpeas to make variations of Israeli Hummus...



His two pretty daughters chipped in...


Meat balls...


Sour Amba mango dip...


Creative cocktails like Orange ice ball...



Carrot & Coriander Gin & Tonic Cocktail...


Chicken shawarma...


Pina Colada...


Marshmallows...


Pistachio and papaya financier...



Thulluma - a Churros like dessert....



Other interesting desserts were stuffed dates, Pink coconut, semolina cake...



The stuffed figs were decadent...


Drunken Watermelon...


And the final surprise from Chef Aschengrau was an assortment of some 50 varieties of desserts including cakes, pastries, macaroons, fruits, chocolates and various other novelty. Here's a video showing the dramatic part where they sprinkle dry ice...


Overall, Chef Aschengrau and the team at Nook has made some mouthwatering spread of delicacies that include Mediterranean, Arabic and East European cuisine washed down by a world class selection of cocktails...




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