03 January, 2014

Sante, A Small Town Farmer's Market ~ Photo Tour | Part 1 - Herbs, Spices, Sun Dried Fritters and Greens

Puttur Somavara Sante, farmers' market

Today I am going to take you on a virtual tour around my hometown, Puttur. I grew up in this small town in Southern Indian state of Karnataka with a strong sense of community. It was not until three or fours years ago the town saw it's very first small supermarket. Until then the whole community was served by the small shops selling everything from daily groceries, fresh fruits and vegetables and other essential goods. Our town has everything one needs at our door steps from high end electronic goods to retail stores, it still managed to preserve the age old beauty of traditional shops and markets.
Red Amaranth Leaves

Fresh Coriander Leaves

One such place is the Puttur Somavara Sante or Monday Farmer's Market in the heart of the town. The large dusty open ground transforms into a sea of colours at the dawn when farmers from nearby villages and town arrive with their freshest goods. They sit at their designated areas and soon their makeshift shops fills with small mountains of fruits, vegetables, spices, grains, legumes, green leafy vegetables, herbs and more. There is also an entire row at the end dedicated to cured, salted, dried fish as our town not very far from Arabian sea which boosts the best of sea produce.

Colours galore ~ Fresh greens

I remember my Amma shopping here in Sante when I was a little girl with pigtails and she still continues to buy her weekly stock of fresh vegetables, herbs and fruits along with some spices and spice powders as she says this is the best place to buy the most fresh ingredients for cooking. I have accompanied her many times in previous years. It was the temptation of sweet sugar candies and jaggary that made me tag along my mother when I was a little girl. Later it was the curiosity to see and learn new things and then the special mother and daughter time that saw me accompany my mother during such trips to the Sante.

Colourful sun dried fritters for deep frying

This time however, I went there with my brother to shoot some photos of this buzzing Sante to share with my beloved readers. It was bit strange to don a hat of tourist in my own hometown where everyone knows everyone! But it was of the most fun filled and exciting experience to photograph. The friendly people in the Sante who straightened their cloths and quick brushed their hair to smile for the camera made it a most joyous experience. And that may very well be the reason that I took little more than hundred photographs of this vibrant Sante!!!

Coriander Leaves

Since it is bit difficult to share all the photographs in a single post, I have decided to post them in three parts. Today I'll be sharing the photographs of herbs, spices, sun dried fritters and greens with you all, closely followed by two more parts on Fresh Produce and The Smiling Strangers. So stay tuned for the more photo stories from my hometown....

So shall we begin our photo tour with some freshest greens? :)

Fresh greens ~ Red and green amaranth, fresh fenugreek leaves, coriander, mint, spinach and many more!

Fresh fenugreek, spinach and coriander leaves

Little mountain of coriander leaves

Basale ~ Malabar Spinach

Hasiru Harive Soppu ~ Green Amaranth

Kempu Harive Soppu ~ Red Amaranth

Fresh peas

Sprouted horse gram

Tamarind Pulp

Fresh spices...


Lentils and legumes...

Varieties of dried peas

Beans and lentils

Exotic dried herbs and spices

And amazing varieties of sun dried fritters...

In different shapes....



and colours...

I hope you have enjoyed this photo tour of Sante. Don't forget to come back for the next two part of  this series, Sante ~ a small town farmers' market! :)


  1. A wonderful market and gorgeous produces!



  2. Beautiful pictures! Love the virtual tour of the santa (farmers market in Telugu). Looking forward to part 2

  3. enjoyed and loved the tour.

  4. Beautiful pictures! I specially loved the 2nd one with the red amaranth., beautiful color! Such markets are so rare these days. Good to see they are still going strong! Waiting for the other 2 parts :)

  5. Oh! Sia, beautiful clicks, Sante simply superb Sia, Aatara sante illu iddre yanta Chennagirodu... sigh ;(

  6. Happy New Year darling. Photos are simply stunning as always!

  7. Hi Sia,

    First of all Happy New Year. It's a beautiful post. being a small town girl, I can totally relate to the story and the market. I am eagerly waiting to go and visit our market may be next year. Will wait for your next posts. Thanks for sharing.


  8. Ur sante pics look no less than any fancy farmers market! Thumba channagide :)

  9. Thanks for sharing these photos. What an amazing market! I enjoy visiting your blog. Love the beetroot ideas!

  10. Red amaranth is my favourite 'green'. We call it Laal Shaag. And it was Chotto-ma's favourite discovery in India last time. She loved how it turned her rice magenta.
    I'm loving your colourful photo-tours of home, Sia. It's taking me away from the grey cold for a bit.

  11. I really enjoyed your vivid pinks and greens, so evocative and a joy to read x

  12. Visiting the santhe is treat for eyes. I do visit once in two weeks here in Bangalore to get the fresh vegetables and greens. But you have to ignore the crazy crowd..

  13. virtual visiting the santhe is of great enjoyment. In Nasik (Maharashtra) we also has the same type of market that is weekly that is on every wednesday. After the entry of big malls and super stores the wedneday weekly bazar is still popular


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