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Back from India - 200 Photos


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I know everyone else has said it, but it bears repeating: sizzleteeth, your photographs are simply gorgeous. Thanks so much for sharing. And thanks for posting the link for Intrepid Travel; someday, after I get out of school and get a job like normal people, I hope to be able to travel a bit, and India's always intrigued me. Until then, it's Bollywood films and Indian food and living vicariously through others' experiences! :biggrin:

"She would of been a good woman," The Misfit said, "if it had been somebody there to shoot her every minute of her life."

--Flannery O'Connor, "A Good Man is Hard to Find"

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I too just came back from India 10 days ago - I enjoyed your photos and I am glad you were exposed to North and Western cuisine. Next time you could tour the East and South :smile:

Great pics (not just your India trip, also the 05 and 04 tours)

anil

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Another set of kudos for the pics, Nathan. I am thinking of going to India next year with The Worlds of Flavor program. Your pictures added fuel to that fire.

John Sconzo, M.D. aka "docsconz"

"Remember that a very good sardine is always preferable to a not that good lobster."

- Ferran Adria on eGullet 12/16/2004.

Docsconz - Musings on Food and Life

Slow Food Saratoga Region - Co-Founder

Twitter - @docsconz

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Phil, Anil, Doc , Betty thank you all.

Anil good to see you back safe and Doc, good luck on your trip - I know you'll be inspired and

and humbled by the things you will encounter.

Beautiful photos, sizzleteeth. Thanks for sharing. Did you eat any street food? I hope you tried some of those doughnuts and gulab jamun.  :smile:

Betty street food was what I was looking forward to most and yes I ate it everywhere, I really had expected to eat vegetarian on this trip and the unexpected availability of meat without seeking it was a bit of a surprise - I avoided meat on the street but everything else was pretty much deep fried - and nothing lives in 400 degree oil or in the center of glowing red ambers of cow dung. :smile:

I brought my pepto and immodium and a precaution prescription of antibiotic but am happy to report I made it without getting sick - in large part because I was careful what I ate - but it's not so unsafe as you might be led to believe - though your body might have a difficult time adjusting to the local "flora" - I drank Kefir for about 2 months before I went to get my pipes in order.

Though that does bring about a story:

My friend ended up getting an eye infection in Jaipur and we had to go to a doctor - which was a short rickshaw ride from the hotel in the middle of Jaipur. We got there and these two thug looking guys called the doctor down who was a clean-cut older guy and had a very stoic manner. He checked out my friend's eye with a flashlight and promptly diagnosed him with "eye flu" - which kind of freaked my friend out until he was told an ointment and some drops would clear it up in a few days.

So the doc got the ointment (which turned out to be a type of Neosporin) and gave us a prescription for the drops and pointed us to a chemist down the road.

The entire visit, ointment and filled prescription cost 600 rupies (about U.S. $12) and the prescription itself was only 80 rupies (less than $2.00).

It was great because I kept telling him to let me know if things started going dark, and kept saying things like "if he breaks out the needles - we're out of here". :laugh:

Anyway - he was allright - but the funniest part was we got the paper the next morning at breakfast and it was talking about outbreaks of bird flu and listed the symptoms - third on the list was "sudden eye infections".

Which led to a whole day of fun. :smile:

edit:spelling

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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Let me add to the compliments... Fantastic pictures and a beautiful representation of the places you visited. Your pictures brought smiles (Big Tony and the Samosa Racket) and waves of nostalgia (I was born and brought up in Jaipur) and longing (I really NEED to visit Goa!)

Can you tell us more about the "Organic Restaurant" in Rajasthan and the knife-maker in Gujarat?

"I look around (the Amazon rainforest) and see a green wall. They (the Machiguenga Indians of Peru) look around and see a supermarket." -Austin Stevens

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Let me add to the compliments... Fantastic pictures and a beautiful representation of the places you visited. Your pictures brought smiles (Big Tony and the Samosa Racket) and waves of nostalgia (I was born and brought up in Jaipur) and longing (I really NEED to visit Goa!)

