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Back from India - 200 Photos


sizzleteeth
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Just got back last week from a fantastic trip to India.

Delhi, Agra, Madhogarh, Jaipur, Bijaipur, Udaipur, Ahmedabad, Mumbai, Goa

I have made chapatis, eaten cuisines Rajasthani, Punjabi and Gujarati, seen men with no legs

walk down the street by sliding boards in front of them to move their body, cows compete

with rickshaws for right of way, Kentucky Fried Chicken at the home of a maharajah and ice cream stands in the middle of the desert.

I’ve done my best to capture some of those things and would like to share them with you.

Here are a few images to chew on for those interested.

IMG_0077.jpg

IMG_0081.jpg

IMG_0141.jpg

IMG_0149.jpg

IMG_0189.jpg

IMG_0251.jpg

IMG_0326.jpg

IMG_0507.jpg

The rest can be found here:

http://ngray.minusseven.com/india/index.htm

My captions are in order so any single photo will be out of context and the caption may make no sense.

Be happy to answer any questions - if there are none that's all good too.

Thanks.

"At the gate, I said goodnight to the fortune teller... the carnival sign threw colored shadows on her face... but I could tell she was blushing." - B.McMahan

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Thanks, yeah I have to say out of everything I ate while there, Gujarati cuisine stood out to me, perhaps it was the places I ate - but a specific dish in particular called Khichdi was one of the things that I remember most. A mixture of yellow rice and vegetables baked with a topping of yogurt and carmelized onions - delicious.

When I went a few years ago I spent three weeks in Gujarat which was a great experience  :biggrin:

"At the gate, I said goodnight to the fortune teller... the carnival sign threw colored shadows on her face... but I could tell she was blushing." - B.McMahan

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Thanks shape, I just try to take pictures of things I see and make them come out like I see them, there were so many things that could have been focused on - mine obviously center mostly around food and trying to capture the beauty. As much as I manage to capture - I still could not do justice to the array of things that I saw - you almost need a camera for every subject. I could have taken thousands.

nathan: you're photography is spectacular.  makes me feel like i'm there and sorry i'm not at the same time.  thanks for sharing!

"At the gate, I said goodnight to the fortune teller... the carnival sign threw colored shadows on her face... but I could tell she was blushing." - B.McMahan

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Just got back last week from a fantastic trip to India.

Delhi, Agra, Madhogarh, Jaipur, Bijaipur, Udaipur, Ahmedabad, Mumbai, Goa

I have made chapatis, eaten cuisines Rajasthani, Punjabi and Gujarati, seen men with no legs

walk down the street by sliding boards in front of them to move their body, cows compete

with rickshaws for right of way, Kentucky Fried Chicken at the home of a maharajah and ice cream stands in the middle of the desert.

I’ve done my best to capture some of those things and would like to share them with you.

Here are a few images to chew on for those interested.

The rest can be found here:

http://ngray.minusseven.com/india/index.htm

My captions are in order so any single photo will be out of context and the caption may make no sense.

Be happy to answer any questions - if there are none that's all good too.

Thanks.

Beautiful images sizzleteeth. I'm still making my way through them and enjoying them immensely. I do have a a few questions. First of all, how long were you in India? You sure did cover a lot of ground. Also, you visited so many different regions could you describe what the cuisines are like in each region? As I flipped through your photos, you mentioned cooking classes and some truly standout meals. Could you please provide more details about those classes and meals?

BTW, a co-worker recently returned from a trip to India (Mumbai). Interesting heritage as she is half Indian, half Syrian but, as she has been teased profusely, looks Latina! :smile: Anyway, one of the things she said upon her return was that any one who doesn't like vegetables needs to visit India because if they still don't like vegetables after a visit there, they never will. Agree?

Inside me there is a thin woman screaming to get out, but I can usually keep the Bitch quiet: with CHOCOLATE!!!

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Thanks Diva, I was in India for about 16 days, more or less 2 days in each place and yes covered tons and tons of ground from early in the morning until late at night inside each destination and overland for hours in jeeps and trains from Delhi to Mumbai then a flight from Mumbai to Panjim.

I was pleasantly surprised by the assortment of cuisines that were available everywhere, North Indian, South Indian, West, East - you could get a little something from anywhere just about everywhere in the big cities. As the aforementioned, Punjabi, Rajasthani and Gujarati prevailed but there was Amritsari, Bengali - dishes from Andhra Pradesh, Malabar, Mysore - you name it.

