Butter/Garlic/Thyme Naan-Homemade!!

March 23, 2014

I am in Heaven…and so Blessed and Grateful

BUTTER/GARLIC/THYME NAAN

BUTTER/GARLIC/THYME NAAN AND MASALA CHAI

I just finished eating this truly, amazing and delicious meal served with my own special Masala Chai. 

You can see how delicious it is from the photos, but there is no way I can photograph the wonderful aroma still pervading my house from baking it.

The recipe is one of so many I have tried from one of my all time favorite blogs:  Peri’s Spice Ladle.  http://www.perisspiceladle.com/2014/03/14/garlic-and-thyme-naan-indian-bread/

Just some photos during preparation….really worth a try.

Dough Resting

Dough Resting

Divided into Six Portions

Divided into Six Portions

Ready to go in the Oven

Ready to go in the Oven

Baking

Baking

Namaste to all

Jane

 

 

 


Chole Bhatura from Start to Finish

March 3, 2014

Chole Bhatura from Start to Finish

chole bhatura

chole bhatura

Chole bhautra is an amazingly delicious treat prepared from chickpeas in a wonderfully spicey sauce and served together with Bhatura, a fried, puffed, light bread.

rolling the dough

It is a sinfully delicious Indian snack/meal and I was privileged to eat it during my stay this past year in Delhi with my dear friend Preeti and her lovely husband Sudeep.

starting to puff up

deep frying and starting to puff up

Golden brown and puffed to perfection

Golden brown and puffed to perfection

It is a popular Punjabi dish but is now enjoyed all over India. I’ve posted a series of  photos of the entire process in case it interests you…watching the preparation and all the effort involved made me even more grateful for this wonderful meal!

Chole Bhatura

Namaste

much love light and JOY

Jane


ALONE AT LAST – NOV 16 2013

November 16, 2013

ALONE AT LAST – NOV 15 2013

LAXMAN JHULA
I’ve been in India a full 3 weeks now but this is the first time that I find myself alone, which is for me, a true first! Don’t get me wrong. I am in no way complaining about the past 3 weeks.
It has been a very different beginning to a sojourn here but not any less rewarding and exciting and unique as the usual arrival on my own from day one.
I spent the first week with an amazing couple, Preeti and Sudeep from Delhi. I met Preeti via Facebook and finally last year we met face to face for a very short visit when she was in Rishikesh. And there was an immediate chemistry between us which could not be denied. We agreed that when I came back this year, if it worked out, I would spend the beginning of my trip with her and her lovely husband . And it did work out and was a truly blessed week that I spent with them…..first of all, I ate truly gourmet Indian food prepared each day,

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three times day (except for a couple of dinners we ate out) by Preeti’s superbly artistic and ingenious hand in the kitchen. I won’t even try to describe the meals she prepared as there are no words to describe the gastronomic pleasures of her cooking. Just a few photos to perhaps whet your appetite.
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And at the end of this fun, educational, interesting, eyeopening, week where I explored Delhi through the eyes of local people who love their city and know it well….I met my daughter and proceeded to spend the past wonderful two weeks with her. In all the years I’ve been coming to India, this is the firt time a member of my family has joined me, so this was truly a memorable and amazing two weeks. And a true blessing to be cherished.
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I will now settle in to being just with ME-the main reason I come each year to India, as well as to do my panchakarma treatments. And during this time I hope to catch up on posts about all the lovely adventures I had over the past 3 weeks. Hopefully I will do so at a pace compatible with my “going within”…so this may take some time. But I truly would love o share these days in both words and photos with you…so be patient, as I will do my best to be.
with love light and JOY
Namaste
Jane


