Meeting Aayi of Aayis Recipes

Looking for new recipes, you have likely browsed Aayi’s Recipes the uber popular food blog hosted by Shilpa. This is M’s favorite “go-to” site anytime she needs inspiration for her cooking.

During my travels to India, I look forward to visiting our ancestral town of Kumta – Jewel of the Konkan in coastal Karnataka. And when I read that Shilpa’s Aayi (mother) actually lives in Kodkani, a village near Kumta, I had to make the pilgrimage and take darshan of this Devi – the inspiration behind Aayi’s Recipe. I contacted Shilpa and asked to visit her parents. She readily agreed and gave me their contact details.

And on a beautiful Saturday, I hitched a ride on a school bus dropping kids off to kodkani. Now, that in itself needs a separate post.

As the bus pulled up at the designated place, Shilpa’s father was waiting and brought me to their beautiful home! Wow! A traditional style bungalow, which immediately transported me back to the home of my grandparents in Bhatkal. Terracotta tiled roof; an open ‘jagli’ and a tulsi vrindavan in the front yard. The magnificently blossoming tulsi gave me great vibes of the place (see pic later).

And what a joy it was to finally meet Shilpa’s Aayi! Yes, Aayi of “Aayi’s Recipes.” Hundreds of thousands have salivated at her dishes, as shared by Shilpa. Legions have been inspired to try her creations for their loved ones. And so many look forward each day to new posts to titillate the palate. And I was invited to a beautiful konkani lunch made by her! 😀

Look at the spread. I hurriedly captured it before wolfing everything down. By the time I was through, not a morsel was left. What is more beautiful than all those recipes Shilpa posts on AayisRecipes? Eating dishes lovingly made by her Aayi! … and I got to eat it! nyean, nyean, nyean, nyean!


Here is the Tulsi Vrindavan in the aangan.

After lunch and general discussion on the state of Kumta Schools, Shilpa’s father took me to the nearby river Aghanashini – translating roughly as: “Remover of sins.” I know what you are thinking: “Arun go take a dip!” You are just jealous I got to eat that Aayi-made lunch. nyean, nyean, nyean, nyean!

What a idyllic place grow up and raise a family. This dug-out was going out to the delta and picking up sand, which is a significant economic activity here.

Another pic of the river with a nearby boat resting on its side. I can see myself, taking a nap in the shade of the coconut trees yonder. (click image to see a larger version)

Shilpa’s father then drove to me a nearby Devi temple and then dropped me off to a mutual friend’s. All in all a great way to spend an afternoon! Thank you Shilpa and your Aayi for inviting me into your home!

47 thoughts on “Meeting Aayi of Aayis Recipes

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  1. Dear, Arun shanbhag the name kodkani derives from the word kadadakani means kallugani. The local deity jatakadeva called kadadakani jatakadeva. The GSB community people arrived to this village in the year 1598. The hegde’s from loliya and baleris from balli of gomantak. the baleri’s were great traders and honoured by the then local sawants. the great saint vitthal swami maharaj who is vitthal manjayya shanbhag in his poorvashram born in baleri family of kodkani in the year 1856. he established five mathas in nandurbar near mumbai.Dr. ratnakar .r. shanbhag established medical clinic seeta clinic in the memory of his mother nearly 45 years ago it is the first of its kind in the area. Dr. Narasimha .r. bhat from the priests family of veeravitthal tempel secured first doctorate nearly six decades ago.

  2. Want to visit this place as I have heard a lot good thing that you have written will visit once are there any hotels to stay

  3. Dear arun , I love aayees recipes.I always remember our ayee she also lives in kumta.I always dying to eat her chakkli , phodi’s and daali thoy and so many dishes.Now Iam very far from her.I live in London.Iam very happy that whenever i remember her and her recipe i just Google your recipe thank you very much.why don’t you try in master chief.

  4. Hi all.I am also from Kodkani and proud of that place.It was one of the happening place during our child hood but now …………Still our memories draw back to us to our native place and every year I visit atleast 8 times.There is one Kodkani Utkarsh Mandal in Mumbai and which is doing a good job in bringing the Kodkani people to gagther in Mumbai besides providing financial assistance for needy people for Education and Medical requirment.

