I am going to share random pictures taken from my trip to India as a recap. For example…the feature picture is from a temple in the city of Pune where I stay and work. The temple is about two blocks away from my hotel.
I am also going to do a first…. share a recipe for a dish I love but have yet to make. I fell in love with a corn side at an Indian Barbecue restaurant and found a recipe for the corn. I know.. who would have thought someone would rave about a corn side dish?
The picture is ugly… but this corn is so awesome!!! it was the kind of crispy that makes your mouth enjoy every chew and just the right kind of spicy. (no unpleasant burn on the way in or worse way out) I loved this so much I had a coworker ask the chef for the recipe. (my co-workers stated that this was their favorite dish at this restaurant as well) I was told that corn was boiled then coated with corn flour and chaat masala spices(from the texture my guess is that it was corn starch not corn flour) Then the corn was deep fried. I will follow up this post in the near future with my attempt at making the “crispy corn”… once I have perfected it that is… plus I am going to change it a bit by making it with a “tex-mex” slant.
Here is a video of someone making this corn.:. for anyone that wants to give it a try…
I don’t know if I have mentioned this but usually I don’t eat while in India.
That sounds wrong… I usually don’t eat local food while in India but pack food from home. This is all because of a horrible trip home after my first stay where I was incredibly sick and spent the majority of the plane time in the bathroom. I have struggled every since that first time…(not because of the taste but because of the association). This trip I didn’t pack food and ate but still stayed away from anything not cooked.
Here is more from the barbecue “crispy corn” place. You will note they brought a small grill and placed it in the middle of the table which is kind of fun. They then bring skewers of vegetables and/or meat. (You can make sure everything is well cooked) I also had grilled watermelon for the first time. These type of restaurants seem to have become very popular in India.
This is an example of one of my lunches from a cafeteria at work. (only cost about $1.20) Chicken sukka “a la American”… which meant I had a co-worker ask them to make a very mild version…umm they cut down on the spice. (it still burned my mouth). This was served with chapati which I love. Everyone I know talks about “naan” but I never hear my non Indian friends talk about chapati. I actually like chapati better. (Chapati is the bread above my chicken dish) I just notice on my tray I have three forks and in addition to those three I have a spoon and a fork near my bread??? wonder what I was thinking… maybe I was in a hurry to eat.
Enough food more random pictures… I love taking pictures randomly while driving and then reviewing them to see what I serendipitously caught… for example. (these are truly random and not taken with any subject in mind… promise… I think I have to make that disclaimer or you would think I was creepy)
Here is one of the random picture taken in Mumbai… When you zoom in you see…
ya… lots of garbage on the sidewalks… and someone watering the garbage. Unfortunately this is not uncommon and I have more pictures of this than anyone should.
Here is another random Mumbai picture… and when I zoomed in…
Yep… sidewalk pooping… This is probably the reason I get sick so easily over there. By the way this fortunately isn’t something I have seen often.
These random picture are not always disgusting sometimes they are funny and the closer you look the funnier it becomes…
Here are goats visiting some Mumbai businesses… and zoomed in….
These goats had the oddest shaped bums I have ever seen…. I am not sure what I am actually looking at… is this some odd goat bread or some genetically altered breed? (Do you think there is a nuclear power plant near by… with a leak?)
It is not uncommon to see animals sharing the road with all of the crazy drivers.
I only say “crazy” drivers since I don’t dare drive over there. It is actually amusing to be on a city street and see cows walking in and out of traffic… It is not amusing to see…
Small children dashing in between the cars trying to earn whatever they can.
I am not worried that they are alone since I imagine their family is nearby probably making the goods to be sold… but can you imagine having one of your little ones… only 5 years old in the middle of the street trying to make a sell?
It is heart breaking to zoom in on a picture and notice a women digging through the trash… not sure what she is looking for but I imagine anything of value… maybe even food.
Poverty SUCKS… I know that is not very eloquent but I don’t seem to have the right words to express the feelings that emerge when witnessing it first hand. I sit driving by in my airconditioned chauffeured car with all that I have beyond what I actually need and my inner “think of others” voices start to wrestle with my inner “need to buy that latest gadget” voice. I realize quickly that not only am I very blessed but I am quite the selfish man.
I grew up poor as a small child but American poor… kind of embarrassed to even label myself as poor now that I have seen real poverty. During a day off I decided to walk with a coworker around the hotel and ended up in some of the “poorer” neighborhoods.
I being a “tiny” bit extrovert decided I would say hi to as many people I could and practice the little hindi I know (i.e…. “what is your name?”, “my name is”, “how are you?”)
You would not believe the crowd that gathered around to meet us… mostly kids but a surprising number of adults. There was a lot of laughing and I imagine a lot of “mocking” since I couldn’t understand anything they were saying nor was I able to pronounce half of their names. What a joy especially when I found someone in the crowd that spoke English.
This kind lady invited us into her home and gave us a small treat (yes I did eat it nervously). She told us that this was her neighborhood and she pleaded us to come back to the neighborhood the next time we were in Pune. I can promise you all that I will be back and with several bags of chocolate candy bars. (maybe if I am the one giving snacks I will not have to worry about getting sick from eating there snacks)
Even though you were not there to witness the “extreme happiness” in my pictures you can see the joy and sense of community. I remember as a young boy being happy despite not having everything that other kids had… and during this trip I was reminded of what truly matters. Our relationship with others… (and… maybe that newest gadget wouldn’t hurt either… just a joke…)