Goa’s wonder fruit.

The cashew is vital to Goa‘s identity and cultural lore. Known locally as cazu, it was first introduced in Goa (and later elsewhere in India and Asia) by the Portuguese in the 16th century. Roasted cashew nut has for long been Goa‘s most well-known export, and feni, distilled from the fermented juice of the cashew apple, a much beloved local beverage.

Earlier in March we went on a lark through a cashew orchard in the village of Narve, where we found the locals busy tending to the wonder fruit.

Note: What is commonly thought of as the fruit of the cashew tree (the cashew apple) is actually a pseudo-fruit. The real fruit of the cashew tree is the nut. See this for more. In this post, by “fruit” we mean the cashew apple.

Cashew apple with nut

Cashew apple with nut
5D Mark III, Zeiss ZE 50 f/2 MP

 

Every cashew orchard in Goa is equipped with an outdoor station where the fruit is separated from the nut and laid out on a stone bed with a corner conduit (known as kolmi). The apples are crushed and the first gush of juice is collected and allowed to ferment for a couple of days. The pulped apples are then bound and weighted. The next run of thicker ooze is highly prized, the supremely refreshing non-alcoholic drink called niro.

The fermented juice is processed at the distillation station known as bhatti. The first iteration yields urrack, the second distillate is the potent feni.

 
Separating cashew apple from nut

Separating cashew apple from nut
5D Mark III, 24-105L

 
Raw cashew nuts

Raw cashew nuts
5D Mark III, Zeiss ZE 50 f/2 MP

 

Meanwhile, in another corner of the forest, my niece Saraswati was enjoying herself.

Saraswati plucking cashew

Saraswati plucking cashew
5D Mark III, 24-105L

 
Much joy ensues

Much joy ensues
5D Mark III, 24-105L

 
When iPhone 5 met Goan cashew

When iPhone 5 met Goan cashew
5D Mark III, 24-105L

 

The extraction of cashew juice begins.

Sudhakar Vengurlekar Stomping and mashing

Stomping and mashing
5D Mark III, 24-105L

 
Juice is collected

Cashew juice flows from the kolmi
5D Mark III, 24-105L

 
Distillation station

Distillation station, bhatti
5D Mark III, 24-105L

 
Binding pulped cashew fruit
Pulped fruit bound and weighted

Pulped fruit bound and weighted
5D Mark III, 24-105L

 
Veena sampling fresh niro

Veena sampling fresh niro
5D Mark III, 24-105L

 

After a hard day’s work, farmer Sudhakar Vengurlekar poses for a portrait.

Sudhakar Vengurlekar of Narve, Goa

Sudhakar Vengurlekar of Narve, Goa
5D Mark III, Zeiss ZE 50 f/2 MP

 
Cashew grove in Narve, Goa

And off he goes…
5D Mark III, 24-105L

 
 
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  • stephen johnson - May 2, 2013 - 5:37 pm

    Thank you sir, i have followed your exploits on facebook . These photos of Goa are reminding me of my visit in 1977, but i have never seen cashew fruit before . Your “cashew apple” shot looks alive! thank you, Stephen.ReplyCancel

  • Con - April 18, 2013 - 7:16 pm

    Rajan,
    The shots of the cazu on the tree and its ‘unhusked’ seed transported me back to the days of my boyhood ( about 12 years old)
    when I and my friend Shripad roamed the hills above our village
    and plucked on the ripened fruit and enjoyed the fruit dripping with juice. Prior to the ripening of the fruit we enjoyed the green seed, cutting it open and eating the contents. Our hands were stained for days by the sap.
    We laughed when the pigs were intoxicated having eating the fallen fermented fruit, staggered on their way home.
    Needless to say the photography was great as usual.
    Thank you.
    ConReplyCancel

  • Premanand - April 18, 2013 - 10:28 am

    Sundar!ReplyCancel

  • jc - April 17, 2013 - 11:56 am

    Nice pictures. The one I liked = pic 5. The most poignant for me + the last one. I hope now that no ‘D-Veloper’ comes along and concretises the place. But then ……ReplyCancel

Sublime light up 66º North.

Víðidalsfjall, north Iceland

Víðidalsfjall, north Iceland
5D Mark III, 70-200L f/2.8 IS II

 
Mountains of Húnaflói

Mountains of Húnaflói
5D Mark III, 70-200L f/2.8 IS II

 
 
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Healer of our soles.

Cobbler Nanu Satardekar has pitched his portable tool bench on a Panjim sidewalk for the past 25 years, providing a vital service to the community. Nanu and his fellow cobblers live out their entire lives unnoticed and unappreciated.

