This was the last day of our trip and knowing that it would be a long day and night, we tried to sleep in a bit. When we woke, we had Indian foodina tea, malai (fresh cream) with sugar on brun pav (crusty bread). The fresh cream is made by gently steeping unpasteurized full fat milk (sometimes buffalo milk) and is naturally slightly sweet, so I went slow on the sugar. This is a delicacy that is not often enjoyed in the states.....I propose that we change that.
For lunch we went to Rajbough, which is a place that specializes in Gujurati style Thali. A thali is a term for a steel vessel or plate, but in this context refers to the type of cuisine typically served in a thali in Gujurat. Along the way we stopped at this place that serves a special kind of Mithai or sweet which has a fluffy pastry stuffed with milk solids, which is made by gently boiling raw milk until most of the liquid evaporates.
Here is another mithai called Rubber Halva due to its chewiness. Taste like you would expect, a sweet bubble gum which you can swallow and easily digest.
On the way we passed families crammed on small motorbikes, whizzing in and out of traffic.
We also happened to pass some Dubbawallahs who are people who deliver tiffins from their clients homes to office locations on bicycle, handcarts, etc with amazing accuracy and efficiency, despite many of them being illiterate. Their system has recently been studied by prestigious MBA programs and companies like Virgin and Richard Branson personally.
Back to the Thalis….there are about a dozen small items ranging from daals, vegetables, chaat, rice, pickles and sweets that are served as part of the thali. The main vegetable today was Undhu, a sweet and salty mixture of potatoes, peas, baby eggplant and a vegetable called papdi.
Thali with Khichdi (rice)
Closeup of pickles
We also enjoyed a smoked chass (salty buttermilk), which is made by mixing garlic, chilies, etc with a burning charcoal before adding it to the buttermilk. This lends a deep smoky flavor, but this method of smoking items is a little controversial since people claim it can also cause cancer.
Making the chaas
The fished product
On the way back, we saw effigies which are traditionally burt of figures representing an old person to symbolize the passing year, however this year, the figures seemed to have graffiti with the names of the terrorists who attacked Mumbai on 11/26 or in some cases Pakistan (which India suspects is where the terrorists were from).
After a few more hours of playing with my nephews, I was still full from the thali, so decided to take it a bit easy over dinner. My sister in law had bought some special items for me which went well with the fresh chapatis made daily
Can you guess what this is???
Another rendition of the same ingredient
This was Dec 31st, and since our flight was early morning on Jan 1st, we celebrated the new year at the Mumbai airport and then had an opportunity to do so several times again as we would be “traveling back in time” and cross the 12am time many times over.
Edited by percyn, 02 January 2009 - 07:03 PM.