Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Kashmiri Pink Chai- an Ongoing Experiment

I drank my last cup of authentic kahwa back when I was a kid at the Vaishnavis' residence back in Delhi. Kahwa is Kashmiri chai/tea and is the most delicious type of chai I have ever had. I remember it being a beautiful pink colored concoction, sweet, with a hint of savory, full of nuts and munakka, i.e. golden raisins, and simply delicious. The other evening I suddenly craved for kahwa and decided to make it myself. After searching online, I kind of got the idea. And with great enthusiasm, I began. 

Ingredients: 

1. Green tea leaves, good quality (not the tea bag kind)- 2-3 tsp 

2. Baking soda- 1/2 tsp

3. Salt- 1/2 tsp

4. Cardamom- 2 pods

5. Almonds, crushed- 2-3 tsp

6. Golden raisins- 7-10 

7. Water- 2 cups

8. Milk- enough to maintain pink color

9. Sugar (optional)- 1/2- 1 tsp 


Method: 

1. Add 2 cups of water, green tea leaves, and cardamom to a pot. Get the heat going.


Water, Green Tea, Cardamom

2. Bring it to a boil. Add baking soda and stir vigorously for a few seconds, until the water starts turning red! Yes, it will turn red. 

Fun Fact: There's chemistry behind it! 

Green tea reacts with NaHCO3 (Sodium bicarbonate i.e. baking soda) in water and turns red under high temperature. 

I tried and tried to find out the exact reaction that occurs, but I couldn't find it. So for now, I just take joy in the fact that Kashmiri Chai making is in fact a scientific experiment that I can conduct in the comforts of my own kitchen!!   


Baking Soda + Green Tea in Water, boiling temperature= Red!! 


3. Continue boiling for a few more seconds, reduce flame, and start adding milk until a lovely pink color is achieved. Stop. Add salt. Stir. 

Optional: I like my kahwa a bit sweet too, so I add sugar as well. 

4. In a cup with crushed almonds (or pistachios) and golden raisins, pour this lovely pink chai, stir, and enjoy! 

Now for the truth: 

*I have tried making this chai 5 times so far. I was successful twice. 2 out of 5, not bad, I suppose.

*For some reason, I seem to get to the red color stage, but then, after adding milk, it stays pink for a few seconds, and then it just turns brown.

*Taste: Quite delicious 

*BUT: Why doesn't it stay pink?? 

Some pictures: 

Attempt 1: Disaster 


Boiling, froth, looks alright



#1: Disaster!! 


Attempt 2: Not bad.... but still, not quite up to the mark

#2: Nope! 


Attempts 3 and 4: Successful!!

Looking red, looking good! 



#3: Yessss!



Red- good! 

#4: Oh yessss! 


Attempt 5: Disaster!!

#5: What? Where's the pink?? 


Factors to consider for next attempt: 

1. Time (?)
2. Temperature (?)
3. Type of green tea leaves (?)
4. Will figure out.....

Conclusion: I haven't quite mastered the technique and art of making Kashmiri kahwa. It definitely is an experiment of its kind. I suppose practice makes perfect..... so I'll just continue practicing until I experience that eureka! moment.

Oh, most important ingredient: Patience, my friend, patience











Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Juice and More

America has a new Mr. President. Wonder how much longer it will take for this "first world" nation to have a Ms. President. Meanwhile, back in my birth country, India, "Operation Black Money" is the talk of the town. Exciting times! Btw, India, a "third world" nation, has had a woman prime minister as well as a woman president..... just saying. And that's about as much politics that I can really talk. Because one- I'm not passionate about politics. 
____________________________________________________________________________

I have a new addition in my kitchen- a Breville juice machine. It's lovely! Every morning I make fresh juice for the family, my favorite combination being carrots, oranges, apples, and ginger, and a squeeze of lemon juice. The result is an extremely delicious, gorgeous bright orange colored juice. One sip, and you-can't-stop-glugging-it-down-delicious!!! Now here's a fun fact: I call this particular juice, "Sunshine in Seattle." The best part is that the words can be played around with- so for instance, in the morning I call it- "Sunrise in Seattle," in the afternoon- "Sun Shines in Seattle," and if I make it in the evening, "Sunset in Seattle." ;) 

This one I called "Sunshine in a Cup" in the morning: 


"Sunshine in a Cup"


The one thing that I am not too crazy about this new juice machine: the pulp that ends up being wasted. It extracts the juice out of the veggies and fruits, but then you end up with this huge amount of "waste." And every time I discard it into yard waste, I cringe. 

