Cows, buffalo, dogs, pigs a whole zoo walking in the street. You are not allowed to eat any and if by mistake you kill a cow you have to feed the whole village-have a party and dip in the gangas river which is not so clean.. Some eat chicken or goat meet but as our group keeps kosher it is easy to stick to non meat and some time non dairy diet.
Most dishes have protein in the form of beans. Then use of spices like turmeric, cumin, fennel, mustard seeds and red chili powder adds amazing flavor and let’s not forget vegetables like tomatoes, onions, eggplant and more makes it easy to be vegetarian for two weeks.
Lunch was served in something called Thila, a round platter with small bowls, each contains a dish, rice in the middle and Nan, so you supposed to pour the dal or paneer on vegetables masala on the rice and eat with your right hand. Eating with your hands adds to the taste.
The thing with Indian cooking is that there are those 7 spices , red chili powder for taste, turmeric for blood circulation, cumin for brain and sharp memory, black mustard seeds for digestion,fennel seeds for digestive and Fenugreek seeds for arthritis, and another mixture of spices called Gara masala which includes black pepper, cinnamon, black cardamon, cloves, coriander seeds, bay leaves and cumin seeds, roast them and grind. This can be kept in closed container for years.
The last night in Udaphur we were treated to a cooking class. I got real excited, the mystery of cooking dal, paneer, masala, nan and more will be revealed. I promised an Indian meal on my return but here is something different to have any time of the day .
We all love tea and in India we have the chai masala, a black tea with a mixture of dry ginger, cardamon black pepper, cinnamon all mix in equal parts and grind. To make chai boil 1 cup water with 2 pinches of the chai masala add assam tea leaves, add 1 cup milk and sugar to taste bring to boil for two minutes and again ( just like Turkish coffee) cover it for two minutes and strain.