As mentioned above the Gujarati meals stood out to me, the Gujarati Thali I had in Ahmedabad was so light and delicate in all it's preparations, night and day from Punjabi - the Kichdhi was fabulous as were these chick pea flour "cornbreads" I couldn't identify with a green chili sauce and dumplings of fried mashed potatoes with corn and a red chili sauce was fantastic - I'd appreciate any help in identifying them - they are pictured here.

The cooking classes were spread throughout the trip, the two most mentionable being the one with the teacher "Cutie" at Fort Madhogarh:

http://www.nivalink.com/fortmadhogarh/index.html

In this class we used dried cow dung to fuel a fire and cooked dough balls directly in the coals. :)

As well as the 6 hour class in Udaipur with a Chef named Shakti whom used to be in the restaurant business but now runs a small spice shop called the Indian Spice Box and has a studio kitchen complete with tilted mirrors in which he holds comprehensive classes, in my class we made 9 dishes in 6 hours - he teaches everything from identifying specific spice mixtures to making the mother sauces that base much Indian cuisine. "When the oil she has floated to the top - then the sauce we know is going...ready". Really cool and funny guy, took us to the markets in Udaipur which are in my pics - he's holding the Pomegranate.

Mr. Shakti

Indian Spice Box

38 Lal Ghat, Udaipur 313001,

Rajastan, India

Ph: 0091-294-2483118

Spicebox2001@yahoo.co.in

I have to agree and disagree with the last statement. I agree because the vegetable preparations in India are so flavorful and in many cases mask the actual flavor of the vegetables that if you do not find vegetable dishes you like here, then you are probably hopeless. I disagree because contrary to popular belief - meat is everywhere. I had meat in every place and saw more meat than you can imagine, I ate mutton, lamb, chicken, fish and beef (yes, beef). In Jaipur there were tandoori chickens hanging like ducks in Chinatown, butchers with carcasses hanging from hooks - you could easily subsist on meat and never touch a vegetable - which may come as a surprise - it did to me anyway.

First of all, how long were you in India?  You sure did cover a lot of ground.  Also, you visited so many different regions could you describe what the cuisines are like in each region?  As I flipped through your photos, you mentioned cooking classes and some truly standout meals.  Could you please provide more details about those classes and meals?

Anyway, one of the things she said upon her return was that any one who doesn't like vegetables needs to visit India because if they still don't like vegetables after a visit there, they never will.  Agree?

"At the gate, I said goodnight to the fortune teller... the carnival sign threw colored shadows on her face... but I could tell she was blushing." - B.McMahan

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Thanks so much for the feedback sizzleteeth. Only 16 days!? I just knew that you were going to say that you were there for severals weeks or even a few months. You seemed pretty fearless in your wanderings. Had you been to India before and did you have a guide/guides in each area?

Although my knowledge of India is next to nil, I was definitely surprised that you would say there was meat everywhere; completely opposite of what I had assumed. Though you didn't mention it in your response to my questions, I noticed while perusing your photos that you were even served pork chops :wub: there.

Eating dough balls cooked directly on the cow dung coals? :shock: Tony Bourdain has nothing on you. :smile:

Inside me there is a thin woman screaming to get out, but I can usually keep the Bitch quiet: with CHOCOLATE!!!

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Oh you know I had a guide, even Bourdain has enablers in the places he goes, had I tried to organize some of the traveling I did through Rajahsthan I would have broken down and died in the desert - you don't know the meaning of the words "in the middle of nowhere" until you've been to Madhogarh and Bijaipur and driving in India - even on the highways - could be made into a successful video game.

I took a trip with a company out of Australia called Intrepid, they basically give you a "Sherpa" who travels with you from place to place and then sets you loose when you get there - same company I took to Japan.

Had I not seen it with my own eyes I would think the same as you - the street food was mostly vegetarian and I ate tons of street food and veggy dishes (the Gujarati was veg for instance). The pork chops were absolutely the best pork chops I ever had, perfectly marinated, perfectly charred, tender - the fat was as good as the meat. That was in Mumbai (Bombay) at a place called Mocambo Cafe, C3A Sir P.M. Road RT Mumbai 400001, Tel: 22870458 / 56065264. Had that with a side of Garlic Pasta with Parmesean and a glass of Viognier Clairette for less than US $12. Could have been that I had been eating Indian food for so long - but that meal and the meal at the Salt Water Grill in Mumbai were absolutely fantastic to this Kentucky boy at that point in time. Though I'd say the same of butter chicken if I was eating pork chops for two weeks.