However, here's the good thing: I have started incorporating that "waste" into my cooking, and it is working out quite well. What I do is that I first run the carrots and after the extraction is done, I switch off the machine. Then I gather up the carrot pulp (all the good fiber) and store it in a container for use later. And then I run the rest of the ingredients. 

I am not much into dessert making--- but am sure the fruit "remains" could be very well incorporated into desserts (/baking).

Another idea: Smoothies

The carrot pulp from the morning's juice was later used to make a delicious carrot-peas pilaf.



"Sunshine with Peas"

Delicious Pilaf

I am quite enjoying the early morning juice ritual. It's a little bit of extra work in the mornings, but it's totally worth it. Especially because the kids love it. Apparently it gives them more energy. Maybe it does or maybe it's placebo. Whatever it is, it's all good and delicious.
___________________________________________________________________________

And because two- Life Goes On!

Monday, October 31, 2016

Rajasthani Teekhi Laal Murgh- Fiery Red Chicken Curry

Yay, it's officially Fall! Time for gorgeous orange pumpkins, warm hearty soups, stews, and spices, and heat- from hot chilies! Then again, there's never a dearth of spices, nor hot chilies in my kitchen. To complement these chilly evenings, a preparation of Rajasthani style Teekhi Laal Murgh is so very apt. Literal translation: Fiery Red Chicken (curry).

Note: There are no "exact quantities" to be used here. Eyeballing is the way to go.... and of course, taste as you go along.

Ingredients: 

Chicken- boneless, skinless thighs, cut into bite sized pieces

Yogurt- approx 1-2 tbs for a small tray of chicken

Red Chili powder- as much heat as you can handle! ;)

*If you have Kashmiri red chili powder or Karnataka byadegi red chili powder, even better. It imparts a wonderful deep attractive red color to the preparation, while not being overly hot

Ginger-garlic paste- 1 tbs

Lemon juice- 1 tbs

Onion- 1 medium sized, sliced

Fresh garlic- 2-3 smashed

Turmeric- 1 tsp

Salt to taste

Oil to cook- 7 tsp

Water- 1-2 cups (depending on how thin or thick you want the gravy to be)

Fragrant Spices: 

Cardamom- 3-4, smashed

Cloves- 4-5

Cinnamon powder- a pinch

Bay leaves- 4-5 (I like fresh bay leaves, dry is okay too)

Coriander seed powder- 2-3 tsp

Cumin seeds- 2 tsp

Method: 

1. Marinate chicken in yogurt, red chili powder, turmeric, ginger-garlic paste, and lemon juice for at least 30 minutes.

2. With some oil in a pot, get the heat going. Splutter cumin seeds, cardamom, cloves, add sliced onion, fresh bay leaves, cinnamon powder, and fry for about 5 minutes. Then throw in the marinated chicken pieces. Brown the chicken on both sides. Then add salt, water, and some extra red chili powder. If there's leftover marinade, add that in as well. Bring to boil, cover, simmer for 20 minutes.

3. The chicken will have cooked. Uncover pot. The oil will be floating on top, and yes, that's a good sign. ;) Add coriander seed powder, give it a stir and throw in some smashed fresh garlic. Cover again  for 5 minutes, to get coriander and garlic flavor infused in the curry. Serve with rotis or just plain white rice with a side salad. Slurp away and enjoy!

 

Teekhi Laal Murgh with Roti

Monday, October 17, 2016

Fish Fry

My good friend, Oindrila, who taught me how to make Shukto, also makes great fish fry. My son and I are big fans of her fish fry. Finally after all these years of depending on her, yours truly decided to learn the recipe and make it herself because one has to learn to be self sufficient. 