Can you tell us more about the "Organic Restaurant" in Rajasthan and the knife-maker in Gujarat?

Be happy to - I don't have the info handy with me at the moment but I know I have the cards - so look for a post later tonight or tomorrow. The knife maker was in Udaipur actually and that damascus blank I'm holding was - ready for this - 300 rupies (about $6) - but they were all high carbon content that was only tempered to Rockwell 45 - which is pretty soft - but so beautiful.

I had 3 flights back so I didn't buy then but I made sure to get the guy's card so I could order - he ships internationally via EMS.

The organic restaurant was literally in the middle of nowhere on the road between Jaipur and Bijaipur - it was vegetarian and they grew all their own food (except for the endless packaged ice cream choices and the Kingfisher bottled water). It was full of Indian families and even had a Chinese twist to the menu. I had a dish called "Chinese Manchurian" which was like a vegetarian version of General Tsao's chicken and some great Chinese fried rice and an Indian curry who's name escapes me at the moment.

I'll post names and addresses as soon as I have access.

"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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Knifemaker info:

Jagdish Sikligar

Rare Arts

Ph:091-0294-2432691

jagdishsikligar@yahoo.co.in

O/S Chandpole,

Jethlyon Ka Akhada

Udaipur 313 001

Says on his card he is a specialist in Arms, Armor, Old and New Damascus Steel and

Gold and Silver Wiring Work - if you happen to need any gold or silver wiring work done.

"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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Knifemaker info:

Jagdish Sikligar

Rare Arts

Ph:091-0294-2432691

jagdishsikligar@yahoo.co.in

O/S Chandpole,

Jethlyon Ka Akhada

Udaipur  313 001

Says on his card he is a specialist in Arms, Armor, Old and New Damascus Steel and

Gold and Silver Wiring Work - if you happen to need any gold or silver wiring work done.

Hi Nathan, thanks for your reply. I appreciate the info!

eta: An e-mail to Mr. Sikligar bounced. Apparently his account "has been disabled or discontinued." I'll probably try to reach him by phone or regular mail.

Edited by anchita (log)

"I look around (the Amazon rainforest) and see a green wall. They (the Machiguenga Indians of Peru) look around and see a supermarket." -Austin Stevens

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I love your photos, the way you capture the mystical light in India, and in particular, the shots of the market in Mumbai which bring back such wonderful memories. It is bizarre, because I was just talking about this market last night. It is quite dramatic the way everything is stacked up so high, isn't it? When I was there I paid one of the locals to help me with my wicker basket (which I bought there), negotiate the price on fruit and settle my complete bill at the end with just one person. A neat system. The mangoes were unbelievable.

I would love to go back and travel around India with my children when they are older. In the meantime, I need to check out your shots from Japan which I haven't looked at yet.

Thanks again for the evocative adventure.

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When I was there I paid one of the locals to help me with my wicker basket (which I bought there), negotiate the price on fruit and settle my complete bill at the end with just one person.  A neat system.  The mangoes were unbelievable.

Corinna or anyone else, can you explain this system a little more, please?

John Sconzo, M.D. aka "docsconz"

"Remember that a very good sardine is always preferable to a not that good lobster."

- Ferran Adria on eGullet 12/16/2004.

Docsconz - Musings on Food and Life

Slow Food Saratoga Region - Co-Founder

Twitter - @docsconz

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When I was there I paid one of the locals to help me with my wicker basket (which I bought there), negotiate the price on fruit and settle my complete bill at the end with just one person.  A neat system.  The mangoes were unbelievable.

Corinna or anyone else, can you explain this system a little more, please?

I can a bit - perhaps Corinna can elaborate.

It seemed when in India, especially buying something - you were never dealing with just one person - if someone directed you somewhere it was because they get a comission for sending people to that place - every place has numerous people "helping" you - but in Crawford Market this seemed to be replaced by the system mentioned by Corinna.

You walk in and are greeted by a badged "porter" who promptly points you to the rules of the market and then takes you around to make sure you see everything you want (and everything you might not know you want to see). Crawford market is massive and the food part is just one section and within that there are vegetable, fruit, spice, meat and live animal sections as well as a large wholesale section.

