I’ve cooked three suppers in our flaming, stifling, smothering hot kitchen in less than 7 days. I’d rank this one as #2 on the list of three. A lack of the right culinary equipment in addition to rigorous cleaning, peeling and so on increases the time in the kitchen to what I’d describe as ridiculous. One and a half hours total to prepare a saute of vegetables and a handful of rice noodles. Still, it was close to worth it to have something non-Indian for a change.
The cost of this meal, a mere 120 rupees, or $1.84. To be clear, the entire bag of vegetables purchased on the street was $1.84; I even had left over tomatoes, one onion, some garlic and didn’t even use the bell pepper that was included in the purchase. Yes, all the vegetables are much smaller than the ones in the US, but, still, what a deal.
Included in the one-bowl dish: potatoes, garlic, onions, tomatoes, cauliflower, shelled peas, parsley, stir-fried rice noodles and a splash of bottled lemon juice.
After a couple of weeks, things get old. Lalman, our cook, always wanting to please, the two of us always stating ‘good, good’, in reality a change greatly needed. Two pomegranates purchased in Varanasi, a loaf of bread paid for at a lean-to on the way back home yesterday. A lesson for Greg, pomegranates in water easily removing the seeds. Viola! A new twist on PB and J sandwiches: peanut butter and pomegranate seeds. Tiring of the yellow dal served at lunch, an ‘American meal’ today. Mixing things up is good.
We took a taxi to Lodi Garden last night. Our driver, a 24 year old man wearing a yellow turban, explained he’d been married just 3 months. It was arranged. He told us in his very soft voice he was happy. Cars zipped in and out along our route, I jerked my body toward the center of the back seat, thinking I could dodge a hit as a bus narrowly passed us. I know it wouldn’t have helped but it felt oh so necessary.
I’m going to be honest. The only reason I am posting this under FOOD is so I can showcase the restaurant. I did enjoy my dinner, but it was the atmosphere I loved. It took me to some lush place with its lanterns hanging from trees. canopied areas to eat, mixed in with beautifully set tables. Paradise.