The process of making fish fry is quite straightforward. Though I must say that to a novice it might prove to be a bit tedious and could get messy, but in the end, it's all worth it!* Also, of course, it's all a matter of practice.....  

*Statement made based on personal experience

Ingredients: 

Tilapia filets, boneless skinless- 1 filet per person

Oil for frying

Bread crumbs

Eggs- 2, beaten

Chutney to marinate fish:  

Cilantro- 1 bunch for 4 filets

Thai green chili- 2-3 (per preferred level of heat)

Garlic- 2-3 cloves 

Lemon juice- 2 tsp

Salt to taste

Method: 

1. First make the cilantro-chili chutney. Combine cilantro, green chili, garlic, lemon juice, and salt and make a chutney in the blender/food processor. 

2. Halve each tilapia filet. Add chutney and gently combine, so as to coat all the fish pieces with the chutney. Now put away in the refrigerator for 15-30 minutes. 



Tilapia and Cilantro Chili Chutney

While that is marinating, get the following ready to go:

1. Breadcrumbs in a bowl

2. Eggs (beaten) in a bowl

3. Oil for shallow frying in a frying pan

Then arrange in this order:   



Fish, egg, breadcrumbs

Take each marinated fish piece, dip in egg, coat with breadcrumbs, and then fry. Easy! 

Tip: If it's for a party, keep everything ready ahead of time as shown below. The frying can be done just before the party begins...... 



Fish coated with egg and breadcrumbs, waiting to be fried 


Fry us! ;) 

Shallow fry until golden brown. 



Shallow fry

Serve with ketchup. I make extra cilantro-chili chutney that goes very well with this fish fry. 



Delicious Fish Fry





Friday, September 16, 2016

Quick Recipe 3: Flatbread Pizza with Spinach and Mozzarella

Sometimes, actually most times of late, I don't know what the heck to cook! When I complain over the phone to my dear brother, he says: Go eat some grass off your backyard. 
You know what, I just might in fact do that one of these days!! 

Flatbread pizza is a great idea for people like yours truly. I mean, it is not even a "recipe" really, but it turns out pretty damn good. It's quick, easy, delicious. 

Ingredients: 

Flatbread- any kind such as pita, naan, roti, parantha, lavash, etc. 

Marinara sauce- I love Trader Joe's marinara, it's delicious

Mozzarella cheese- grated

Baby spinach- a few leaves

Method: 

Preheat your oven to 425 degrees F. 

1. Top flatbread of your choice with marinara sauce, followed by spinach, and grated mozzarella. I like to add a dash of salt and pepper on top of the spinach before the mozzarella. 


Top it up


2. Place on a baking sheet (doh!) and place on the middle rack in the oven heated to 425 degrees F. Bake for 3 minutes. The cheese will have melted. 

3. Then switch off the bake feature, and switch on the broil feature. Broil on high for 2 minutes, or just until the cheese starts browning. 

That's it! Sprinkle some oregano or a little bit of dry Italian seasoning, and eat away! 



Delicious Roti Pizza! 

Friday, September 9, 2016

Quick Recipe 2: Shrimp, Basil, Tomato Fettuccine

For this week's quick fix, here's a lovely fettuccine with shrimp recipe that uses very few ingredients, and is ready in under 15 minutes. Yeah!

Ingredients: 

Fettuccine of your choice- 1 packet

Shrimp- 7-8 (or more!) shrimp per person 

Garlic, the more, the better- smashed and almost minced

Basil- a good handful

Tomato- 1 chopped

Cooking oil- 2-3 tsp

Italian seasoning- a pinch (for extra flavor)

Salt to taste

Method: 

1. Follow the instructions on the fettuccine packet and cook. It usually takes 3 minutes. Then drain off water. I like to rinse the cooked fettuccine under cold running water to stop it from cooking any further (you want it al dente).

2. In a pan with 2-3 tsp of oil, get the heat going. Add a pinch of Italian seasoning, followed by smashed, minced garlic. Quickly stir a little bit and add the shrimp. Within no time the shrimp will turn pink, which means it is cooked. Turn the heat down, throw in the chopped tomato.

