Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Jaisalmer

Lunch at Natraj, nearby the Salim ki Haveli; we tried ker sangri, made with Rajasthani desert vegetables. Pretty good:


Dinner being cooked on our camel safari:

Lunch at Free Tibet...vegetable thukpa, veggie momos, "jacked potato":

Greedy catfish in the Gadi Sagar artificial lake; for Rs10, you feed them a loaf of bread and they go nuts:

Delhi

One day in Delhi! We had a great home-cooked meal at BC & HC's house, but no real pictures. Before heading to the airport, we went out to Punjabi By Nature.

Golgappa shots with jaljeera vodka. I know this is a gimmick but it is kind of a terrible idea. You need to chew golgappas at least a couple of times before swallowing, so you end up chewing a mouthful of vodka for awhile. Ugh.

Masala papad:

Amritsari fish and tandoori chicken:

Dehi kebabs, made from hung yogurt. Pretty good, kind of like grilled cakes of cottage cheese, but smoother and sour.

Jaipur

Sweet lassi from (one of the) Lassiwallah(s):


Kulfi from the side of the road. Last time we visited Jaipur three years ago, this was served on a leaf, but the guy has modernized:

Golgappas from Nandu's:


Dinner at Spice Court with HM and NM...chicken reshmi kebabs with a strange whipped-egg-white topping:

Lal maas (Rajasthani mutton:

Paneer:

Dal makhani:

After walking around the Pink City and getting our picture taken by Tikam Chand, we went to LMB for aloo tikia, lentil kachori, rose sharbat, samosas, and grilled cheese with chaat masala:

Jaipur seems to be the only place in the world you can get good rabdi. This is from Chawla's:

Hampi

Hampi was very difficult to get to and totally amazing once we were there. Not necessarily a land with a lot of amazing food, though.

Guesthouse pizza and matar paneer (the guesthouse being Shanthi, across the river):



We had a really good lunch (consisting of snacks) at the Hotel Mayura Bhuvaneshwari in Kamelapuram...onion pakora, aloo paratha, and mirch pakora (which was so spicy I could only eat a few...but that's a good thing!).




We did make it to dinner in Hampi Bazaar one night, at the vaunted Mango Tree restaurant (which had recently moved from a more distant location). The chana masala was just okay, and Priya was looking forward to the different-sounding "spaghetti with cashews" that Lonely Planet had talked about, but...it was just, like, dining-hall spaghetti with cashews mixed in. Okay.


Sunday, August 4, 2013

Kerala

We spent about six days in Kerala--most of it in Kochi (Ft. Cochin area), but also some time in Alleppey (where we took a houseboat around the backwaters overnight) and Kumarakom.

In Ft. Cochin, we encountered our favorite simple restaurant; we would visit it three times during our short stay. Dal Roti served delicious kati rolls and also pretty good North Indian dishes.

Paneer and egg kati roll:


Chicken tikka kati roll:


Mutton kati roll:


Palak paneer, chicken keema (chopped by hand, so in larger pieces and saucier than we're used to, and chana masala:


Ramesh, the owner, is super-friendly and incredibly accommodating. More than once, he expressed alarm that we were ordering too much food (he was right), and at one point suggested that he give us half portions of the stuff we'd ordered, at a reduced price (we still couldn't finish):


Fort House restaurant (used to be called Arca Nova) at the Fort House hotel (we didn't stay there, just went to eat). Kerala red rice (super fluffy), appams (steamed rice breads), coconutty shrimp, and coconutty chicken curry:





We arranged our houseboat through our guesthouse (Palmy). The food was awesome.

Fried river fish, thoran (cabbage with fresh-grated coconut, carrot, and urad dal), green beans with crunchy fried coconut pieces, and sambar:





Super-spicy pakoras for teatime:


At Theravadu Heritage Home in Kumarakom, an egg roast (basically hardboiled eggs in onion-tomato curry) and steamed banana with puttu (steamed rice/coconut) for breakfast:



At the HYPERMARKET at the Lulu mall in Ernakulam, we saw dozens of mango, date, and pickle varieties, and bought some coconut halwa and jaggery halwa...but not any of the piranha.
:





Cairo, Egypt

Our trip to India included a 12-hour layover in the Cairo airport. Rather than waste an entire day of the vacation, we extended it to four days. Of course, we happened to arrive in Cairo the day before the massive June 30 protests that would eventually oust President Morsi the day after we left, so a lot of our trip involved us hunkering down in the hotel. (We did eventually venture out and even made it to Tahrir Square by the second-to-last day).

We ate a couple of really good, really cheap, really casual meals at Zooba, on the island of Zamalek in the Nile.

Koshari:

Ta'amiya (Egyptian falafel made with fava beans):

Foul moudammas in a pita (so good we went up and ordered a second one after we finished):

Orange-flavored farmer's cheese in a pita:

At Abou El Sid on Zamalek, we got some other super-Egyptian food...molokhiyyah (Jew's mallow, a delicious mucuousy soup) and Circassian chicken (sort of bland, but good). Too dim for real pix, though; it had a great dark atmosphere: