It’s been ages that I’ve written a post. How’s everyone doing?
I got up really late today. It was already afternoon so instead of breakfast I tried to cook lunch. But my fridge was getting empty and to go out and buy vegetables under the heat was unimaginable for me. There were a few tomatoes in the house and I then decided I should make a pasta. Few days back, a friend , whose dad deals in Cheese import business, had given me a block of Parmesan and I had not opened it yet. So I got cheese and tomatoes. Two To Tango !
The pasta was quick and simple. It took me just ten minutes and it itched me to share it. I usually follow a recipe from cookbooks or blogs but today my brain gave me the recipe. Hope you’ll like it.
And the pasta is ready
Choice of pasta boiled for 7-8 mins ( I used penne)
1 tomato tossed in olive oil (to be grilled while boiling the pasta)
Grate Parmesan cheese
Salt to taste
Garnish with mint leaves (I didn’t used it as I was late)
Have a great weekend !
Since the time my cousin started studying in Rajasthan, I have been planning for Jaipur trip a couple of times . I would always plan it as a budget-solo-trip with having a place to stay at my cousin’s campus and get free food as well . I had to cancel each time much to her annoyance. I’m partly to be blamed because I was never attracted to Rajasthan except the desert in Jaisalmer. Just the picture of forts and palaces sounds boring to me. I’m more of a mountain person. I like hill stations and would never get tired of the cold weather. But I finally visted Jaipur and enjoyed every bit of my stay there.
We were four. A police guest house was allotted to us so you can imagine the kind of hospitality that we get. It was a different taste of luxury; a constable driven SUV, free entry to some places and bed tea served at 6 in the morning because some of us are early risers(not many guest houses would serve you tea at 6 in the morning).
Though the trip was not properly planned we managed to see all that is to be seen in Jaipur with Lonely Planet as our guide. From sight-seeing to eating out, shopping to driving route,we depended all on it and we call it the Jaipur Bible. Talking about food, its surprising to me that good mughlai food( read as mutton biryani, chicken curry) is available in the many restaurants that we went. It satisfied our tastebuds so much so that we crave for it when we reached Delhi. As I’m told Rajasthanis are mostly vegetarian, I could never associate Jaipur with good Mughlai food. It was a pleasant surprise. Namo, Jaigarh palace cafe and City Palace restaurant will keep you asking for more. For knick knacks, Jaipur has a lot to offer. You’ll get embroidered leather bags and jhootis from Jowari bazaar. Colourful kurtis are available in Bapu bazaar. The other items one can look out for is gems tones and block printed fabrics, for which Jaipur is also famous for.
The forts of jaipur are not just to see. For the royal feel, we immersed ourselves in the spectacular view from atop the fort just as the king would have done in his days. What i liked most about these forts is that they are built on hilltops and surrounded by the Aravalis. Since childhood, the mention of Rajasthan would give us a picture of dry land with negligible vegetation or just deserts and camel. But all these appeared different as we could see greeneries in most parts of the city. It was monsoon and the sight of rain swept fresh leaves and shrubs were refreshing. Then comes a thought if i had visited Jaipur much earlier than i visited recently, History might have been one of my favourite subjects in school. But then the little knowledge is also not a waste. I can quite relate the palaces , stories of Rajput kings, the forts etc, to the various chapters that i used to memorize on exam eves. Every year we read in newspapers or even see foreigners flocking to Rajasthan. Many a times i had wondered ‘ why rajasthan, or for that matter Jaipur, of all the places to see?’. But now it is sure to make me say that a India tour would be incomplete without Jaipur.
On the flipside, unexpected heavy rain played a spoilsport on the second day of our stay. Like any female who loves to shop, our trip wasn’t confined to only eating and seeing places. So we set out quickly after dusk to the market with the thought of spending just about an hour. Then it poured for almost two hours and we were stuck. No vehicles could move, let alone people. It was getting late and we were worried. None of the taxis agreed to take us. We were drenched in the rain and people wouldn’t stop staring at us because we look different from them. Of course we look like tourist and we were tourist but they had no idea we were Indian. Some offered to help in getting us taxis but we hesitated. We learned that one should never be too confident to venture out after dusk without a male company in a city that you know not much unless one wants to take risk. But this incident has made our trip memorable and often a point of laughter in our conversation.
Do take home Sohan halwa from the famous LMB sweet located in Jowari bazaar.
A simple object can also be an art. This afternoon i see these pieces of art in my kitchen. Some are which I see every day, but never caught my eye .Thanks to the impossible siesta today, because of which I couldn’t resist capturing these pieces of art.
It has almost become a yearly affair travelling to Guwahati. Usually by air which means : you have a book in hand to avoid the boredom, a snoring co-passenger and an ever smiling flight attendant. But this is not the case when you travel by road; be it a public transport or your own vehicle. The journey offers you picturesque sights, allow you to grab quick bites on the highway and hum along to your favorite tunes.
I enjoyed the last time I traveled to Guwahati by road. It was an eight and a half hour journey. We started from Imphal at dawn. We were four. Waking up early was difficult. But once we hit the roads, we were excited.
After about two hours, we reached Kangpokpi, a small town in Senapati District, Manipur. There, we took a left turn uphill from the highway and stopped at a mission compound. The roads leading to this compound is narrow with thick forest on both sides.
Established in 1920 by American Baptist missionaries, this mission compound was once where my Grandparents stayed and my aunt wanted us to see the place where lots of memories were made.Keeping in mind the long journey ahead, we got off the car and had a quick view of the surroundings. The rain had just stopped. It was windy and given the altitude, the weather gave us a chill. But to see the rain swept clear green leaves was a delight.
We then drove for a few kilometers and reached Mao, a town in the same district. This town has lots of fruits, vegetables and flowers to offer. It was difficult to resist their cherry red Plums. I bought about two kilos and ate throughout the journey.
Another road journey to Guwahati is on my travel list and I’m hoping to explore more.
A refreshing morning with a cup of my favourite Darjeeling tea.
Chutneys or Marchadeng (meaning – Chilli with fermented fish paste ) in Kom language, is always a delicious accompaniment to the usual traditional rice and curry in Manipur. The basic ingredients of Marchadeng: Chilli (dry or fresh), garlic, salt and fermented fish. When raw vegetables and herbs are added to it, we call it Thingthu (mixed salad) .Vegetables like cabbage, cauliflower, fenugreek, eggplant, etc are commonly used. Even raw papaya is used.
Top to Bottom : herbs,jongtah and fermented fish paste
Cloves of garlic and King Chilli (Raja Mirchi)
herbs and jongtah mix
A final mix with the chilli paste.
I made Thingthu today using a not so common vegetable or plant as you may like to call. It’s known as Jongtâh in the local language. Its scientific name is Parkia speciosa (bitter bean, twisted cluster bean or stink bean). It has edible beans with bright green seeds the size and shape of plump almonds and a rather peculiar smell. We get this only in winters and it is a delicacy. Trees that bear these seeds take about eight to ten years to grow and apparently, there are fewer trees now. It is possible that they might become extinct too in the near future.