3. Then fold in the cooked fettuccine into the pan. Tear up some fresh basil leaves into this. Add salt to taste. Mix it all up.

Zing it up with some lemon juice and freshly ground pepper and enjoy!  



Yummy!


Fun Fact: I noticed a recipe on the back of the empty fettuccine packet that I was about to discard into the trash can. So I thought I'd check it out. It turned out to be the exact same recipe! And here I was, thinking how brilliantly original I was.....!! 

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Quick Recipe 1: Basil Chili Infused Oil

Over the next few weeks, I shall be posting real easy, super quick, and delicious recipes that incorporate very few ingredients, and will take under 5 minutes to whip up. Wait, I take that back. Let me make that 15 minutes or less, just to be on the safe side. 

This week, I present Basil Chili Infused Oil. All you need are five ingredients, four of which all of us almost always have somewhere in the house.... definitely in the kitchen pantry.... ;)

Ingredients: 

Note: There are no exact quantities to be used here. It's just personal preference. So adjust accordingly:

1. Oil of your choice (I like olive oil and avocado oil)

2. Fresh basil leaves

3. Garlic powder (fresh garlic may be used)

4. Chili flakes of your choice (I like reaper, scotch bonnet, ghost pepper, etc....)

5. Salt to taste


5 Ingredients

Method: 

1. Take a bowl and put in the five ingredients (as shown in picture) into the bowl.

2. Place in microwave and heat for about a minute to 75 seconds (75 seconds= 1 min 15 secs.... ;)). The oil will have boiled and the flavors will have nicely infused into it.  



Oil plus salt, garlic, chili flakes, and basil

Ready!


Serve with rustic bread. Can drizzle over pasta too for extra deliciousness.

Extra: The basil leaves will have crisped up- delicious!



Delicious! 



Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Shrimp in Parsley Sauce

Here's a great recipe that you can whip up on any weeknight. It literally takes about 20 minutes. And the result is delicious. I call it Shrimp in Parsley Sauce (I couldn't think of a more creative name, okay!). 

Yield: Enough for 4 normal eaters ;)

Ingredients: 

1. Parsley 1 bunch

2. Onion- 1/2, roughly chopped

3. Ginger Garlic Paste- 1-1.5 tsp

4. Tomato paste- 1 tbs 

5. Green chilies- Min 2-3, Max- according to your taste buds ;) 

6. Cooking oil- 5-7 tsp

7. Mustard seeds- 1 tsp

8. Salt to taste

9. Water- to adjust consistency 1/2-1 cup

10. Raw Shrimp- 5-6 per head

Method: 

1. Take ingredients 1-5, toss in blender, pour 1/2 a cup of water, and blend it all into a fine sauce. 

2. If you like to sauté shrimp separately before adding to sauce, go ahead and do that. Takes about a couple minutes. If you don't mind simply adding raw shrimp in the end to the sauce and allowing them to cook in the heat, then proceed to step 3. 

3. In your cooking utensil, add 5-7 tsp of cooking oil, heat, splutter mustard seeds, and throw in the parsley sauce into this. Stir for about 5-10 minutes on medium flame to get rid of the raw onion, ginger, and garlic smell. This also allows the sauce to thicken up a bit. You may add half a cup of water according to your desired consistency. Add salt to taste.

4. Add the shrimp to this sauce and simmer for 5-7 minutes. Done! 

Squeeze some lemon juice to zing it up and serve with basmati rice. 

 
Parsley Sauce with shrimp

I made brown basmati plus wild rice- it was delicious.



Over brown basmati+wild rice 

This parsley sauce can also be used for veggies such as potatoes, carrots, peas, or anything really. Even chicken, lamb, eggs, etc.


Monday, June 6, 2016

Dukkah- Egyptian Spice Mix

Last week we went to this restaurant called Cichetti and although it was quite a rip-off, the Egyptian fried egg and the lamb keftas were extremely delicious. It was quite a rip-off however. Oh wait, I said that already. 

