Old Delhi

30 April 2014

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I never imagined India would be like this.  When we woke up in the morning in our  there was a beautiful breakfast out on the table ready for us to eat.  We had three Indians in the room serving us, and even when we beaconed them to come eat with us, they insisted that they be at our service.  The people here are more humble than any I have ever met.

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We spent the day in Old Delhi, the historical part of town.  We visited the Red Fort, Jama Masjid, walked through the old streets full of bazaars, and ate at Karims (an incredible Indian restaurant.  We also visited the spice market part of town in Old Delhi, which was an adventure all in itself.  Old Delhi is an interesting place because it is separated out into distinct areas, there is the shoe region, where all the shoe makers live and have their shoe shops, there is a region for saris, a region for spices, a region for fresh produce, a region for restaurants, etc… I have never seen a city situated like this.

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It is interesting because as much as people say that English is widely spoken in India, it is a very VERY different English than what we are used to.  Most of the time it is broken English that doesn’t sound like anything you have every heard before.  I have the hardest time understanding any Indian person that tries to speak English to me.  In the facility where we are staying (an NGO sight of one of my Indian friends Marlo) everyone says they speak English but hardly anyone can.  It has been an entertaining endeavor to try to communicate with several of the people whom are taking care of us for the next few days.

 

The sari’s here are beautiful, so beautiful in fact, that I am going to go purchase one for myself tomorrow.  New Delhi is an interesting place because it is so run down, yet full of these vibrant colors from people’s clothing.  I would say that probably 90% of the population dress traditionally, something that you just do not see all that often anymore.

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Old Delhi Vegetable Curry and Roti:

3 Tbs. vegetable oil

1 Bay Leaf, 1 dried chili,  1 Cinnamon stick (3-inch), 3 cloves, 1 tsp Mustard Seeds, 1 tsp Cumin Seeds.

1 cup Onion (finely cut), 3 large tomatoes (diced), 1 tsp turmeric powder, 1 tsp ginger powder, 1 tsp salt.

1 cup Carrots (diced), 2 cups Potatoes (cubed), 2 cups Cauliflower florets, 1 cup Peas (frozen), coriander leaves (also known as cilantro)

Put Oil in pan until hot and add whole spices.  Once spices begin to make “cracking” noise, add the onions and saute until brown.  Add the tomatoes and powdered spices.  Once mixture resembles a sauce, and all the vegetables and let simmer over low flame.  Add the coriander leaves as garish on top.

Roti:

2 cups flour, 1/2 tsp salt, 3 tsp oil, 3/4 cup warm water, extra flour for rolling.

Mix flour, salt, and oil together.  Add warm water a little at a time until dough becomes soft. Place skillet over medium heat, and return to knead roti dough for 10 minutes.  Break into small balls (about the size of a golf-ball). Cover one ball in flour and roll it into a thin disk, continuously dipping it in flour so prevent it from sticking. Do the same with all the balls.  One at a time, place rolled dough on skillet.  Once bubbles appear flip to other side and let it cook for 15 seconds.  Using tongs, flip the roti over and place directly over flame allowing it to balloon up.  Place cooked roti off to the side and continue with others.  Can be spread with butter if desired.

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