Arrival – India 2013 #1 – October 24-25

October 26, 2013

India Journal 2013

#1 Arrival

I arrived back in India yesterday early morning….and it seems as if I have never left.  The flight, my first with Turkish Airlines via Istanbul, was uneventful, even pleasant.  I arrived to find my dear friend Preeti and her wonderful husband Sudeep waiting for me at the airport at 5 AM!!  What a great blessing not to have to deal with the hassle of a taxi to their home in Neb Sarai area of  New Delhi.  They live in Freedom Fighters Enclave not too far from the area known as Saket.  Near the heart of Delhi but with quiet tree lined streets.  Quite lovely.
Slept upon arrival after having my first chai this trip
First Chai

First Chai

and then breakfast of aloo parantha…and then off to rest again.
Afternoon we went out to change money and then off to stroll and relax at the Saket Market….just lovely.
A coffee shop and a stroll at the local book market….absolutely amazing collection of new and used paperbacks…even had some street food..Kathi roll…(offered as the least spicy thing available-still spicy for me but quite delicious)…and then home.
Lovely supper
Rajma, Paneer and Perfect Chapati

Rajma, Paneer and Perfect Chapati

…having my local phone card set up…talking and finally off for a long a beautiful sleep.

Up this morning to a wonderful breakfast of Paneer Parantha (Indian women just never stop cooking…quite amazing)
And now, just feeling like I need the day to rest, which is exactly what I will do now.  Hopefully will figure out how to get this posted on my blog from the tablet…something which needs to be learned at this point…
Tomorrow an outting is planned through the back alleys and markets of old delhi.  Looking forward
The rest of the day was uneventful….went out to the local supermarket…not something I’m used to seeing in India, but this is Delhi, not the small town of Rishikesh.  sorry-couldn’t get these photos uploaded…another time…
Now Preeti is making Malai Kofta for supper…just because I mentioned that I like it!
And then, off to sleep and looking forward to a lovely photo walking tour tomorrow.  Not sure this will be posted in “real time” to the blog….but it will eventually find its way there.
Namaste from Delhi
Jane

Beautiful Last Evening (and day) in India – Nov 21-22 2012

December 1, 2012

Beautiful Last Evening (and day) in India – Nov 21-22 2012

Last Morning in Rishikesh-Clouds Over the Mountains

Last Morning in Rishikesh-Clouds Over the Mountains

I was invited to Dr. Arora and Manju’s for dinner together with my friend Michal.  I usually spend quite a lot of time visiting with Manju while I am in Rishikesh.  Daytime visits where we just chat and I watch her in the kitchen-best cooking lessons available-and these visits were missing during this short stay.  But at least I would get to spend the evening with her, and I was excited about going.

We wound up spending the evening in prayers, chanting and singing with all the female members of the communal family dwelling (5 sisters-in-law, a couple of THEIR daughters-in-law, a visiting sister of Dr. Arora from Delhi, and even one baby granddaughter).  I couldn’t have found a more suitable, uplifting and beautiful way to spend my last evening in Rishikesh, or better company.  I have no photos, as it seemed neither appropriate nor necessary at the time, but the wonderful pictures will remain in my mind for a very long time.

It seems over 30 years ago, Dr. Arora’s father decided that every Tuesday there should be an evening of Kirtan (sacred chanting) in the family temple situated in the center of the family dwelling, and the women at the time decided they would be the ones to do it.  And to this day, this is precisely what happens every Tuesday evening.

There is nothing that compares with the power, and empowering energies of the prayers of women.  The chanting was done joyfully, sometimes playfully, sometimes with deep serious mindfulness and devotion, but always directed directly towards the deities.  I felt it on a deep soul level and felt myself being swept away with the power of the connection to God felt in the small room.  Since the chanting is repetitive, and the women took turns leading it, I was very often able to join in. And from my years in India, several of the chants I realized I actually knew the words to myself!  This surprised me and of course brought great joy and approving pleasure to the faces  of the women. And of course, clapping along with everyone else was a no brainer, even for me!!  🙂

The visit afterwards with Manju and the Doctor was thoroughly enjoyable as always, with good conversation, seeing the beautiful wedding album from their eldest son’s wedding last year (the daughter in law of course now living there with them) and of course a superb light dinner.  With soup, idlis, subji, shahi paneer (Manju makes the best in India for sure and she always remembers how much I like it and makes it for me when I come), chutney and of course chapattis with ghee . Dr Arora drove us home, quite late…tired but with full stomachs and happy hearts.

