Cooking With Kurma

Kurma Dasa

Kurma's South American Tour

Cooking With Kurma > Travel Diary > South America

Part Four: São José do Rio Prêto, Brazil

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click for larger imageAfter breakfast Avyakta took me downstairs and showed me around his very attractive centre. As well as selling a range of Asian-style clothing, essential oils, incence, crystals and handicrafts in the front-of-shop boutique, the Espaço Cultural Subhadra  also teaches an impressive range of courses in yoga, Ayurvedic massage, Reiki, Aromatherapy, Taro, Mantra meditation, Astrology and Feng Shui. He handed me his business card: Espaço Cultural Subhadra Avenida Benedito Rodrigues Lisboa, 2240 - Jardim Vivendas São José do Rio Preto, SP - Brasil Tel.: (17) 229-1681. E-mail:

click for larger imageAvyakta had planned a busy schedule for me in Brazil: today we would shop for produce and set up the kitchen. Tomorrow there would be a cooking class at the Espaço Cultural Subhadra, plus a couple of newspaper interviews. Then we would drive back to São Paulo for a Sunday morning class at the Gopala Prasada Restaurant, then onto Pindamonhangaba for another class, and finally back to São Paulo for a class at a Zen Macrobiotic restaurant. He showed me a poster he had produced for the week. Once again, little rest time for Kurma!

click for larger imageWe checked the area out back of the centre, a large multi-purpose hall, which would serve as our temporary kitchen. Quite suitable, I thought. We spoke about cooking equipment, and I checked the size of the saucepans. I had already written a shopping list, something I have done practically everyday of the tour so far. It is a challenge moving from city to city, country to country and just hitting the local shops with no prior experience of local produce. But since I have done it hundreds and hundreds of times, I seem to have 'got it down', and there are rarely any major hitches.

click for larger imageI asked Avyakta to pose for a photo with his wife out the front of the shop, and then we were off to the local feira, markets. My favourite occupation! I had been reading up a bit on Brazilian produce, and was looking forward to discovering new and "hitherto-untasted" produce. Brazil has more varieties of fruits than any other country. Brazilian bananas - large or tiny - are sweet and tasty, especially because they are not harvested green. Brazilians like to eat them fried for dessert or as a garnish for meals. Let's see what we can find!

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