I only had a couple of hours when I went there and had it not been for the porter - I would not have seen half the market - at first they seem pushy but in the end you are very glad for their help (and happy to hand over a few rupies).

BTW: Thanks Corinna! :smile:

edit:

Actually Corinna - speaking of strange - the only thing that kept me from shrugging my "porter" off as someone running a scam is, in the same sentence, he said the words "Chicago" and "Kentucky" to me without me saying a word to him about me. So I stopped and thought for a second and assumed it must be that I was supposed to let this person help me - and I'm glad I did.

another edit: spelling and clarification

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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Hi Nathan, thanks for your reply. I appreciate the info!

eta: An e-mail to Mr. Sikligar bounced. Apparently his account "has been disabled or discontinued." I'll probably try to reach him by phone or regular mail.

:sad: I'm sorry to hear that - because that's how I intended to contact him, but I can't say

I'm surprised - he didn't look like he did much surfing the internet. Still - it could be my spelling - I'll doublecheck. Actually I may just scan and post the card - because there are other phone numbers with notations I don't understand - I just posted what seemed to be the main - perhaps people here can help sort it out.

Organic restaurant info forthcoming - I haven't located it as of yet (or unpacked really).

"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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Corinna or anyone else, can you explain this system a little more, please?

Actually Corinna - speaking of strange - the only thing that kept me from shrugging my "porter" off as someone running a scam is, in the same sentence, he said the words "Chicago" and "Kentucky" to me without me saying a word to him about me. So I stopped and thought for a second and assumed it must be that I was supposed to let this person help me - and I'm glad I did.

Great explanation Nathan. Believe me, it's all very vague in my mind at this stage. It was called Bombay when I was there! I know the porters take their cut on things, but this is fair enough, and they quickly realised that I was an inveterate haggler and cut to the chase on prices. I was briefly in Karachi on another occasion, and probably would not have been too safe as a female if I hadn't recruited a porter.

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Here you go - a scan of the Knife Maker Business Card - that should eliminate any bad spelling on my part and make up for my ignorance of how Indian addresses and phone numbers are formatted.

"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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Here you go - a scan of the Knife Maker Business Card - that should eliminate any bad spelling on my part and make up for my ignorance of how Indian addresses and phone numbers are formatted.

Thanks for the card, Nathan. You had posted the correct info earlier too. And I can imagine what you mean by Mr. Sikligar not being the surfing kind.. I should be calling his shop soon, and will post if I have better luck with that.

Btw, saw the pictures from your Japan and France trips. Sumptuous and breathtaking! The gastronomic subjects are gorgeous, and the scenery in the (presumably) rural areas is quite literally out of this world. Also, the doors/windows theme running through some of the pictures is beautiful!

"I look around (the Amazon rainforest) and see a green wall. They (the Machiguenga Indians of Peru) look around and see a supermarket." -Austin Stevens

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Wow, I'm reading this thread from an Internet cafe in Jaisalmer, in Rajasthan, and it has inspired me to take more photos of my meals! I couldn't look at your pictures, due to the speed of my connection, but I'm really looking forward to viewing them when I get back in the loop. My husband and I are here in India on a three week trip - We started in Delhi, went to Agra, Jaipur, Udaipur, Pushkar, Ranakpur, Jodhpur, and now we're in Jaisalmer. It has been an amazing trip so far, and I'm ashamed to say that I'm only now getting into the swing of things and feeling comfortable enough to stroll through the food markets and start bargaining! I wish I had another month here...but we'll definitely be back.

Some of our best meals have been entirely accidental - for example, we stopped at a roadside watering hole somewhere between here and Jodhpur. It was the only stop for miles, but our driver claimed it was great (I'm always worried that he's just saying that as he no doubt gets a commission, but he's always right on the mark - I guess there's no repeat business if they only take you to crappy places!) Anyway, we had a dum aloo there that was just spectacular! Incredible flavours, no doubt owing to the fact that the pots have probably never seen a scrub brush in their long and distinguished lives.

