Friday, February 25, 2011

Foodie Fun From India

... I left for India with one half-empty suitcase, and came home with two suitcases stuffed full and rapidly approaching the maximum weight limit... This is me, on our last night, desperately weighing my bags to make sure they weren't too heavy! ha ha. So, just what was in those heavy bags? Well, lots of yoga books and yoga props... and also lots of food, of course!

Naturally, I had to buy spices in the land of spices. Now that I am home, I wish I had bought even more. This is just a sample... cinnamon sticks, bay leaves, coriander seeds, charoli nuts, and black cumin. I also got vanilla beans, fennel, organic tamarind and kokum! So exciting. I busted open that bag of coriander a few days ago, and started to grind it with my mortar and pestle - only to be completely amazed by the pungent smell. Seriously, I had no idea coriander could smell that wonderful! These spices are so fresh, it's absolutely miraculous... and I wish I had stuffed my whole suitcase full!

In addition to fresh spices, I also got a bunch of boxed up spice mixes. A couple of these are straight up chili powder, but most of them are specific mixes of spices for different recipes: sambar, pav bhaji, chat masala. Even for a spice mix like "Chat Masala," each brand's unique recipe can be really really different. I spent a long time at the store comparing all the different brands, and in the end I had to get two Chat Masala boxes... I just couldn't choose one!

And of course I brought home some sweeties too! A few sour punk candies, some delicious amla candies (gooseberries), green mango jam/chutney, and whole heavy can of Alphonso Mango Puree. That can almost didn't make it home, I was so afraid my bags would be too heavy... but I'm glad it did! I'm gonna bust out some mango lassi!

Last but not least... cooooooookboooooooooks! We went to the biggest bookstore in Pune and probably spent about three hours there looking at vegan cookbooks and yoga books and graphic novels... heaven! We looked through SO many cookbooks and I ended up with these three: two books specializing on South Indian food (my favorite!), one little book on dal and roti recipes, one on Chaat recipes, and one soy cookbook that I just couldn't resist.

I can't wait to break these open and start using all my special spices and cooking up some fun! In fact, the whole method I used to pick out which spices to buy was to look through all the recipes and notice the ingredients I didn't recognize from home. So, now... armed with all my purchases, I should be ready to hit these books and get to work!

This concludes my series of posts from my trip to India... Thanks for reading!
We now return to our regularly scheduled programming!


  1. I have so enjoyed reading about all of your travels in india! you have totally inspired me to go and travel there! I love the vegan food and I also love yoga, so it would really be a paradise for me :)

  2. Lookit those spice bags.

  3. So smart to plan ahead and leave room in your suitcase! The fresh coriander sounds amazing.

  4. Yum yum. Looks like you brought back some pretty tasty items - I bet your kitchen will smell extra-amazing now!

  5. So jealous! lol had a dhal for dinner india is so my country! :)


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