The best way to travel in India has to be by train. The one positive thing everyone can agree British Colonialism did for India was building the extensive railway system in the second half of the 19th century. The Indian Railway runs over 10,000 trains everyday. Express trains that go over long distances are nothing like the city commuter trains that are notoriously overcrowded. Think more of the trains of Wes Anderson’s “Darjeeling Express”. (more…)
One of the things I miss most about living in Mumbai is the pav bhaji. It was one of the foods I ate so regularly when I lived there. You can get great pav bhaji on the streets of Mumbai anytime you want. I know many people who make pav bhaji at home, and sadly, it never measures up. (more…)
The wind was still blowing violently in the morning when we set out for home after our Mt. Whitney and Death Valley trip. It was early in the morning and our attempt at finding breakfast was unsuccessful as the only cafe in town hadn’t opened yet. We decided we would find breakfast along the way. It would be a long drive, 250 miles to Pasadena to pick up Xaria (our dog), and then another 130 to San Diego. (more…)
Steve and I had a lot of milkshakes on our recent road trip to Death Valley. We remarked how unusual it is for us to have milkshakes, but I wasn’t thinking about Mango Lassi. Mango Lassi isn’t really a milkshake, but it kind of is. It is made with yogurt instead of milk and ice cream. We don’t have them often, but once in a while, he will get one when we go to Surti Farsan for a special treat. (more…)
Have you ever thought about how nice it would be to live across the street from a farmer’s market? How nice would it be to just pick up the fresh vegetables you need that day and not have to worry about them wilting and rotting in your refrigerator?
When I was a kid living in India that is exactly the convenience we had. Every day my mom would give me a handful of rupees and send me across the street to pick up some tomatoes, onions, or “green masala” – a mix of cilantro, curry leaves, green chili, ginger and lemon. As a little seven year old, I walked the maze of the little farmer’s market on the streets of Bombay. (more…)
Parathas are a staple of food in the Indian diet. You can eat them plain, or with some yogurt and pickle, or as a flatbread to pick up different shaak (“curries”) with. They are so easily transported. Just put them in a pile and wrap some foil around them, or put them in a container. They are one of those high energy foods that gets people through their day. (more…)
I love looking at the bright yellow turmeric next to the deep red of chili powder and the neutrals of cumin and mustard seeds in my masala dubba. Turmeric is indispensable in any Indian kitchen. So many of my favorite Indian comfort foods, like a big bowl of yellow Kadhi or my Grandma’s Gujarati Dal, just wouldn’t be right without turmeric. (more…)
My blogger friends Barbara Cooks and The Seaside Baker coordinated a challenge with Melissa’s Produce. Everyone who wanted to participate got a handful of ingredients in the mail from their farm. The challenge was to use 3 to 4 items from the box plus 2 to 3 items of your own choosing to create a dish and blog about it. (more…)
We ate a lot of guavas while growing up in Mumbai. We called them peru, their Marathi name, because that’s what the street vendors called them (the Hindi name is Amrood and the Gujarati name is Jamphal). As the weather started to cool down, the streets would start to flood with guava vendors. Everywhere you look, there were men pushing carts with giant piles of guavas and women carrying baskets full of guavas on their heads. (more…)
When I was about 11, I developed an obsession with Jeera Rice. I refused to eat anything unless this rice was on my plate. Not long after I learned how to make simple basmati rice, I quickly learned to make Jeera rice for myself and for a good three month period I made it nightly. Often, when I was being picky and didn’t want to eat the family dinner, I would just have this rice and some yogurt for dinner. (more…)
A few days ago I was talking to my mom and she mentioned that the past few days had felt like living in India. She is totally right, it’s rained so much that it almost felt like the monsoons. Non-stop all day long rain is so very rare in Southern California. I love the rain though. While it was raining, I sat out on our balcony all morning with the babies (the dog and cat who spend more time on the balcony than either Steve or I) and watched the rain pour down. I was nostalgic.
I remembered the warm monsoon rain and going for walks at my boarding school in rain so heavy that we couldn’t see more than 5 feet in front of us. (more…)