When we were children living in Palakkad,” my friend said, “my mother used to drive to Coimbatore to buy English vegetables like cabbage.” This is one of many grudging responses I heard when I evangelised about my fantastic culinary experience in Coimbatore. Two weeks before setting out from Bangalore, I’d have been among the naysayers—consigning Coimbatore to B-townness, or that place with lots of colleges, or where you stop while driving from Karnataka to Kerala. Kovai, forgive me: I done you wrong. You are the languid, buxom heroine of budget foodie holidays. With your clean, film-set-like streets, picturesque ghee shops and a taste for blood, I’ll keep coming back.

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