Get this, at the Taj Palace Hotel there was even a SUSHI restaurant, and not just any sushi restaurant - Wasabi by Iron Chef Morimoto - I skipped it because of cost - but it looked great and had a huge menu of both new Japanese and sushi.

As for the last comment, I can't agree with that either, I'm not a chef in any traditional sense of the word or an author or really recognized by anyone for anything - and that's just fine with me.

Though I have the distinct advantage (or disadvantage depending on your point of view) of looking like a serial killer. :laugh:

Bourdain has better hair.

Thanks so much for the feedback sizzleteeth.  Only 16 days!?  I just knew that you were going to say that you were there for severals weeks or even a few months.  You seemed pretty fearless in your wanderings.  Had you been to India before and did you have a guide/guides in each area?

Although my knowledge of India is next to nil, I was definitely surprised that you would say there was meat everywhere; completely opposite of what I had assumed.  Though you didn't mention it in your response to my questions, I noticed while perusing your photos that you were even served pork chops  :wub: there.

Eating dough balls cooked directly on the cow dung coals? :shock: Tony Bourdain has nothing on you. :smile:

Edited by sizzleteeth (log)

"At the gate, I said goodnight to the fortune teller... the carnival sign threw colored shadows on her face... but I could tell she was blushing." - B.McMahan

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As per above the two unidentified Gujarati dishes pictured in the betel leaf bowl are respectively:

Corn Handvo

and

Bataka Vada

Though please correct me if I'm wrong.

"At the gate, I said goodnight to the fortune teller... the carnival sign threw colored shadows on her face... but I could tell she was blushing." - B.McMahan

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Thanks Ronnie, much appreciated from Chicago.

Beautiful shots, Nathan.  Thank you for sharing them.

=R=

"At the gate, I said goodnight to the fortune teller... the carnival sign threw colored shadows on her face... but I could tell she was blushing." - B.McMahan

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But Nathan, I still haven't finished looking through your Japan photos! :biggrin:

I look forward to whenever I have the chance to look through some of this batch. The previews are certainly appealing.

You really travel right, from my point of view, absorbing whatever you can about the place you're visiting. You are no accidental tourist.

Michael aka "Pan"

 

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Hehe - you've had a year Pan - but they're still there as you can see - so no rush.

I am of the sort that believes in connections between all occurrences in some sort of greater overall framework - I couldn't tell you the number of things that seem to have fallen directly in my path just at the right time - if anything I'm simply lucky that I have learned in my short time to pay attention to details... it is those details that end up leading me in directions I otherwise would never have chosen. In that respect accidents are few and far between, I am responsible for everything that happens to me, good or bad, in some way - even if I don't realize it at the time.

Nothing that happens ever affects the future, it only affects the path - the path can always be changed... therefore the future is never certain.

But Nathan, I still haven't finished looking through your Japan photos! :biggrin:

I look forward to whenever I have the chance to look through some of this batch. The previews are certainly appealing.

You really travel right, from my point of view, absorbing whatever you can about the place you're visiting. You are no accidental tourist.

Edited by sizzleteeth (log)

"At the gate, I said goodnight to the fortune teller... the carnival sign threw colored shadows on her face... but I could tell she was blushing." - B.McMahan

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Nathan, one word describes your photolog: Enchanting. Thank you so much for sharing. Thanks to Pan, I'll have to go find that Japan link.

Your travels inspire me to go to India as well. Did you have other travel companions or did you go it alone? Can you provide me the travel company info via PM. This is the kind of travel that interests me the most. It is nothing if you can't get in and interact and observe the daily culture.

(Oh, BTW, no worries on the hairline dude! Lotsa girls luvs them that way: God covered up the imperfect domes! Its a sign of intellegence.)

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:laugh::laugh::laugh:

Don't worry Genny - I'm African, Native American, Irish and English - I have hair like a troll doll so I've shaved it since I was about 16 except for a brief stint of dreadlocks - I was simply making a comparison contrast between my shiny dome and Bourdain's just-out-of-the-salon look for comic value. I actually enjoy my appearance and the various reactions it envokes in different places under different circumstances - though I didn't seem to scare the children in India too much... :wink:

No need for PM - I hope any and all of you go on as many trips as you can:

http://www.intrepidtravel.com/

Also my Japan pics are here:

http://ngray.minusseven.com/japan/index.htm

And anything past or future can be found simply at the top level:

http://ngray.minusseven.com/

Nathan, one word describes your photolog: Enchanting.  Thank you so much for sharing.  Thanks to Pan, I'll have to go find that Japan link. 