Now having my last breakfast here at the Pundir Restaurant after being treated to a wonderful whole wheat chapatti and homemade ghee when I stopped by Seema’s house earlier.

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The sky is cloudy today for the first time in 6 weeks.  I feel “cloudy” myself. Must be raining somewhere up in the mountains to bring the clouds and colder weather today.

Neelkanth Temple in Distance

Neelkanth Temple in Distance

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And somewhere deep inside of me there is a “rainy” feeling as well.

evening clouds

evening clouds

The day continued quietly, with goodbyes to everyone, always difficult, but even more so after such a short stay, and of course packing up my stuff for storage as well as for taking home.  The sky was beautiful to watch during the day and evening,

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and before heading off to Delhi by taxi, I had my last supper of schnitzel and chips!!  🙂

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The ride on the new highway took less than 5 hours….

Sachin provided me with a pillow so I could sleep in the car on the way.  I dozed on and off…and to my great surprise was in delhi in less than 5 hours!!  New road is good for sure.
Found a nice bench in the departure lounge to lay down on for another hour until they opened the RJ check in counter.  They really hassled me about my carry on- it didn’t fit into the “rack” which measures them.  Finally they called the supervisor, and she allowed me to take it.  What a pain in the ass.  The whole thing took over an hour but luckily I was first on line and when I got to the gate, there was even a free bed to lie down on which I did of course.

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Last Sunrise Over Delhi During Take Off

Last Sunrise Over Delhi During Take Off

the flight was fine but it seems the AC as not working….it was really hot on the plane.
Good flight to amman but it is over 7 hours going back.  The plane was not full so there was no one next to me which made it easier to  sleep a little with my legs over the handle of the next seat.
1/2 hour delay in Amman but that meant yosi actually got the airport in time to pick me up.  It was nice.
We went and had a nice breakfast in Yehud and then headed home and got stuck in a HAIL STORM!!  Thought the car windows would crack the pieces were so big!
And then later on in the evening, my house was struck directly by lightning and my phone went dead while talking to yosi.  and my cellphone needed to be charged but I had no electricity, so we couldn’t talk.  It was easier talking to him from India!

And now I am home, a week later, writing this last post!!  I will be posting several more photo posts, and then saying goodbye until next year!  Look forward to seeing you all once again then!

Namaste from Herzlia, Israel


Perfect Paneer Parantha – Finally Good Outcome from Panchakarma-Nov 20, 2012–11–28

November 29, 2012

Perfect Paneer Parantha – Finally Good Outcome from Panchakarma-Nov 20, 2012–11–28

I just ate the perfect paneer parantha.  (You can see a perfect aloo parantha Here )

 Would have been the perfect aloo parantha if that had been my choice today but I felt like paneer this time.

VERY thinly rolled, not doughy, not greasy, lots of turmeric and cilantro and the slightest hint of chilly powder.  And lots of paneer.  So different from what most places serve.  Just as good as any I make myself at home.

Got up this morning-my last “real” day here before leaving tomorrow evening for the airport in Delhi..  Got dressed and decided to out for breakfast in Laxman Jhula. Below some of the sites I saw and pretty much the last photos of this short visit to Rishikesh

early morning family outing

 

On the way down to the Ganga

stuff to buy along the way

colorful surprise

 

Stoppedby Dr. Arora to make final arrangements for dinner tonight at his house.  Really excited.  Manju is THE best cook I know personally in India!

And weighed myself.  I could tell from my jeans this moring that the results of the final stage of panchakarma, rejuvenation, are finally clicking in.  My body is finally beginning to get slowly back into balance.

