Amirthi is one of the nice spots for one day picnic. As my hubby was already been there 10 year before, today being the Christmas holiday, we visited the spot again with my son and husband.
We went to Old Bus stand in Vellore by bike and waiting for the bus number 11C or 15 which goes to Amirthi forest directly. We were there by 9.45 AM in the morning and the shop owners near the bus stand asked us to wait for some time at the bus stand. We also waited for about 30 minutes, but no bus has come. And there was a response that only one bus is available which plying to amirdhi to vellore and vice versa. So we had a doubt and wanted to clarify.. If you are going along with your friends, better take a cab or car or even bikes will do….. but going along with a family needs car or a cab or even an auto rickshaw (as we did).
My husband asked an auto driver about that and he also agreed that only one bus is available. Then he asked the auto driver that how much he charges for to and fro from Vellore to Amirdhi and back. He asked around 300 rupees and i negotiated with Rs. 250 at last with a waiting time of 90 minutes.
There are some mini buses plying around Kaniyambadi(on the way to Amirdhi) to Amirdhi and vice versa.
We started our jouney by 10.30am and reached there by 11.30am as the roads for nearly 15kms was not good at all. Total distance is about 26 kms from Vellore. The government can generate more revenue through this picnic spot if the road conditions and travel arrangements are improved. Only during holidays, we can see a little crowd. The forest remains closed on Tuesday.
Once we reached over there, we asked the driver to wait for an hour.
There is a Zoo and water falls in amirdhi forest. The water falls is a nice trip which we missed this time, as we went as a family, which needs to walk for more than a km. Only gents prefer to go to waterfalls, since there won't be much crowd in falls area.
We saw animals like porcupine, red monkey, crane, duck, forest cat, crocodile, tortoise,etc. These animals are inside the cage, and there are lot of monkeys outside the cage, (be careful with your bags and packs).
It hardly took just 30 minutes to see all the animals in the zoo and took some snaps…. By 12.15 we started from there and reached Vellore old bus stand by 1PM.
But the beauty here is the trip is very nice, because of the way which we travelled in auto is very nice and greeny mountains and crops, really it is a worth to pay 250 rupee for an auto. My son enjoyed a much over there….
See some of the snaps that we took there and on the way to it…….
Coming to today's recipe, it is Soya Chunks Vadai, which i came to know from a Cookery show in TV.
Soya Chunks / Meal Maker – 16 pieces
Roasted Gram / Porikadalai – one handful
Onion – 1 (finely Chopped)
Green Chillies – 2 (finely chopped)
Salt- to taste
Soak soya chunks in hot water for 15 minutes. Wash soya chunks well in cold water for 4 or 5 times to remove the raw smell. Squeeze out the soya chunks well now.
Grind roasted gram to a fine powder. Now add soya chunks along with powdered roasted gram and grin it to a fine paste. Do not add water while grinding because water content in soya chunks will be enough to form a dough. If the dough is too dry, add little water.
Add onions, chillies and little salt to the grinded dough and mix well. Roll out the dough into equal size of small balls.
Heat oil in a pan for deep frying. Take a ball and flatten it with your hands and make a hole in the centre and drop it in the oil carefully. (You can flatten it in your desired shapes or can cook as ball also). Cook in a simmer flame. Wait until the one side of vada turns to golden brown and now turn it to the other side, and and wait until it turns golden brown. Remove it from the oil and drain the excess oil with a paper towel.
Side Dish: Goes well with all types of rice and can be served as evening time snacks also.