The food I ate these past few week is not the usual holiday goodness but it is just as delicious. Merry Christmas! Happy Hanukkah! And peace to all this holiday season.
Chai and a samosa at a roadside stand in Rishikesh.
A collection of meals eaten in Rishikesh including dal fry (lentils) and naan, pecora, a thali, and an apple crumble cake.
I met Ayako, from Japan, at the airport in Rishikesh. We ran into each other on the street and enjoyed a few samosas and a chai together.
I explored in Rishikesh with Andrea, from Spain, and her friend Jon. At this chai stand, Andrea was mobbed by a local family who were excited to take photos with her. We ate chai and pecora. A chai usually costs 10 rupees and each pecora is also 10 rupees. The exchange rate is about 65 rupees to a dollar so these snacks are super cheap.
The street food in Rishikesh was tasty, abundant, cheap, and clean. With friends from Australia we tasted potato cakes mixed with yogurt, chutney, onions, and other flavorings.
Momos, or dumplings, are a Tibetan food popular in India. I ate this vegetable momo meal for 70 rupees twice and enjoyed the people watching from the restaurant.
After viewing the aartie ceremony at Parmarth Niketan, Jeff and I dined at a well known restaurant called Chotiwala. They accepted credit cards so we did not hold back with our order. We ate panner palak, dal fry, aloo dosa, and garlic naan.
After rafting down the Ganga, we drank the most expensive chai ever at 20 rupee per cup! That price is a 100% markup over the normal cost of a chai. The owners of this chai stand understand how location and lack of competition impact pricing.
Around 11:00pm before Andraz and I boarded our bus from Rishikesh to Haridware, we stopped for chai. I sat and observed as Andraz talked with the men (and they were all men) who smoked outside this small shop.
Our group of four had a delicious visit to Kasha Chaat, a well known street food restaurant in Varanasi. There are many varieties of chaat. In general the dish includes fried dough and potato plus yogurt and other great flavors.
A collection of random meals I ate in Varanasi. The pancake with nutella and chocolate syrup was a treat. In India I am eating less sugar than I would eat at home.
With Luke and Andraz we ate traditional south Indian food at the well known Kerala Cafe in Varanasi. Our meal included dosa, uttapam, and rice. Uttapam is a thick pancake with ingredients like tomato, onion or coconut on top and it is one of my new favorite Indian foods.
A stop with Rupali, a solo traveler on a weekend vacation from her home in Delhi, Luke and Andraz at the canteen on the University campus, Banras Hindu. We ate chai and panner pakora.
Lassies are a yogurt drink. At this lassie street stand, the sellers served whipped curd in a clay pot. After eating the whip, they filled the clay pot with the lassie. Prior to catching a flight south with Luke, our tuk-tuk driver stopped for chai and pecora about 1km from the airpot. Photo credit to Andraz for the two artistic lassie pictures.
Sara and I became friends in Udaipur when we cooked a Thanksgiving meal she coordinated. We made an effort to re-connect in Mumbai and had a great day together. Here we ate dosa and uttapam on the street in a big shopping area called Linking Road.
My days in Mumbai, a city still called Bombay by local people, were an opportunity to enjoy big city life and western experiences. Starbucks and proper cocktails have never been more exciting.
With Anky and Mona, two German friends I met in my hostel, we explored for a day in Mumbai. Our evening ended at Girgaum Chowpatty or Chowpatty Beach as tourists call it. This beach is in the city of Mumbai and it is a popular place for families to rest and picnic.
Harsh, a Carlson MBA alum who grew up in Mumbai and lives in Minnesota, was in town for the launch of his company, Tenicity. Harsh treated me to a tasty meal at a restaurant he visited often as a child. We had great conversation while eating uttapam and dosa.
I explored for a day in Mumbai with Colin from London and Simon from South Africa. We ate a fancy meal in the city center and some street food prior to boarding a night bus.