Well, I got on the scale and to my great joy and surprise (as well as the doc’s-he gave me a huge grin and then hugged me), I gained 5 kg in the last 10 days or so.  And it is the first time I’ve managed to put weifht back on since my digestive issues began more than a year ago! Went from 47 to 52 Kg!! My normal weight is around 56 kg so I am on my way.

Despite the setbacks during panchakarma this year, and it being soooo difficult, I see for sure tht slowly the full impact will be felt in the final results.

So I now sit at the Ganga View Restaurant, across Laxman Jhula to the left past the jeep stand.

breakfast view Laxman Jhula

My View While Eating Breakfast just One Week Ago

 

This is a place I usually come to eat often, but will not have the time this year.  They have the best iced coffee, toasted cheese (made with yak cheese), tofu and veggie dishes, and to my surprise, have now added bakery items to their menu.  And of course a wonderful Ganga View to enjoy.

Today I found a lovely spot in the sun to enjoy.

peek at laxman jhula

Had the wonderful paneer parantha and masala chai, and for dessert had a delicious chocolate/banana muffin which was perfect!

morning music

early morning ghat view

lady on crutches navigating ghat with child

 

Final Look Towards Laxman Jhula

 

Heading home to rest and finish packing and be ready to go to the Arora’s for dinner. Hope to write about it in one more post, as well as post several photo posts with shots that didn’t make it into any of the posts from this trip,

Namaste (but now in Israel  🙂   )

Jane


Freedom to Vacation- Redecorating, Movie Shoot and Other Adventures – Nov 12 2012

November 15, 2012

Freedom to Vacation- Redecorating, Movie Shoot and Other Adventures –  Nov 12 2012

Today is the first day I am beginning my day with no thought of panchakarma.  I officially finished yesterday after deciding the the doctor to cut it short by 3 days and begin my recuperation period before heading home.

APPLE CRUMBLE

I still have 3 “fun massages” coming to me later on, just before I go home which I can still take advantage of  if I choose to.

The sense of freedom , of having no responsibilities, of there being nothing I “have” to do (even though everything I was doing was for my own benefit), makes me feel almost giddy with joy.

I now sit at the Pundir restaurant, the weather much cooler than even last week, although the sun is still  beautifully warm.  I am waiting for my paneer parantha. Yesterday I ate pasta – TWICE- and am already feeling my strength come back.  Although fruits and veggies and of course kitcheri are the healthiest foods for me – my comfort food-my soul food- is carbohydrates.  Breads, pasta, anything doughy.  And as Dr. Arora always reminds me – this is not cheating – cravings come from a soul level and if the soul is denied what it needs – the body will never be completely healthy.  So now I will be taking good care of my soul until the cravings end – probably around 3-4 days from previous experience. (today is actually the 15th-and I no longer crave these things!)

Not quite as energized as I imagined but just feeling wonderful being out.  Had this dream of “redecorating” using colored pillows and a throw on my sofa.  And today finally was able to these things.  Took me ages to choose with so many to choose from but think I will be happy when I get it all home.

DIFFICULT CHOICES-HUNDREDS TO CHOOSE FROM

PILLOW SHOP

MY PURCHASE-CAN’T WAIT TO SEE IT AT HOME ON MY SOFA

 

But I am not a good shopper and am now exhausted.  Not ready to eat yet so sitting on a bench just next to Laxman Jhula bridge watching the sights of local tourist groups going by with their guides. Will relax here for awhile.  Lovely breeze coming up off the Ganga- Most refreshing!

TOURISTS LISTENING TO GUIDE’S EXPLANATIONS

Went up for a snack and had lovely apple crumble, (shown above) but was really tired.  Rested for a long time and finally made it up to my place.  Not before watching a film or TV series being filmed on the street.

FILM CREW

DIRECTOR COMING OVER TO GIVE DIRECTIONS TO ACTOR

DIRECTOR AND ACTOR

PRACTICING SCENE

GETTING READY TO SHOOT

“LIGHTS!”