Your travels inspire me to go to India as well.  Did you have other travel companions or did you go it alone?  Can you provide me the travel company info via PM.  This is the kind of travel that interests me the most.  It is nothing if you can't get in and interact and observe the daily culture. 

(Oh, BTW, no worries on the hairline dude!  Lotsa girls luvs them that way: God covered up the imperfect domes!  Its a sign of intellegence.)

Edited by sizzleteeth (log)

"At the gate, I said goodnight to the fortune teller... the carnival sign threw colored shadows on her face... but I could tell she was blushing." - B.McMahan

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I just noticed there is a thread in this forum on Sushi in India and several places are mentioned including the Morimoto restaurant at the Taj Palace in Mumbai.

http://forums.egullet.org/index.php?showtopic=82172

I didn't stay at the Taj but went there for a drink on the way back from Elephante Island (the boats left from the Gateway of India, which is right in front of the Taj.)

The hotel is like a spaceship in which you enter and are no longer in Mumbai or in India at all, almost reminded me of Miami.

Morimoto is through another bar in the hotel, up a small metal spiral staircase in the corner and the decor is super modern - there was a little room off to the side with a table that looked like it had blue neon around the edge.

Some of the pieces of nigiri were 450 rupees (about US $9).

I was told while in Mumbai that the Japanese do alot of business in Mumbai on the golf courses and have most of them booked for years in advance.

Edited by sizzleteeth (log)

"At the gate, I said goodnight to the fortune teller... the carnival sign threw colored shadows on her face... but I could tell she was blushing." - B.McMahan

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I have hair like a troll doll

May I quote you on that? My son1's family nickname is The Electric Head, but I like your description better!

I was interested to hear that you really liked khichdi - my family enjoy it to as a variation on rice, but I've always wondered what it might be like eaten in India!

Taking cooking classes sounds like a great idea! As an ex-travel coordinator, I think you made good use of your travel agent. I used to dislike putting together the kind of arrangements anybody could make for themselves with less hassle than going through an agent, but it sounds as if you got something more than you could have had by hopping on the plane with a guide-book.

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Sure...

That was in Delhi just at about 7 in the morning near Karol Bagh, which is a big bustling market

of all kinds of things including western brand stores.

My hotel in Delhi was the Bajaj homestay and this picture was taken about 2 blocks away.

Bajaj Indian Home Stay

8A/34 W.E.A, Karol Bagh,

New Delhi - 110 005. India.

http://www.bajajindianhomestay.com/eng/location.html

Cooking fuel (tanks of gas) in India are pretty expensive for the average person, so lots of the street vendors cooked their food with charcoal fires. As I was walking the streets in the early morning many of the vendors were setting up their carts - it looked to me as though this kid had a bag of charcoal and for whatever reason he had dumped part of it on the ground and seemed to be sorting it - why I couldn't tell you - but he was off in a side alley with the man in the background setting up the cart you see in the pic.

Nathan, can you say a bit about what's going on here? What's the charcoal for?

Edited by sizzleteeth (log)

"At the gate, I said goodnight to the fortune teller... the carnival sign threw colored shadows on her face... but I could tell she was blushing." - B.McMahan

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Yes, exactly like a troll doll - managability and all.

The khichdi was great and was totally different from just about anything else I had, I'll definitely make it at home - it was really simple - but very flavorful and light. Reminded me of a Persian dish I had once called Chicken Tacheen, without the chicken of course.

I can tell you with certainty that the things I did and saw would not have come to pass with a guide book and plane ticket - I wouldn't have even known these things exist to look for them and even if I did - getting there would have been next to impossible. If you ever get driven in India make sure you have a really good driver who really knows where he's going and how to navigate the insane traffic coming on the wrong side of the road in between people and cows and herds of goats - or you won't be getting anywhere.

There are some places in the world where a guidebook will serve you well, and it will in India as well to a certain degree... but then - that's where everybody else is going. :wink:

I have hair like a troll doll

May I quote you on that? My son1's family nickname is The Electric Head, but I like your description better!

I was interested to hear that you really liked khichdi - my family enjoy it to as a variation on rice, but I've always wondered what it might be like eaten in India!

