Thursday, March 12, 2015

Jaipur: Food for Thought Part 1

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After our first night in New Delhi we awoke very early for a 40 minute flight to Jaipur. While I will focus on the food we ate over the course of our time in India, I also want to note that the tone of this blog, especially with regard to posts on India, will be more than just about food.

On that note, to kick things off lightly, let's start with airplane food. After my brief experiences with international and domestic flights to and within Southeast Asia, I can honestly say the US needs to up its game! We sampled some delicious food on our Emirates flights to India, and were offered breakfast on our flight to Jaipur. You read that correctly--free breakfast on a 40 minute flight. And it was good. Basic bread with a cold chic pea salad mixture. Delicious and unique way to start the day.

Our first day in Jaipur was during the Holi Festival in India. Holi is a day celebrated in the springtime where citizens spend time coloring each other with powder and water guns. It's pretty cool to see and even more fun to participate in!

We spent the day at a converted palace with other tourists celebrating and eating. It took us about 1 hour to drive to the palace from our hotel. The event itself was quite enjoyable. We met some other great people and had a very fun time. The ride back was a bit scary as our car was surrounded by about 10 boys/men. They pounded on the vehicle demanding money. At one point, my car door was opened and I definitely feared for the worst. But, we made it out safely. Lesson learned, always make sure your door is locked!

For dinner our first night in Jaipur we dined at the Samode Haveli. Once a palace, this hotel is unbelievably beautiful. We arrived after dark and struggled to capture some good photos, and the ones I snapped really don't do the space justice.

For dinner we shared 3 courses. First, the eggplant. Served cold, this is one of my favorite dishes so far in India. Giant pieces of eggplant served in a yogurt broth with coriander and cumin, the flavors were crisp and satisfying. It was also nice to change it up from some of the more typical India dishes.

Next we had the baked cauliflower with peas. I'm generally not a huge lover of this veggie, but the spices - cumin and coriander - successfully overpowered this (in my opinion) strangely flavored food. It was good, but definitely not a dish I would order again.

Last we had the Dal Makahni, or black lentis. Again, the lentils were basically pureed, but I preferred this dish to the yellow lentils we had the night before. The flavor was more subtle and paired well with the garlic naan.

Our first full day in India was both fun and delicious!

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