The Egyptian fried egg was basically a soft boiled egg, coated with a beautiful nutty, spicy mixture, placed on a bed of tender asparagus, drizzled with olive oil. It was aromatic, delicious, addictive, and was gone in less than thirty seconds. It was that outer spice coating that took the dish to a whole new level. 

Upon googling I learned that it is called Duqqa or Dukkah, not to be confused with dukkha i.e. suffering (hey, just clarifying!). The Egyptian spice mix Dukkah is made with toasted nuts, seeds, and herbs. They usually use hazelnuts, but pistachios, almonds, and pine nuts can be used too.

Recipe for Dukkah aka Duqqa, Egyptian Spice Mix:   

This is my version, and it tastes pretty darn good. Feel free to experiment. The ingredients that you absolutely need are nuts (hazelnuts or almonds or pistachios), coriander seeds, cumin seeds, sesame seeds, and black peppercorn.

Ingredients: 

Almonds- 2 tbs

Coriander Seeds- 2 tbs

Cumin Seeds- 2 tbs

Sesame Seeds- 2 tbs

Fennel Seeds- 2 tbs

Nigella Seeds- 2 tbs

Caraway Seeds- 2 tbs

Black Peppercorn- 2 tsp (increase or decrease qty to taste)

Green Cardamom- 2 pods

Dried Oregano*- 1 tsp 

*A tsp of Italian seasoning will work just fine

Salt to taste

Optional: Red pepper flakes


Dukkah Spice Mix with almonds


Method: 

1. Toast all the ingredients, starting with the nuts. Cool.

2. In a spice grinder (coffee grinder works fine too), give it all a quick pulse, about a couple times. Need not be very fine. 

That's it! 


Dukkah Spice Mix


Ways to incorporate Dukkah in your cooking: 

*Mix with some olive oil and use as dip or spread on toast. 

*Coat boiled eggs with the mixture and make your own Egyptian fried eggs at home. 

*Sprinkle on pasta, baked potatoes and other veggies. 

*Use as a dry rub on meats and grill. Yum! Goes well with seafood too. 

*Use in curries. That's what I did this weekend. I made chicken curry, and instead of using garam masala, I used Dukkah. The result was extremely aromatic, flavorful, and simply delicious.



Dukkah Chicken Curry

Corny Joke Alert:

Try Dukkah in your cooking today. It is guaranteed to reduce some of your dukkha!

Yeah, yeah, I know that was pathetic........


Monday, May 23, 2016

Digression

Over the weekend I read Paul Kalanithi's "When Breath Becomes Air." I could not put the book down. In a long time, I actually finished reading a book from start to finish, non-stop. I read and re-read, I cried, I smiled, and I wished I knew this man. 

Some of the things from this memoir that struck a chord (these are all straight from the book, and not my words):

1. The mind is simply an operation of the brain.

2. Putting lifestyle first is how you find a job- not a calling.

3. Diseases are molecules misbehaving. The basic requirement of life is metabolism, and death its cessation.

4. What makes life meaningful enough to go on living?

5. All you have to do is look me in the eye and say, "I'm sorry. What happened was my fault and I won't let it happen again." ...... "No. You have to be able to say it and mean it."

6. When there's no place for the scalpel, words are the surgeon's only tool.

7. Had I been more religious in my youth, I might have become a pastor, for it was the pastoral role I'd sought.

8. The root of disaster means a star coming apart, and no image expresses better the look in a patient's eyes when hearing a neurosurgeon's diagnosis.

9. A tureen of tragedy was best allotted by the spoonful.

10. I came to believe that it is irresponsible to be more precise than you can be accurate.

11. One of the early meanings of patient, after all, is "one who endured hardship without complaint."

12. The call to protect life- and not merely life but another's identity; it is perhaps not too much to say another's soul- was obvious in its sacredness.

13. Science, as I had come to learn, is as political, competitive, and fierce a career as you can find, full of the temptation to find easy paths.

