Alibaug in the Rains
Alibaug at this time of the year is gorgeous! Everywhere you look it's green.There are families working in paddy fields.Some catch fish and prawns there.Spotted a young boy selling prawns in a basket and they were so fresh that they kept jumping out!
One can also see women selling fish on the side of the main road.They are there all day and then at night,they continue by candlelight.This time of the year there were Bombay Ducks (bombil) and Prawns as the large boats only venture out in the sea after Narli Poornima.Read here about Kolis and fish.
We were strolling on Alibaug beach and we bumped into a couple I know through my work.They treated us to large coconuts with thick malai/coconut cream.They took us to the pretty Versoli beach .Each beach has its own character.Kihim with its angry sea and fast winds,Alibaug beach with its bhelpuri stalls and cows and Versoli with its tall trees,all were very appealing
They told us about the Karmarkar Sculpture Museum at Sasavne.My father's uncle,cousin (and now nephew) also made sculptures so we were keen to see it.We were stunned at the beautiful display of Plaster of Paris,bronze and cement artwork.The one below of a Kolin won awards.Managed to buy Poha,Tomato and Urad Dal Papad there which Alibaug is famous for.
We stayed at the Mango Beach House at Kihim after reading about it in Lonely Planet.My friend Romi also recommended it.The decor was of understated elegance and rooms spacious.
Alibaug was 10 km away which takes about half an hour and is a picturesque drive.We visited the Alibaug market and bought dry fish.Not for me.I run miles away.The fresh fish on sale included crabs,bombil,prawns and rawas
We dined at Alibaug's most famous destination....Sanman! It was all that we had heard about and more! That too at a time when it wasn't fish season. Jithada (a fish found in fields),prawns,crabs,pomfret and mussels were superb.We asked for less spice and they adjusted perfectly.Each gravy was different.They served it with a thin fish curry,rice bhakri and sol kadi.The Mutton Sukke was oh so tender.The goats are grassfed and hence better!Malvani food at its best! Had tender coconut jelly for dessert
Alibaug is famous for its vegetables,specially gourds(ridge gourd,bottle gourd,snake gourd) and brinjals.There is also a vegetable called Kanthol which is green and covered with spines,that is available in this season.
One can spot gourd laden vines along the highway! Such a pretty sight!
There is a special leafy green eaten in the monsoons called Hirva Matt (see below),had with hot rice bhakris!
Alibaug is the perfect place for relaxing.The sea breeze and the sound of waves lashing the shore can only instill happiness in your heart.If that is accompanied by good food,what more can one ask?!!