"I decided to walk to commercial today. Hungry and dusty I found myself at a window seat in a restaurant called Moriz. Not sure what I was reading on the menu, I went with two words i knew mushrooms paneer with 2 roti. I am a solo diner in a place filled with only one gender type...I am the stranger. I have to pee and not sure where to do that. It's very hard to breathe here dust is flying up my nose, my eyes burn and my ears sting listening to Enrique Englasius on repeat. It seems to be a business joint, all the men are in suits and shiny shoes. I found a bathroom, but i wish i hadn't. Guess i need to get used to my underwear being wet while dining out, no TP ever but a hose to clean up with, it could be worse. At least my now wet underwear provides some cooling factor:)"
That was an excerpt from a notebook entry, Its a pretty typical scene...me dining alone, needing always to pea,with my notebook jotting down my experience, how can one be alone with a notebook and head full of thoughts!
This being my third trip to India but my first to the south, I must say the food here far surpasses the north. The spices are so delicate yet hit you in the mouth like a wave to the face. Upon one outing to a market on MG ROAD I walked down some dusty stairs to the most incredible chicken birayani I have ever had. My nose was running, my eyes were teary, and my belly felt like it had a whole burning through it, but oh my god it was so YUMMY! ( photo above)
I had the man I exchanged currency with guide me to a local thali place, he told me what to ask for and so I did. " can I have the mini south Indian Thali please?" I asked the guy behind the counter, 60 rupees was all he said and handed me a ticket. I followed the other ticket holders to a counter where I handed it off and watched as my thali plate was filled. He was sloshing different colored items out of buckets onto little dishes filling my platter with some rice and some sort of fried bread, I was scared. Side note in case your wondering what Thali is...Thali is like a variety plate of different types of gravies and curries, its usually big so glad i ordered a mini. In this particular place you stood at long tables and took your feed. I had no idea what I was eating, so I started out tenatively sticking my spoon in taking little tongue licks, letting my taste buds decide for me. I ate all but one of the dishes.
My favorite Hannah's in an emergency she needs food or else snack are called 50/50 so not nutritious at all but its a cracker thats both sweet and salty, so yummy in a pinch. My next snack is a kind of puffed rice snack that you find on the street. The stall operator takes some puffed rice, mixes it with tomatoes, chilis,onion, some spices, and then some sort of dressing wraps it up in a burger king brochure and hands it to you like an ice cream cone, oh it is so tasty.
Now, its not always easy leaving your home and sometimes you want to stay in and try to copy those great delicate spice pairings, so thats what I did, I made. My first Vegatable Birayani. I had the pleasure of going to my hosts house in the country where her cook shared some secrets with me, success was mine. Thank god because its been my dinner the last four nights:) Time, Love, and Creativity are the true ingrediants to any great meal and I love it when its yummy so i made sure I had all the ingrediants! A cha cha:)