  5. Hai, arun,

    I am also from kumta (muroor road),

    let us explore our glorious kumta to the world

    thanx,

    S.G.Tamse

  6. First of All, I would like to thank Shilpa and her Aayi for the wonderful recipes!!

    Eventhough I’m not new to cooking, Aayi’s recipe provided me to reach a new milestone in cooking. Recipe’s are great.

    Every weekend, If i’m confused what to cook – aayi’s recipe is a goto for me. Thank you guys!

    Arun, thanks so much for visiting Aayi.thats so sweet of you.

    1. Thank you Trupti:
      Exactly our thoughts. Every evening and on weekends M looks up Aayis recipes to get inspiration and ideas; and shilpa has a fabulous repertoire of all things konkani! Yaay!

      I have visited them more often and its such a treat! :-)) Truly wonderful folks. You should visit too, if you get a chance.
      Arun

  7. Thank u Mr. Arun for presenting our Kodkani on website …! Its my dream place as i have lived there for some years in my childhood days…! i once again thank u sir…!

    1. Abhishek –
      You are welcome! and actually the pleasure was all mine. It is such a pristinely beautiful place and the folks were sooo hospitaable. I want to visit again!

      Thank you for your comment.
      Arun

  8. Hi Arun, It is nice to know that u have visited Kodkani ,which is my Grand parents village ,they are called Baleris, I studied in gibb girls high school n went to Baliga college, My brother Vinayak Baleri is in Kumta. This is an amezing websight,Thanks

    1. Hi Rajashree
      so fantastic to hear that you are originally from Kodkani – A beautiful place.

      And Gibbs School as well!
      See, we are trying to help with needy girls education in Gibbs High School as well.
      http://shikshan.org/

      I’m planning on visiting Kumta in Dec, and will certainly look up your brother.

      Thank you for your comment, and Best Wishes
      Arun

  9. hi actually i wanted to ask 1 thing is shilpa dad a doctor?.by name ratnakar shanbhag.i used to visit kodkani while i was very small.my relatives stay ther.i used to go to their house often,to ratnakaranna’s clinic too if i wasnt keeping well after staying there for more time like i used to go in summer stay 2months and come.eat mangoes,roam in hot sun with cousins and fall ill:)………..

  10. Hi Hemant:
    Thank you for visiting and sharing your connection to the Kumta Heritage.

    Yes, Gibbs School is respected institution in Kumta!

    I have some relatives living in Hervatta and it is simply a ‘neighbourhood’/area of Kumta. I live with my cousin in ‘chitrigi’ and that like Hervatta is walking distance from the main Kumta bazar.

    I don’t have anything specific for hervatta, but the next time i do, i will certainly mention it.

    BTW, This Cashew factory is in the Hosa-Hervatta 🙂
    https://arunshanbhag.com/2006/01/15/cashew-nuts-processing/

    Please continue to share your comments.
    🙂

    1. Hi! This is my first entry to this blog. I was pretty fascinated by the pictures and the readers comments about Kumta and Konkanis. I have tried some food from Aayi’s kitchen and loved it too.
      My Dad , Rayappya belonged to Kumta . We used to visit Kumta every vacation during our childhood. Our house was near Shanteri Kamashki Temple and wellknown as Gudal family. I have very fond memories of this place.

      1. Hi Mala:
        Thank you for taking the time to visit here and post a comment.

        yes! Shilpa’s recipes are simply fabulous and appeal to out taste. Glad you are enjoying them.

        Interesting to know of your father. Actually, we are kulavis of the Shanteri Kamakshi Temple in Kumta. What a beautiful place!

        I will be visiting there later in the summer and will definitely ask about the Gudal Family. I hope you and rest are all doing well. And please do try and visit Kumta often.
        Arun

  11. I’m from Kumta originally with at least 2 generations growing up there including my gramps Mukund Mastar in Gibb highschool and dad Vithaldas(just passed away). However we’re originally supposed to be Shanbhag from Hervatta. Any possible links or info of Hervatta

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