Saturday, February 12, 2011

Cooking Classes!

Since I love Indian food so much, I figure it'd be a good idea to learn how to make it. This in no way means that I'll start cooking anytime soon, but I'll have these pictures and videos ready for the day that I start to use my kitchen.
 Fried Dal
 Tomato-Onion Raita
 My veg lunch thali, which includes dal, aloo gobi, tomato-onion raita, jeera rice, puri, chapati, halva (not pictured), and pakora (already eaten).

That's it for my India trip!
Posted by Picasa

Sightseeing in Udaipur

 Ranakpur - a Jain temple with 1444 uniquely carved pillars.
 Kumbhalgarh, a walled fort built ~600yrs ago with a 36km perimeter. It has only been taken once, and even then, it was held only for 2 days.
 Having a nice cold Kingfisher at a rooftop restaurant before sunset.
 Nightime view of the City Palace.
Posted by Picasa

Typical Day in Udaipur

Udaipur is my last stop in India, which was a fantastic way to decompress and relax. It's a charming clean city with lakes, small alleys, colorful dresses, and fantastic food.
 A stroll through the vegetable market.
 An India Mark II deep lift water pump can be found at every corner!
 A family from a farm 70km outside of Udaipur on vacation.
 The world as seen from 2 cows chillin' in the middle of a busy intersection. They say good milk comes from happy cows and happy cows come from California. I would argue that happy cows come from India, which is why the milk tea tastes so good!
Posted by Picasa


I planned a 1-day trip to Amritsar to see the Golden Temple and check out the changing of the guard/dance at the India-Pakistan border. What I didn't plan for was an 8-hr train delay, leaving me with only 5hrs in the city before my train back to New Delhi. While I missed the India-Pakistan border, I did get to catch the Golden Temple before sunset and stay till it got dark.
 Golden Temple (A Holy Sikh Temple)
 They provide free dinner and free accomodation to all who come. I joined the 40,000 people that eat here each day for a small meal.
 Looks like I could easily fit in this cooking pot!
Posted by Picasa


Apparently, now is an auspicious time for weddings, so everyone in India is having their weddings in Jan/Feb. Varun had 3 weddings to attend this weekend, and for each wedding, there were multiple events.
 A Pakistani-themed dinner party.
 A Jain wedding ceremony.
 The wedding hopping crew (left to right: me, Supriya (Varun's wife), Varun, Shruti (Supriya's sister).
 One of many meals I had that weekend. Jain weddings serve only vegetarian food! Perfect!
Posted by Picasa

Kolkata with Varun!

Luckily, I was fully recovered from the bad momos in Darjeeling, just in time for a full weekend of eating/partying. That weekend was full of events: multiple weddings, multiple receptions, multiple parties, a prayer for a new house, and company dinner - this doesn't even include any of the sightseeing, scheduled brunches/dinners, and afternoon teas. Varun had quite the social calendar! Thanks for letting me tag along for part of it!

 One hour after I arrived at the train station in Kolkata, Varun took me to a prayer for the contruction of their new family home. It's a once in a lifetime experience for anyone to see this - it's not every day that someone builds a new home.
 Victoria Memorial, which was finished 20years after Queen Victoria's death.
 The Chinatown in India is in Kolkata. There isn't much to see, but it was an interesting read finding out how Chinese people ended up in India. Wikipedia Link
 Princep Ghat: In its early years, it was a major embarkation/disembarkation for the British in India.
Posted by Picasa

Monday, February 7, 2011


Darjeeling was a nice hillside town, but I think 1 day day there was probably just about enough time.

 Spotted the toy train on the way up, and it took us about 5 seconds to wiz right past it.
 I made the mistake of eating some momos (dumplings) on the ride up. BAD idea! Spent the evening in bed with a bucket and bottle of water. Luckily, I was pretty much recovered 2 days later when I arrived in Kolkata! The Darjeeling tea was nice though!
 I was told that most of January was pretty cloudy, so I lucked out with the clear weather! Here's Kangchenjunga in left and Darjeeling on the right.
 Unfortunately, Darjeeling, like all places in India, is not impervious to litter!
Posted by Picasa

Darjeeling - Tiger Hill

Made a short trip to Darjeeling, a small hilside town in northeast India near the Himalayas.

 I woke up really early to join the crowds for the sunrise, and with clear weather, the view was fantastic!
 Here's Kanchenjunga in Nepal, the world's 3rd highest.
 Here's the peak of Mt. Everest. Since it's so far away, it's actually the second tallest white peak in this picture, not the tallest one.
Posted by Picasa

Taj Mahal!

I made a day trip from New Delhi to Agra to see the Taj Mahal. Pictures don't do the mausoleum justice!

 All the marble was inlaid with semi-precious stones, and the craftsmanship was amazing. Here is a picture of some inlay on the outside of the building, which is nice, but the work inside is amazing (unfortunately, no pictures allowed inside).
Posted by Picasa


Food here is fantastic, especially for vegetarians. I was sitting around a dinner table the other day, and it came to light that I was vegetarian. I then found out that the other 11/12 people at the table were also vegetarian. What's even more funny were the questions everyone at the table asked the non vegetarian: "how do you stand the smell of meat?" "what do you eat?" "why aren't you a vegetarian?" Usually, the vegetarian is under the spotlight!

Anything that is vegetarian has a green dot or is in green packaging, and if it isn't vegetarian, it's cooked separately, packaged in red, and clearly marked "NON-VEG."

 I think my favorite kind of Indian food is Chaat - likely because a lot of it is fried!
  More Chaat!
 The McAloo Tikki (Aloo is Potato)... and it's Vegetarian! This needs to go International.
 Ironically, KFC also has Veg food - here's their Veg Zinger!

Then there's the grilled panners, curries, daals, puris, rotis, chapatis, dosas, idlys, utapams, etc... Look out for a 200lb version of me when I'm done eating my way through India.
Posted by Picasa