Friday, September 26, 2008

FOOD (part 1)

I've been meaning to tell you about what I've been eating for a while now.

At the ashram, they treat us well. Breakfast is served with hot chai every morning. Sundays we eat a bowl of chicpeas; Thursdays, the blob (we don't know what it is exactly so we started going out for breakfast on Thursdays); the rest of the week either a bowl of tumeric rice or a bowl of hot, sloppy, chunky, chewy wheat and coconut porridge. Can you guess my favourite?

Lunch and dinner are the same deal: a mass of white rice (which I stopped eating 2 weeks ago when I got a cold), a bowl of dahl, a scoop of curried vegetables and fresh, hot, buttered (or not) chapati bread. Often some raw cucumbers or tomatoes are served on the side, and a guy usually goes around with a plate of green chillies if you feel like spicing things up. You can have a second helping but you've got to finish everything on your plate. That hasn't been a problem with me. I love this food.

ashram grub

Now I want to tell you about a few wicked things I've tried here in Rishikesh.

"The Himalayan Health Pancake" (Madras Cafe): A huge whole wheat pancake spread with curd and honey, decorated with slices of apple, papaya, orange, banana and pommegranite gems. SO GOOD.

Street samosas: Two of 'em in a banana leaf bowl, a sweet red sauce, hot green chilli sauce and pinch of spice on top, eaten with a wooden spoon. (Pete's already mentioned the ones we get at The Office.)

large masala chai and a chocolate banana samosa

"Lemon Nana": Fresh mint lemonade in slushy form.

"Origanic Greek Salad" (Prem Namaste Cafe): A bed of cabage topped with tomatoes, cucumber, olives, feta cheese, grilled potato and eggplant, pineapple, mixed nuts, raisins, parsley - sweet and creamy dressing. I didn't mind that it wasn't your typical Greek salad; it was nice to eat all those raw veggies.

Traditional rice pudding: On the 12th anniversary of Shayla Mataji's husband's death, we were served this for desert. (Shayla is an old holy woman who has lived at the ashram for, like, 30 years.) It is so creamy and comforting, made with tiny rice and lots of cardamonn. Mmmmm..

Crazy peanut sweet: Everyone loves this stuff. It's kind of like fudge. Twice I've been handed a piece on the street as I I came across a parade; we also get a piece every Monday and Friday night after Kirtan.

1 comment:

bob said...

I foresee a cookbook with appetizing illustrations. Great pictures, Steph.

The pics in the "Images of Rishikesh" post give a pretty good idea of where you are staying. I assume the "behold the Ganges" pic is taken from your ashram and the bridge in the background is the "Ram Jalah Bridge" of the first photo. It seems like a pretty pleasant place---mountains, river, pretty women.

Is one of the cabins pictured the one you are (were) staying in? The fresh flower growing over Pete in the alley is a real contrast to all the rubble around. (Is that a cow at the end of the alley?) And using my Sherlock Holmesian observations, I would say you two came to that place riding bicycles. Did you rent them? And then "Pete in a quiet street" could almost pass for a photo of Pamploma, Spain, where they have the running of the bulls through the streets---but if that was the case, it wouldn't be so quiet and Pete and the bull would both be running...

The "flight of the monkey" is really interesting visually because the straight line through the arm, back and on to the tail of the monkey (which bends up as if to indicate direction) makes it look like the movement is from the left to the right and the monkey is flying backwards...

And, of course, only a couple of mathematic students could think the Rubik's cube is an object of worship.

Love, Dad