14. Neurosurgery requires a commitment to one's own excellence and a commitment to another's identity.

15. Profanity supposedly ran on a slightly different circuit from the rest of the language.

16. Death comes to all of us. For us, for our patients: it is our fate as living, breathing, metabolizing organisms.

17. You can't ever reach perfection, but you can believe in an asymptote toward which you are ceaselessly striving.

18. Darwin and Nietzsche agreed on one thing: the defining characteristic of the organism is striving.

19. Shouldn't terminal illness, then, be the perfect gift to that young man who had wanted to understand death? What better way to understand than to live it?

20. Samuel Beckett's seven words, words I had learned long ago as an undergraduate: I'll go on. I got out of bed and took a step forward, repeating the phrase over and over: "I can't go on. I'll go on."

21. Moral duty has weight, things that have weight have gravity, and so the moral duty to bear moral responsibility pulled me back into the operating room.

22. "She has your cell membrane," I remarked to Lucy.

23. The tricky part of illness is that, as you go through it, your values are constantly changing.

24. Maybe in the absence of any certainty, we should just assume that we're going to live a long time. Maybe that's the only way forward.

25. There is no proof of God; therefore it is unreasonable to believe in God.

26. Human knowledge is never contained in one person. It grows from the relationships we create between each other and the world, and still it is never complete. And truth comes somewhere above all of them......

27. As I stepped out of my car at the hospital at five-twenty the next morning, I inhaled deeply, smelling the eucalyptus and...... was that pine? Hadn't noticed that before.

28. On second thought, I left my books behind. They'd be of more use here.

29. Doctors, it turns out, need hope, too.

30. In English, we use the word time in different ways: "The time is two forty-five" versus "I'm going through a tough time."

31. And so it's not all that useful to spend time thinking about the future- that is, beyond lunch.

32. Graham Greene once said that life was lived in the first twenty years and the remainder was just reflection.

33. Most ambitions are either achieved or abandoned; either way, they belong to the past. The future, instead of the ladder toward the goals of life, flattens out into a perpetual present.

34. There is perhaps only one thing to say to this infant, who is all future, overlapping briefly with me, whose life, barring the improbable, is all but past.

After A.J. Cronin's "The Citadel," this is my next favorite book so far.


Beautiful, Brilliant, Profound, Touching

_______________________________________________________________________

Funnily enough, in my last post I grumbled about memoir writing and how I find it utterly boring (and ridiculous) to go dig into my past and write pages on events from my life..... well, I now understand why. The highlight of my memoir will probably be the couple small tattoos on my body that mean so much to me and perhaps the paragliding, skydiving and bungee jumping that I intend to check-off at some point.

I know this post is a digression considering this is a food blog. Perhaps I ought to start another blog and call it, "There's more to Life than just Food Blogging." And then maybe I could add that to my memoir.....




Wednesday, May 18, 2016

India 2016- Bangalore, Wellington, New Delhi

My trip to India in March turned out to be the best trip ever!

Let's start from the very beginning.

The above two lines, my friends, was written sometime last month. It is May 18, 2016 today, almost 7 weeks since I came back from my fantastic India trip, and this post has pretty much no content whatsoever. I have been taking a memoir writing class, and really, what it is doing to me is that I am beginning to realize that this whole writing about one's life and events from one's life is, in one word, tedious! Other words I'd use would be boring, boring, boring. There, I said it! I am good with a page or maximum two, but that's about it. I suck at similes and metaphors. Here I am trying to live mindfully, living in the moment- you know, mindful living is currently trendy. And while I'm trying to do that, I am also expected to go dig into my past and write pages and pages on my doll and how my doll with the open-shut eyes was my best friend back in the day (Gosh, I sure was one lonely child!). I am officially done with this whole memoir writing business. And therefore, I have decided to ditch the writing part for this post, because there's too much to write, and I do not want to think. Instead, I'll show you pictures from my trip, with captions, so you understand what I'm trying to say. Incidentally, telling stories through pictures is also quite the trend these days!


Guava. YUM!


What? Our neighborhood Papa John's is there too? Hmm


Ah, a good South Indian style meal on plantain leaf. Waiting for more food to be served....



