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Growing up in Kolhapur


Suniti grew up in the small once a princely town of Kolhapur in India which is about 250 miles South of Mumbai and of about 500K people today. The city was known nationally for a famous Hindu temple, clay-bit wrestling, handcrafted slip-on footwear (chappals) , spicy curries and being a princely state. Today it is thriving with new industries and has a forward looking society. People are fun-loving, warm and friendly.

From the '60s, Suniti had vivid memories of seeing reminiscences of the princely state such as an elephant in a public square, popular wrestling matches, winning wrestler?s victory procession on the royal elephant, classical operas that lasted until 4 in the morning, folk music concerts, fresh buffalo milk by street corners, horse cart taxis (tongas) and hearty local delicacies of spicy lamb meat and misal. Kids played outside in the hot sun and the good people in the neighborhood kept an eye on them. A century ago, the Hindu culture implicitly banned crossing the seven seas.

Where Old Times Still Linger...

The city of Kolhapur also lends its name to many common products such as Kolhapuri Lavangi Mirachi, Kolhapuri Gula and Kolhapuri Masala. Most of the preparations in Kolhapur cuisine consists of "Kolhapuri Masala".

The most famous part of the Kolhapuri cuisine is the red meat preparations called Tambada Rassa (Red Curry) and Pandhara Rassa (White Curry), Sukaa Mutton (Dry Meat) and Kolhapuri Misal. Jaggery is produced here in large scale due to large production of Sugarcane. Kolhapuri chapplas are famous in the world. Suniti wrote extensively about Kolhapur and its essence in many publications.

Growing up in Kolhapur with a loving family - surrounded by affectionate and protective neighborhood, completing school and college education left solid traces on Suniti's mind.

Suniti thought that the then small sleepy town of Kolhapur gave a big helping hand to her ambitious mother in raising her and the two brothers who have settled in the U.S. today.