Cobbler Nanu Satardekar at work, Panjim

Cobbler Nanu Satardekar at work, Panjim
5D Mark III, 24-105L

 
Nanu, up close

Nanu, up close
5D Mark III, 24-105L

 
Shoeshine

Shoeshine
5D Mark III, 24-105L

 
Nanu Satardekar of Calapur, Goa

Nanu Satardekar of Calapur, Goa
5D Mark III, 24-105L

 
 

Vasanti Footwear is the oldest footwear shop in the city, and probably the only bespoke shoemaker left in Goa. Its owner, Loleshwar Nipanikar, trained as a boy under his father, and now continues the tradition.

Cobbler Loleshwar Nipanikar, proprietor of Vasanti Footwear

Cobbler Loleshwar Nipanikar, proprietor of Vasanti Footwear
5D Mark III, 24-105L

 
Cobblers at Vasanti Footwear

Fashioning shoes made to order
5D Mark III, 24-105L

 
Cobbler Yeshwant Redkar

Cobbler Yeshwant Redkar
5D Mark III, Zeiss ZE 50 f/2 MP

 
Cobbler Bholeshwar Korgaonkar

Cobbler Bholeshwar Korgaonkar
5D Mark III, Zeiss ZE 50 f/2 MP

 
 
 
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  • Sanjeev - April 14, 2013 - 1:07 pm

    Lovely photo compilation of “soon to die” species !

    Notice – there are no young faces..ReplyCancel

  • Augusto Pinto - April 13, 2013 - 1:28 pm

    They say a picture can speak more than a thousand words can. But this is not always the case. The pictures which Rajan has taken are very handsome if not pretty. But they hide the reality that (unless I am hugely mistaken) those photographed belong to the caste of chamars who for thousands of years were looked down upon because their profession was regarded as an ‘unclean’ one. It is ironic that in an age where dealing in footwear may make one a millionaire those who belong to this caste may be deserting the profession.ReplyCancel

  • jc - April 13, 2013 - 8:13 am

    Once again, Rajanbab, Thank You for some delightful pics. In all but one of the pics, I see a certain peace on the faces of the individuals in the frame. Couldn’t help wondering IF Mr Redkar was photographically related to Mr Modi (:-)ReplyCancel

  • Thomas Pindelski - April 13, 2013 - 8:13 am

    Gorgeous photo essay of a dying craft.ReplyCancel

  • Con - April 13, 2013 - 6:50 am

    Dear Rajan,

    This must have been about thirty years ago,when I was in Panjim about thirty years ago, just around the corner of Mandovi hotel, I had my shoes polished.
    What amused me was this. A little box with a slot, witten above it were the words
    ‘Complaint Box’

    These guys had a sense of humour for their clients!

    ConReplyCancel

A winter sunrise.

Hlíðarfjall at sunrise

Splash of sun on Hlíðarfjall
5D Mark III, 70-200L f/2.8 IS L II

 
Hótel Reykjahlíð

Hótel Reykjahlíð in Mývatn
5D Mark III, Zeiss ZE 50 f/2 MP

 
 
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  • Thomas Pindelski - April 10, 2013 - 9:19 pm

    These are MAGIC.ReplyCancel

An old church in a beautiful setting.

The Church of Our Lady of the Sea in the village of Oxel, Goa was established in 1661; the present structure was built in 1899. I explored this lovely setting over multiple visits.

Moonrise over Church of Our Lady of the Sea in Oxel, Goa

Moonrise over Church of Our Lady of the Sea in Oxel, Goa
5D Mark III, 70-200L f/2.8 IS II

 
In late evening light

In late evening light
5D Mark III, 70-200L f/2.8 IS II

 
Rajan Parrikar at Oxel, Goa

Your friendly photographer in action
iPhone 5, Photo by: Veena Parrikar

 
Telephoto view of the church from Siolim bridge

Telephoto view from Siolim bridge
5D Mark III, 100-400L IS

 
Wide view from Siolim bridge

Wide view from Siolim bridge
5D Mark III, 100-400L IS

 
 
 
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  • douglas fernandes - May 15, 2013 - 2:11 am

    hi,
    These are really nice snaps of the church, I had taken quite a few of them from the fields during my many visits to oxel, I could mail you some of them, if you would like to have them.

    Regards

    DouglasReplyCancel

  • Premanand - April 9, 2013 - 2:04 pm

    Rajanbab,

    Looks like you are visiting Siolim. On the Siolim end of the Siolim bridge (colloquially called “Baan”) there is a newly constructed Sant Mandir dedicated to Swami Samarth. The area around it (fields, coconut trees “maaddan” etc) has the quintessential Goan flavour.

    As a personal request, please try to photograph around that area. And if you already have then please post them whenever you feel appropriate. Thanks!

    Regards,
    Premanand.ReplyCancel