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An elephant located at Mysore’s Zoo.

Source: Ranavikas’ Flickr

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Starting for the next few weeks will be a new version of the Friday Match. It’s still a comparison between two of Cincinnati’s Sister Cities, but with a theme! I thought a lot about what would make a great first theme, and the best idea was something that is essential to living: food.

The cuisine of a place is an important part of its’ culture. Now and days, in all large cities, it is pretty easy to find food or restaurants from other places (ie. McDonalds in India or Zimbabwe), but instead of talking about the restaurant scene, this post is going to look at the more traditional of eating in Mysore and Harare. Ready? Let’s go!

Mysore, India

Mysore is in the southern half of India, which is well known for its’ rice-based dishes. Other staples of this region’s diet include dosa (a fermented crepe or pancake made from rice batter and black lentils) and idli (a steamed cake made of rice and fermented black lentils). It’s common to find both of these dishes on offer for breakfast in Mysore. Also available for breakfast is uppittu, which is roasted semolina laced with chilies, coriander leaves, mustard, and cumin seeds.

A plate of Dosa with Chutney and Sambhar

Sounds really different from the standard Continental Breakfast right??

Anyway, Mysore is probably best known for the dish Bisi Bele Bath. The name means Hot Lentil Rice in the Kannada Language, but the recipe is a bit more complicated than this name implies. Traditionally, spicy masala, toor dal and vegetables are all used to create this dish. On top of these ingredients, the spice mixture can vary (depending on the flavor profile you want) but you can choose to make your own or buy a premade version.

Still curious about Mysore cuisine? This website has even more details about it than what I covered here.

Harare, Zimbabwe

Zimbabwe October 2009

Zimbabwe October 2009 (Photo credit: bbcworldservice)

The national dish of Zimbabwe is called sadza. Sadza is primarily made out of cornmeal, although corn is an imported crop that wasn’t available until the late 1800s. Prior to that time period, sadza was commonly made using millet flour. It is typically served in a communal bowl or separate plates, and it has the appearance of really thick porridge. However you don’t eat it like porridge; instead, you roll it into a ball and dip it into whatever else you are eating.

Traditional ingredients in Zimbabwean cuisine include peanuts, beans, butternut squash, cucumbers, and bowara (pumpkin leaves). Game is also very important, with both springbok (African gazelle) and kudu (large antelope) included in the menu.

Even more information, as well as actual recipes, are available at this website.

So next time you get in a rut with your cooking routine, why not try some traditional Zimbabwean or Indian food?

Thanks for reading!

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Here is an example of interesting architecture in Mysore, India. If you want to see more, check out the source link!

Source: EvanLovely’s Flickr

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Source: Fortherock’s Flickr

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Source: Jim Downing’s Flickr

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Press This

via Nanjangudu temple – Architectural Majesty!.

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The newest Sister City of Cincinnati is Mysore, India! It’s so new that the official ceremony hasn’t even occurred yet. (Wait for more news as the World Choir Games approach — the ceremony is expected to happen then).

Did you know that Mysore is mentioned in the Mahabharata (a sacred Hindu text)? It is mentioned as the Mahishaka Kingdom during ancient times!

This detailed map shows the locations of Kingd...

What year do you think the last King of Mysore died? 1974! Wodeyar was allowed to keep his title after Indian Independence in 1947, so Mysore had a ‘King’ until the middle 70s. Although, technically, his son ascended the throne in a private ceremony in 1974.

English: Mysore Palace

Can you guess how many large waterways (rivers and lakes) Mysore has? 5. There are several lakes, but the most significant/prominent are the Kukkarahalli, Karanji, and Lingambudhi. The river names are the Kaveri and the Kabini.

Mysore's Kukkarahally Lake, source of inspirat...

More fun facts to come later!

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