Sahakari Spice Farm, Curti, Goa

Sahakari Spice Farm, Curti, Goa

Caves – village Curti, Khandepar, Ponda And I am not sure about the name though I visited it once. Next day during the search – Caves within Ponda or somewhat search somehow I found another information i.e., Sahakari Spice Farm, interesting as per someone’s blog. The farm I guessed close to caves location.

Another day – morning hours – motorbike and I am on the way towards Ponda i.e., Belgaum highway. I am re-visiting Curti village to know the name of the caves. A local person on his motorbike very close to caves was present And the query – Excuse me, What’s the name of the caves i.e., there – I was pointing towards the location.

Pandav Caves – He said they are locally known as Pandav caves.

Thank you – said I And Sahakari Spice Farm?

Direction was shown with narration.

– Thanks again.

Earlier when I visited caves I found no one – it was afternoon hours, most probably. Anyways, U-turn towards Ponda. Few km from the Caves on the left-hand side the entrance board talking about Sahakari Spice Farm. Situated along the National Highway 4A, 2 kms from Ponda, 18 kms from Margao And 30 kms from Panaji.

– I enter.

Few cars – few motorcycles parked, and I parked too.

The reception And The Entry

– cost: Rs. 400/person including meal(veg.+ non.veg.)

– Paid

Direction to walk and a guide will assist you inside – said the reception person.

50 meters walk – a colorful garland And tilak(mark on forehead) – a traditional welcome.

White/Red/Orange – The colors of flowers And I inquire.

The reply:

Ananta – The white flower – family of Jasmine

Red one is Hibiscus – Jaswanti – Marathi name.

And the orange one?

Same – Hibiscus. Only the color difference.

A request to have a seat within the restaurant area – choice of seat as per guest wish. I selected the one that was close to where I standing now. The restaurant is big, having enough dining space for visitors. Cashew-nut And hot tea within the glass – served. The taste – The fragrance – awesome. Spice sure is within – said I.

Yep – said the serving person. Lemon Grass Tea made from Lemon Grass/Cardamom/Ginger

And sugar?

No sugar.

Too good. I requested a little more, please, if possible And was served. Ahhh – said I – refreshing after a long drive.

Good for cold/cough/migraine – said He.

But for me – Refreshing And another query – Why this drink? Why not any other?

It is a traditional way of welcoming our guest. Once the guest is relaxed a 30-35 minutes tour with the guide.

Ok – said I while sipping a new form of tea.

finally – finish. Guide was waiting – shakehands And the walk towards the plantation area.

– 130 acres

– Sahakari Brothers – The owners

– 7th generation looking after the area

– plantation about 300 years old

Harshad – The guide with narration while walking inside the plantation-area crossing a small wooden bridge on top of flowing water. The Demo-area is 2 acres for our guests, otherwise the plantation-area is too vast.

Can you guess what plant it is?

NO – said I.

Cofffee – The answer.

There are two types of coffee plants. One is robusta And other one is arbista And the one you are watching is arbista. Robusta we do not have. Green in color when turns into red And is harvest And roasted And coffee – The final product.

– photographs And the walk continue…

Do you know the most expensive spice in the world?

Yep – Saffron if I am correct.

Correct. Saffron is grown within Kashmir but within our plantation-area we do not have the most expensive spice in the world but will show the 2nd/3rd/4th most expensive spice in the world.

Useful tour – isn’t it – I talking with self And He continues…

Cloves are the 4th most expensive spice in the world. They first appear under the tip of the branch And is green in color. Before it blooms we harvest it because once it is bloom, it is of no use. Then dry process in the sun, and the color changes into brown. When oil within is extracted the color of brown cloves turns into black.

The conclusion: Two types of cloves – Black And Brown? – I ask.

Yep – He said, and medicinal values are mostly intact within Brown ones.

I was not aware about that secret. Will talk with family members, and we walking inside the area full of greenery all around.

