Cooking With Kurma

Kurma Dasa

Kurma's South American Tour

Cooking With Kurma > Travel Diary > South America

Part Five: São Paulo, Brazil

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Day Fifteen

click for larger imageAnother glorious day in Brazil! The weather and environs of São José do Rio Prêto reminded me of Australia's Northern NSW or Queensland. After some very pleasant morning Hare Krishna mantra meditations, we packed our bags and set off in a south-easterly direction to São Paulo, but not without one last photo opportunity outside the Espaço Cultural Subhadra. The mood was upbeat and merry, characterising my whole stay in Brazil.     

click for larger imageOur plan was to arrive in São Paulo around lunchtime, specifically at the famous Hare Krishna Gopala Prasada restaurant on Rua Antonio Carlos, where we would have lunch, check the kitchen and facilities, as well as the foodstuffs which the staff had already bought for the class. We sent them the menu a few days ago, and so they would have already photocopied class notes for the students. Then I could chill-out for the rest of the afternoon.The route to São Paulo was very picturesque, through rural regions and passing many orange orchards, sugarcane plantations, innumerable papaya and mango trees, and countless coconut palms.

click for larger imageSeeing the awesomely large São Paulo in the daytime was even more overwhelming than at night. Founded by the Jesuits in 1554, it lies on a plateau 2,493 feet (760 metres) above sea level, and 45 miles (72 km) from the coast. Today it is the industrial and financial centre of Brazil, generating over 30% of the GNP. It boasts 12,000 restaurants, 70 museums, 500 cinemas, 50 theatres, 29 shoppings malls and an intense nightlife.

click for larger imageGopala Prasada Restaurante (
was opened in 1996, and is run by a couple of dedicated ladies Nrihari and Madhava. The daily clientele figures are very impressive - on average 350 diners partake of the sumptuous cardápio (menu) every day for 10 Brazilian reals (about 4 USD$). The place is three stories, with dining areas on every floor. Popular areas are the low tables where diners sit cross-legged on Indian-style cushions. Today's prato feito (set lunch) was wonderful:

Arroz integral c/gengibre e especiarias
Brown Rice with fresh ginger and spices
Mattar panir (ervilha fresca c/queijo e molho de tomate)
Matar Panir - (fresh peas, homemade cheese and tomatoes)
Lasanha tres queijos c/molho de tomate
Lasagna with three cheeses and fresh tomato sauce
Torta de palmito
Savoury Heart of Palm 'cake'
Pakora simples (legumes empanados)
Mixed vegetable pakoras
Pudim de iogurte c/coco e rosas
Rose and coconut-scented yogurt 'pudding'

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