Today started with a walk through a produce market. It was hard not to photograph absolutely everything because of the colors, textures, and people. Unfortunately, I can’t identify all of these things, but aren’t they gorgeous?
Here’s a very short video to show the sweep of items,
We were advised to ask people for permission before taking their picture. Dressed in a bright orange sari, this woman sat by her produce smoking a bidi, and I was happy to give her a tip in exchange for this photo.
And here we are threading our way between the stalls, most of which are simply on the ground, on trays or wrapped in cloth bundles.
The little metal pieces next to the carrots are weights used to weigh your produce. You can see the scale at center top.
We had to skip the flower market because of street closures (Indira Gandhi’s grandson was in town), so we returned to the hotel for a quick break. There’s a little shop where several of us went in and found fabric. The tailor measured us for shirts, helped us select the fabric, and assured us that we would have the result tomorrow (and only $35!).
Back on the bus, we stopped at a Hindu temple built in the 17th century. Several people were there praying in front of an altar that had two big figures in front of it, looking a bit like dolls but made of shredded tissue paper. Everyone takes off their shoes before entering.
A flock of doves wheeled and flew above our heads.
Next door was a restaurant with a very friendly and jolly owner, along with several cooks and helpers. For our lunch demo there were two stations set up with gas burners and prepared/chopped vegetables, manned by a man and his wife. This spice box is found in most Indian kitchens.
Together with a helper who rushed over with the needed ingredient when called for, they demo’d several dishes to us: cauliflower with turmeric and tomatoes, roasted eggplant in spices, okra, and more.
The cook worked so fast, her hands were just a blur. Then we went outside to gloriously colorful tents set up on the lawn and were served the most delicious food.
Appetizers of delicate samosas and something fried served with two chutneys, then the most delicious tomato soup cooked with cinnamon, chapatis and another bread, and the dishes we had observed them cooking. Plus a most delicious dish of chickpea dumplings in sauce. But we were not yet done! A small dish of butterscotch ice cream with pistachios and then peanut brittle and sesame candy, which I clearly ate too fast to get a photo. Followed by mango lassi that was delicious. Wow!
The chef explained the tomato soup prep to us – I’m not sure I could replicate it but I’d love to try.
This was a lovely interval, and we even got to see some leopard tracks (apparently they come down from the mountains from time to time)
and a pair of parrots. A very good visit.
The temple balcony looks like one in a scene in Eat, Pray, Love.