a few good pictures from my first week in India. I have just taken some more good ones today and yesterday, and I'll try to get them up soon. please forgive the spotty capitalization, I'm working with a substandard machine at the internet cafe tonight! this is one of the meals I was served at the ayurvedic retreat where we spent our first few days. each of us received slightly different meals, depending on our constitution. I am dominantly Kapha, then with equal portions of Pitta & vata. If that means anything to you! One great thing about this place was that all the fruits and veggies were well-sterilized with safe water, so it was safe to eat fresh food - which is generally not the case for westerners in India. this lovely meal includes a fresh salad with some sort of cucumber-like veggie & pomegranate seeds, rice, a roti (flat bread), dal, and a very yummy green-bean-like veggie. they were 100% gracious about making all my food vegan, which was a wonderful feeling! I guess that since they are already in the habit of preparing all sorts of things for different guests, it wasn't a problem. all in all, the food there was definitely worth raving about. absolutely delicious and healthy.
here was the dark side though! they don't really believe in dessert (sweets are ieaten first, when the digestive fires are strongest - and my sweets were just a little bowl of dates) - instead they finish the meal with "MEDICINE." My specific concoction consisted of 2 little pills (taken first, easy enough), a weird bitter liquid (not excellent, but manageable), and an outrageously disgusting honey-like goo filled with mysterious powders. Phew!! I hated that stuff. It would linger and tingle in my mouth for a minimum of one hour!! When we asked the server what it was, he said "caca baby!" which we found delightfully hilarious. I think that probably would have been tastier. :)
something I really didn't except at all, is the giant shopping center right near our apartment and the yoga institute. On the 5th floor is a food court (for reals!) and a big grocery store. there we buy our muesli, our soy milk (they even carry Silk brand, although we are buying a local brand), TOFU, candies, etc. It's very convenient, I must say. They even have pasta and red sauce, and just so much more. We try to buy our produce from the friendly vendors on the streets, but we have also bought some at the store. the mall is open 11 am to 11pm, which is downright fantastic! it's especially nice on the nights when we don't get out of class until 8 pm. I've taken pictures of some of the neat things we've bought, and I'll try to get them up soon!
this is my delicious Masala Uttapam from the food court at the mall. so sue me! It was really great. Uttapam is like a savory pancake, made with fermented rice and lentil flour, from the south of India. this one also had a lovely masala mixture in it - potatoes, beets, cauliflower and spices. Like most south indian foods, it is served with fresh coconut chutney and a hot bowl of sambar - which is a thin spicey soup. I must admit, I've ordered this more than once!
we've made a nice friend named ann, she is french, but living in san francisco, and is staying in the same apartment complex that we are in. we had her over for dinner the other night. we weren't quite up for a full-scale cooking affair, so we just cooked up some of those "ready-to-eat" indian meals that come in a little foil packet that needs to be boiled for 5 minutes. very easy and actually quite yummy! it was a very fun evening.
I miss you bloggy buddies!