When I’m not cooking, eating, gossiping, reading or weeping through back to back reruns of Grey’s Anatomy… I teach drama.
I’ve been going there for about 6 years now. What started off as an annual 10 day trip, has now (over the last 2 years) become a week a month thing. And I’m not complaining… unless it’s winter (like now) & I’m freezing my butt off (I really am!)
The kids are great… enthusiastic & bright. And we’ve done lots of fun & interesting theatre work together. Right from Improv & Mime to Storytelling Sessions with Puppets & last year, I worked with about 300 3rd & 4th graders on a big school production of Indian short stories…. Good times!
The people here are warm & vibrant….. color everywhere…
I don’t shop much when I’m home in Bombay (well ok, not that much), but I have a weakness for silver, & I get my fix here, along with block-print & tie-dyed cotton fabric, & of course… footwear 🙂
Being in Jaipur is like being on a working holiday. I’m free after 2:30pm, so after lunch & a nap (yes it is absolutely essential to my existence in Jaipur, as I work with nearly 120-150 children a day. I deserve it!!), I take off & absorb the Pink City, take in the sights, the smells & yes, the food!
This time round, however, the cold weather & a bad cough kept me hostel bound my first few days. But Thursday evening it got warmer, so I went for a walk around the old part of the City to buy a stole for my parents’ French friend & catch up with my young cousin Parth. Of course my camera went with me 🙂
Winter is on it’s way out, so you there aren’t as many of these thelas or stalls as you would find November to January. Gajak, Chikki & Rewdi are like brittle, made with Sesame or Peanuts & Jaggery. When I was here in December, almost every corner had Gajak stalls & the rich aroma of gooey Jaggery made you feel all warm & comfy inside.
Dal (Lentil) Kachoris & Pyaaz (Onion) Kachoris are a Jaipur street speciality. These are slightly flattened balls of flour, stuffed with a lentil or an onion & potato filling & deep fried in pure ghee (clarified butter), served with sweet date & tamarind chutney & a spicy coriander & green chillies chutney…. Yum-my!
Our walk through the streets of the Bapu Bazaar, Nehru Bazaar & Johri Bazaar, ended with Raj Kachori at Laksmi Mishtan Bhandaar (LMB) one of Jaipur’s oldest establishments where you get all sorts of chaat / street food in a restaurant as well as Rajasthani thalis (meals), mithai (sweets) & namkeen (savoury snacks).
Rajasthani food is packed with spices, but very rich . I’m trying to eat right (yeah right!) I want to make something that’s healthy using elements of Jaipur street flavour. I don’t have a kitchen to make this here, so if you do try this out, let me know how it turns out 🙂
So here’s a Salad… Jaipur Ishtyle!
- ½ cup Bean Sprouts (raw)
- ½ cup Chickpeas (boiled)
- 1 small boiled Potato (chopped)
- 1 Spring Onion (finely chopped)
- 1 small Cucumber (finely chopped)
- 1 Tomato (finely chopped)
- ½ cup (or more if you feel) Thick Yogurt (beaten well)
- Ground Rock Salt (to taste)
- ¼ teaspoon Amchoor (Dried Mango Powder)
- 1 tea spoon each of Jeera & Saunf (Cumin& Fennel Seeds, dry roasted & coarsely ground)
- Tamarind Chutney
- Green Chillies Chutney
- Aloo Bhujia (deep fried potato vermicelli)
- Roasted Peanuts
- Pomegranate Seeds
- Whisk the ingredients of the dressing together. Adjust the seasoning.
- Pour a generous amount of dressing over the salad, almost covering the vegetables.
- Drizzle the chutneys over the dressing & garnish with coriander, aloo bhujia, peanuts & pomegranate seeds.
Enjoy! And tell me how it was 🙂