ACTION

Home at last, tired but happy.

Namaste from Rishikesh


Healing Crisis -Nov 6-8 2012

November 10, 2012

Healing Crisis -Nov 6-8 2012

Well, the first shift is actually my being without internet for the second day in a row.  The local server “fell” and although it has been repaired, the mobile stick I have been using for some reason was effected and the number is no longer in service.  They say it will take a couple of more days to repair it (Update:  this is not the case…but it is a long story not for now, but apparently I won’t have this lovely service available to me for the rest of the time I am here)  😦

Photos Taken on the Way Down to the Clinic

This in itself is no big deal, as there is plenty of internet service available, but during the same period of time, I was also going through a “healing crisis” (which I thought was a stomach virus at the time) and so was unable to leave my room.  All in all, it was a blessing as I was able to completely rest without the distraction of the computer the whole day  Hopefully today I will feel like going out, but at the moment, I will probably just leave all of this until the connection in the comfort of my room is restored  So if this post is late in coming, you will understand why.

It all began on Sunday (today is Thursday), when I went down to the market and all of a sudden felt extremely weak and decided to head home without completing my errands.

The next day I felt even weaker but attributed it to the water enema and just went to my room to rest  But during the day I had diarrhea several times (highly unusual for me-actually, never happens) and that night could not sleep due to a pounding, debilitating headache which painkillers did not ease.

Reported into the doctor next morning, and apparently I looked like “shit” because he was not pleased when he saw me.  Checked my pulse, was disturbed, and surprised, to find my Vatta very high, and gave me some herbs to “fix” things  Went back to my room, rested all day, but was feeling really bad by then, particularly in my stomach.  Felt like I needed to vomit, but could not (another thing I never do)-I would have felt much better if I had, and ate a little during the day but felt worse and worse as the day wore on  By the nighttime, I had developed a fever, chills and general “fluey” feeling and didn’t sleep much at all

There was no way I would find my way down to the clinic, so called the doctor at 9 in the morning, told him my symptoms, and he said he would send meds up to my room  He advised me to eat just fruit juices, fruit and soup during the day, which I did.  Several glasses of apple juice, a fruit salad, which lasted all day, and later in the day, I asked them to prepare chicken broth for me which was wonderful and made me feel a lot better.  Some toast and butter in the evening and that was it  I developed a fever again in the evening and by 8 was back in bed, actually quite worried about the whole thing.

A couple of hours later, I began to feel better, and to my surprise, the fever was gone, my stomach felt like new and I fell asleep, sleeping well until the morning. (Update: The fever was only gone because of the meds the doc gave me turns out..it didn’t dissipate for real for another 2 days-But since yesterday –Nov 10- I am fine-just still needing a couple of more days of rest)

I realize now that this is a final “cleansing push” of the panchakarma.  Makes sense that the cleansing would be equally difficult to the illnesses which preceded it.  I had a very difficult year healthwise, making the “cure” more difficult than usual.

I am feeling really hungry now for the first time in days, and will go down and order breakfast, and then head down to see the doctor.  I’m sure when he checks me things will be back in order, but will update later.

And perhaps I will also have internet.

.


News Flash!…A Whole New Concept in Panchakarma- Nov 3 2012

November 3, 2012

News Flash!!…A Whole New Concept in Panchakarma

Crowded Bridge During this Festival Season before Diwali

My diet during panchakarma is usually very restricted in order to get the maximum results from the detox.  Porridge in the morning, kitcheri at lunch and steamed veggies and chapatti for supper.  All with lots of ghee.  In between meals, fruit and nuts as desired and one glass of hot milk with ginger before bed.  That’s pretty much it.

I don’t usually feel hungry once I get used to it, but it gets soooooooooo boring that I feel like pulling my hair out at times. Especially when I sit in restaurants and see what everyone else is eating!!