I look forward to making a full report when our lives have settled down a bit - we're moving to Ha Noi next month, so I'm sure I'll have lots to report on.

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I look forward to making a full report when our lives have settled down a bit - we're moving to Ha Noi next month, so I'm sure I'll have lots to report on.

Hello Nakji - definitely take those pictures and come back and share them, You've been

to some places I didn't make it to - a friend of mine's home town is Jodhpur so I wonder

what it's like there.

Glad to see you have a good driver - safe journey for the rest of your time.

"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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Some of our best meals have been entirely accidental - for example, we stopped at a roadside watering hole somewhere between here and Jodhpur. It was the only stop for miles, but our driver claimed it was great (I'm always worried that he's just saying that as he no doubt gets a commission, but he's always right on the mark - I guess there's no repeat business if they only take you to crappy places!) Anyway, we had a dum aloo there that was just spectacular! Incredible flavours, no doubt owing to the fact that the pots have probably never seen a scrub brush in their long and distinguished lives.

I look forward to making a full report when our lives have settled down a bit - we're moving to Ha Noi next month, so I'm sure I'll have lots to report on.

What you ate at are called dhabas. The roadside diners catering to mostly truckers; but in the last three decades to aam junta too :) Their cooking is simple but increadibly good. People drive for miles just to frequent a dhaba of their choice or liking. The pots are indeed cleaned every night or early morning - But not they way you expect - It's cleaned with ashes and natural hush from coconuts fibers etc.

Awaiting your full report and impressions.

anil

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  • 5 months later...

Fantastic photos ...

I'm heading to Delhi, Mumbai, Kerala, Chennai, Kolkata and Darjeeling in October. Having read up on eating in India I'm a bit weary of the food preparation and water sources.

Did you find sealed bottled water ok?

Best places to eat in Delhi?

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Fantastic photos ...

I'm heading to Delhi, Mumbai, Kerala, Chennai, Kolkata and Darjeeling in October. Having read up on eating in India I'm a bit weary of the food preparation and water sources.

Did you find sealed bottled water ok?

Best places to eat in Delhi?

Much appreciated.

While you should be careful you will find deciding what to eat and what not to eat fairly intuitive.

Hot food, boiled water (tea coffee etc) and common sense are the main advice I have, but bring some Immodium and an emergency antibiotic just in case - as your system may have trouble adjusting to the local flora - regardless of if you eat anything "bad" or not.

Aquafina, Dasani and (my favorite) King Fisher Bottled Water are available everywhere, and easily

identified as sealed - no problem there.

Believe it or not while in Delhi I ate mostly street food, but I did have one particularly memorable meal at a place in New Delhi callled Volga, it's a really old place with 50's smoking jacket decor - you almost expect the Rat Pack to come walking down from upstairs. Food I had was great, drinks and wine (try the Riviera white - here or anywhere else - chardonnay/ugni blanc).

Volga Restaurant

19-B, Connaught Place

Delhi, Delhi 110 001

011 - 23322960, 23321473

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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  • 3 weeks later...

Thanks for recommendation, sizzleteeth. I'll be sure to check it out and provide a full report upon my return.

You didn't happen upon any cooking classes while there, did you? I've seen a post somewhere about cooking classes in Kerala. I'll be there for five days so it might be worthwhile to check it out.

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You didn't happen upon any cooking classes while there, did you? I've seen a post somewhere about cooking classes in Kerala. I'll be there for five days so it might be worthwhile to check it out.

I didn't take any formal cooking classes while in Delhi unfortunately, I only sat in as a dinner for about 14 was prepared by a woman in her home. She had this crazy way of cooking chapatis, she stuck them to the insides of an empty pressure cooker pot and flipped it, open lid side down, onto a burner.

IMG_0151.jpg

That would be my other advice - if you know anyone, anywhere that might invite you for a meal - this would be as good as any cooking class you could take. Though I urge you not to eat anything before hand, as being a guest in their home - they will stuff you full until you pop. Covering your plate with your hands may spark a dangerous game of "Pong" with a spoon full of hot Dal. Ending in minor burns.... and another serving of dal.

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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