– The 3rd most expensive spice in the world?

No reply – Ha Ha Ha

Cardamom (elaichi). Again two types – Green And Black – Both are good. Cardamom always appears in the shoots. First, it will appear as a flower And then the seed of the flower turns into Cardamom. Seeds within the Cardamom is good for depression. The outer is good for memory. Queen of spice i.e., Cardamom in-short.

Betelnut i.e., supari. The current tree showing 3 rings within the trunk which comes in one year.

– Harshad was counting And I watching.

When 7 rings are present it starts giving betelnut. At the age of 45 years it stops the production. The person who climbs the betelnut tree shifts from one betelnut tree to another as the tree is very flexible and strong. Leaves are useful to prepare pouch to serve snacks or cashew-nut.

– few minutes back I was served cashew-nuts within the pouch And I am sure that was made of betel-nut leaves.

Cacao tree – chocolate tree

That dark yellow hanging object is used to prepare chocolate. Within our plantation it is for knowledge you can say otherwise, we do not prepare chocolate and it is not possible too.

This is Turmeric.

Turmeric is the root of the plant. When leaves are dry the gardener or plantation owner knows turmeric is ready. It is also known as poor man’s saffron And is antiseptic. Also used by women for beauty purpose. Even before marriage it is applied over skin. The plant takes one And a half month to grow.

And now this one. This tree gives two spices – nutmag (jayfal) And mace (javitri) – used during cooking. Javitri is actually a flower.

Pepper – kaali mirch. There are four types of pepper – green/red/white And black in color. First it comes into green later turns into red. We have to put pepper into salted water, which turns it into black. For white one has to boil red pepper and inside the red is white. Pepper is known as the King of spices.

And Queen? – Cardamom – said I with a smile.
Pepper was the first spice to be discovered in the whole world – said Harshad

– interesting

Lemon-grass, Cashewnut tree – We walking within the path.

Dalchini(Cinnamon) – leaves used as tejpatta – a substitute to bay leaves. Bay leaves are the original Tejpatta. Dalchini is prepared from the bark. After 12 years the plant is dried and bark is used as spice and yes, oil is extracted too used for body massage.

Now This is all spice tree equivalent – Garam Masala or in-short we can say: five spices tree. This tree provides the taste of Garam Masala which is made from Cardamom/Cinnamon/Nutmeg/Cloves And Coriander.

Portuguese chilli. Yep – They brought the plant i.e., why known as Portuguese chilli. 2008 times spicier than the normal ones.

Vanilla

– The 2nd most expensive spice in the world used as essence mainly. In the month of January/February the flower is out, and one has to do manual pollination.

You know – feny? – said He.

Yep – The famous drink of Goa.

Correct. And here we prepare the famous alcohol – feny by squeezing through feets in the month of March/April – the season of cashew-nuts And more process. The first distill is called Hurrak which contains 8-10% of alcohol. Then the second distill i.e., feny contains 35-40% of the alcohol.

A small water flow within the plantation area from the mountains – people used to jump once the tour is completed, but now the water is kept into an earthen pot And citronella is added. The mixture will be pour at your backbone for refreshment.

The tour was almost ended – descriptive And knowledgeable.

May I? – said Harshad.

Yes Yes why not And he poured a little over backbone.

Citronella is prepared from Citron grass.

The knowledge continues…

And we walked towards the restaurant. Harshad showed the area where spices are sold if I wish to buy them. Maybe when I am with Mom – said I And within restaurant – fenny was served.

One sip I had – it is hard, maybe because I quit drinking – Lunch was served.

– veg. non veg. within earthen pot. I was hungry, and the food – tasty spicy with flavor. What else one wish – said I to I.

Sahakari Spice Farm – Another visit is sure And Thank you owners for the wonderful thought of the plantation as well as the tour for the guest. Keep growing – The wish for you.

And a memento. Thanks again. The journey continues..

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