This morning, I simply could not imagine another bowl of porridge.  So I went to ask Dr. Arora if I could perhaps, just this once, have something else.  I am feeling the need to “get my teeth into something”.  He asked me what I felt like having, and I blushingly said “Paneer Parantha”.  Without a second thought he replied, “Yes, for sure, why not?- Go have it and enjoy!!”

Which I did!!

But then, I realized, this was a one time deal.  And didn’t like the idea of going back to porridge.  So went back to the clinic and…

Sooooooooo Cute!

…. asked the doctor what he thought of the idea of having brown bread (no yeast) with butter for breakfast instead of porridge.  And his reply was, “Wonderful!  But you can put some fruit jam on it as well!!”

Wonder of wonders!  I asked why?  And he reminded me that this is a very easy , mild form of panchakarma, mainly to get my energy levels back up and my body balanced and vitalized again. You may remember that he already suggested TWO glasses of hot milk a day  together with biscuits (which I have been thoroughly enjoying).  And said if I had asked 2 weeks ago, he would have agreed then as well!!  (was embarrassed to ask then – but he was happy that I came this far with the full detox diet)

So, beginning tomorrow morning, I will have my lovely brown roll from downstairs, freshly prepared each day, with butter and sugar free blackcurrant and cranberry jam which I bought now. And will have my hot spiced milk together with it.  What a lovely breakfast treat, for the rest of the treatment days.

 It will be heavenly for sure!!  .  I am a very happy camper!

Namaste from Rishikesh


The Paradise that is Rishikesh-October 24-26 –Some Catching Up –Panchakarma Days 11-13

October 26, 2012

The Paradise that is Rishikesh

[As I sit getting ready to post this,  there is an amazing desplay of color in the sky as I look out the window-it almost looks like the heavens are on fire! Notice the moon rising as well….(sorry about the wires,  but they are part of the “scenery”)…so this post will also have a gallery of shots taken over about a half hour period.  Hope you enjoy it here as much as I enjoyed it live!]

Panchakarma wise, there is nothing much to write about the last couple of days,,,just massage and sirrohdhara and massage and steam. And I was feeling really good and decided to take full advantage of these last two days of the easy stuff, so the next posts will be about those two lovely days I spent out and about and truly enjoying the paradise that is Rishikesh.

I look forward to posting some lovely photos, which I haven’t even looked at myself yet, and hopefully this will happen over the next couple of days. Today begins the harder portion of panchakarma, which leaves me with the feeling that I need to just rest in and around my room most of the day.

So I read, watch movies, write, do certain projects I may have committed myself to (making a new collage of my grandchildren, copy editing Dr.Arora’s new website), visiting with my friends near home and just relaxing. It is a good time for contemplation, or for just doing nothing.

SOMETIMES DOING NOTHING IS SOMETIMES DOING SOMETHING VERY IMPORTANT

You can read more about this idea and its importance in our lives at this post:

http://notinindia2012.wordpress.com/2012/02/22/doing-nothing-is-doing-something-very-important/

Yesterday I ate the best pullao I have had since coming to Rishikesh.

best pullao in Rishikesh at Flavor’s Restaurant, Ram Jhula

Ate it at the lovely Indian restaurant, Flavors, following my long stroll along the ghats on both banks of Ram Jhula. It was full of wonderful herbs, fruits, nuts and veggies and the seasoning was just perfect. It was moist, not dry as many are…just heaven. The photo does not do it justice.!

I am now resting in my room and will shortly eat my wonderful paneer parantha prepared by Manju, the Doc’s wife, and a necessary precursor to the oil enemas, which I do in my room. It is one of the best parts of panchakarma (the parantha-not the….:-) ) . And today I plan to watch the movie, Intouchables, which came extremely highly recommended, and will probably begin watching lots of movies over the next 12 days as well. And that’s about it for today.

Namaste from Rishikesh

Jane


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