Taking cooking classes sounds like a great idea! As an ex-travel coordinator, I think you made good use of your travel agent. I used to dislike putting together the kind of arrangements anybody could make for themselves with less hassle than going through an agent, but it sounds as if you got something more than you could have had by hopping on the plane with a guide-book.

"At the gate, I said goodnight to the fortune teller... the carnival sign threw colored shadows on her face... but I could tell she was blushing." - B.McMahan

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Hi, sizzleteeth, I'm glad to see you again on eGullet.

I noticed this thread last night, and I've been wondering what questions I can make since then, the kind of questions that can make you laugh and think. Unfortunately, I can't think of any up until now, mainly because of my lack of knowledge of India :sad: . So, for now, let me ask you some basic questions, which may be too boring for a smart guy like you to answer.

So, here they are:

1. Why India now?

2. What foods did you bring back home?

3. What is your next destination? (Is it a secret?)

4. If there is one place that truly represents India, where is it?

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Hiroyuki you are many wonderful things... boring is never one of them.

I'll answer any question you can come up with.

1. India was next on my list of places to visit to learn about the food after Japan - along with

trial and error and self study - this is my culinary school. I checked out many traditional culinary schools long ago and even took some classes but they were not for me, a very heavy bias towards French technique with a little of this and a little of that thrown in (walk into a knife class at a Western culinary school and start cutting up a chicken Chinese style - I dare you). I also did a couple of professional kitchens for a day or two and have no desire to be a cog in the wheel of a machine or spend 14 hours a day in the same place churning out the same dishes for every person that walks in the door. Nothing wrong with that and as much as I love to eat out I am immensley grateful there are those who choose this path else that would not be possible - it's just not for me.

My current chosen and preferred methods of operation more or less exclude the likelihood of having any type of traditional dining establishment (though I can never completely rule out anything). So at the moment I am traveling to learn about the cuisines of the world in their natural environments from the people that cook them everyday and will use this information and these experiences ultimately to do something more organized then I am doing now - something that requires no names on my resume. India was now - something else is next, "if the creek don't rise", as they say in KY.

2. Due to restrictions on import I was only able to bring back some high quality Assam and Nilgiri tea - but got lot's of contacts for ordering things for shipment.

3. Secret? That was funny Hiroyuki. :raz: Secrets are for people with something to hide.

Many places on my list but if possible very soon Italy and then a Thailand, Vietnam, Laos trip, but we'll see. Don't want to get too far ahead of myself.

4. Just like Japan there is Old India and there is New India though more than any place I have ever seen, Old India coexists in the same space as new India side by side - this is visible almost everywhere - but places like Mumbai, Panjim and Udaipur almost don't fit into the scheme - until you get out into the outskirts - this is especially visible in Mumbai. For me, Madhogarh is the place I would go back to first probably followed by Udaipur to represent a larger place. As with anywhere - the bigger cities are warped representations of the country - somebody told me 70% of India's billion population still live in rural villages. So to me, that is India.

Hi, sizzleteeth, I'm glad to see you again on eGullet.

I noticed this thread last night, and I've been wondering what questions I can make since then, the kind of questions that can make you laugh and think.  Unfortunately, I can't think of any up until now, mainly because of my lack of knowledge of India :sad: .  So, for now, let me ask you some basic questions, which may be too boring for a smart guy like you to answer.

So, here they are:

1.  Why India now?

2.  What foods did you bring back home?

3.  What is your next destination?  (Is it a secret?)

4.  If there is one place that truly represents India, where is it?

Edited by sizzleteeth (log)

"At the gate, I said goodnight to the fortune teller... the carnival sign threw colored shadows on her face... but I could tell she was blushing." - B.McMahan

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I keep remembering little tidbits of stuff here and there that I thought were odd and here's one...

Udaipur is the city where they filmed the James Bond movie Octopussy, they were showing it everywhere - it was painted permanently on brick walls all over the city.

I vaguely remember that movie and haven't seen it for years but the one thing that stuck with me was the rickshaw chase - I remember thinking it was crazy then - but that's what it's really like to ride a rickshaw in Udaipur. :laugh:

There are tons of hills like San Francisco and one of my drivers kept turning his engine off to go down hill and then restarting at the bottom - the whole time dodging all kinds of obstacles.

Those guys know how to drive.

"At the gate, I said goodnight to the fortune teller... the carnival sign threw colored shadows on her face... but I could tell she was blushing." - B.McMahan

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