Miss those banyan trees. On way from Bangalore to Wellington. Fun road trip with mom and dad

I see hills, I see tea plantations

Heading towards Coonoor to get to Wellington

True Blue

Yay! After 29 years!!!! 

The little shop we got Maggi noodles and Marie biscuits from!! Still there!! 

Beautiful Bougainvillea

Entry to Wellington Gymkhana Club- that's where Dad had booked our stay

Ooh, nice tiled entry to the cottage

Begonia- that's where we stayed

Reminds me of the good old military living quarters.... our living room used to pretty much look like this
View from the room (mom and dad sitting there....)

Champaka Tree

The Champaka Flower- oh, that fragrance!! 

Morning Tea

Glyricidia sepium- another fragrant flowering tree, blooming all over the place

My old school- KV Wellington, now Army Public School

The staircase that led to our classroom- still dusty as ever! 

The same staircase 
Club Dress Rules- for Ladies- "respectable" dress please!  
Eucalyptus trees- the air smelled like eucalyptus

Tea plantations

Colorful houses

Ooty! A random outdoor furniture store

While going down, back towards Bengaluru- 36 hairpin bends! That was quite a drive, Dad!! 


Construction worker women

Men digging 

Tea Stall 

Steps

More tea

Pilgrimage? Procession 
Viewpoint

Via Mudumalai Tiger Reserve. No tigers though!

Bar, Jeep, Blue Mosque

Welcome to Karnataka State 

Silk City, Ramanagara- "Sholay" was filmed here

Tender Coconuts

The Ramanagara Hills- the very hills that "Sholay" was shot in and Gabbar Singh went, "Arrey O Samba, kitne aadmi the"

Back home after wonderful road trip with mom and dad
Vidyarthi Bhavan, estd 1943

Delicious Vada Sambar

Expert at carrying dosa plates- look at that!!

Benne Masala Dosa- my favorite! 

Yum-yum

Greasy!! Mm! 

Delicious Sabudana Khichdi made by mom, with love

Century Club Rules- Not sure why anyone would walk into a club in their underwear! Lol! Hot pants? 

Holy Basil- "Main Tulsi Tere Aangan Ki" 

My savior in that heat! 

The 60 year old Stone used for washing clothes, used even today! 
New Delhi!! After 29 years!!!! 

Hard Working Cycle Rickshaw Waalas- standing in the scorching heat, waiting for passengers

Our old house (the blue door) back in 1989-90

My old school- KV Jalahalli 1989-1992

Gangamma Devi Temple in Jalahalli

Temporary accommodation- the last place I stayed before heading off to college in 1992!

Dilapidated

Our house!! 1990-92 

Yep, that was our house! :) 

Couldn't believe my eyes- had friends who lived in this house!! It's all gone now! 

Banyan Tree and the ginormous prop roots

Temple architecture

I visited Wellington after 29 years and I visited New Delhi after 29 years too! How does that work? Well, we left Delhi in 1987 and moved to Wellington. That makes sense, right?

I celebrated my birthday with my mom and dad in Wellington amidst the beautiful Nilgiri Hills- it was nice and quiet and lovely. That's not all. I met my dearest, sweetest, bestest, most favorite person on earth- Gaurav, after 22-23 years and I don't have any words to really express my feelings. All I'll say is that I was ecstatic. But it was a super short meeting and we barely got to talk. Rather, I barely got to talk. He is anyway a man of few words! So G, you still owe me at least 21 more hours!! ;)

That's the gist of my India trip. Hope you liked the pictures. If you notice, this time there wasn't much emphasis on the food part of it. I mean, a self-proclaimed foodie saying that the food didn't excite her this time- that's like a whoa! really? I did of course enjoy the benne masala dosas, idlis and vadas, and the delicious food cooked by mom. Sadly, my stomach didn't hold up too well this time. Hashtag girl-welcome-to-the-40s

If I have to describe this trip in one word, I'd say nostalgic. And no, I'm not going to wrack my brain to come up with similes and metaphors to write pages and pages of the how and why this trip was nostalgic. And no, I'm not going to tell you how I found my old doll in the attic and went down memory lane, thank you very much!