GANGA VIEWS AND DEVOTIONS OCT 5 2015 -#5

October 6, 2015

GANGA VIEWS AND DEVOTIONS
TRIVENI GHAT – RISHIKESH

GANGA DEVOTIONS

GANGA DEVOTIONS

Had a lovely day in Rishikesh Market yesterday, shopping for shoes for the upcoming weddings I am invited to, a lovely visit with a good friend and her first grandson, and of course a lovely lunch as well.
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Will post some photos with market scenes in the next post, but here are a few scenes from Triveni Ghat, just off Rishikesh Market’s main roads.  A place of serene quiet, powerful spiritual energies, and just a beautiful place to sit.

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with love light and JOY

Namaste

Jane


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


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


Blessed Life, Gratitude and Joy-Panchakarma Day 6 October 19,2012

October 20, 2012

Blessed Life-Panchakarma Day 6 October 19,2012

Dinner at Laxmi’s

Ganga below, clear blue sky and green mountains across, above and surrounding me, cool breeze, breakfast on the way at Lalita’s restaurant as I begin to write this post in my notebook.  … as tears of overwhelming gratitude and joy for my blessed life stream down my face.!  

Gas Delivery Day in Tapovan

Just a scene from local life….apparently gas delivery day as women were coming down the street one after the other, old and young, all carrying balloons on their heads…I was lucky enough to get my camera out and get at least this one shot above!

Feeling better today but still tired.  Dr. says no more “communal” massages.  No more practicing on me (even though I love all the extra massage care and attention).  Need very gentle, relaxing massage by one person only.  If not, it is too tiring and exhausting for me in my weakened condition.

So today I had a truly quiet and relaxing massage from just Laxmi and the same chest pack again as yesterday.  I wasn’t quite as cold as yesterday (they told me that most people begin sweating when this is put on them) but still not comfortable.  This is just another indication of my still very weak condition.  Dr. will also do some further treatment later to help clear my sinus and chest, which is normally done by the Vamana (vomiting/purging which I am not allowed to do this year), so all is well.

And just to make a day even more perfect, even with the wall blocking my view, I was still rewarded with these slight signs of a beautiful sunset.

It is now 9:30 at night and to my great surprise, just got back home from a fun evening at Laxmi’s house.  She invited us today and I had originally planned to go to the puja to meet some Israeli friends, but I wasn’t feeling up to it and so decided to go with Michal for a quick visit and light snack at Laxmi’s house.  We met her at the clinic and waited for her for quite awhile before she was ready to leave.  We bought some sweets for her kids and mother-in-law on the way.  And to my surprise, my good friend Reingard, from Germany, who I know for several years now and who I spend quite a lot of time with during my stays here (last trip we went to Varanassi together), was also there.

Laxmi’s Kids

We played with her kids, aged 11 and 13, had lots of fun, it was great to see her lovely home finally complete – it was still in progress last time I was here.  After working a full day at the clinic, she came home, changed clothes and went into the kitchen to prepare what we thought would be a light snack.  We sat in the room for quite awhile (after being served delicious chai of course) and she was still in the kitchen.  Went in to see what she was doing…got a few more pointers about getting my own chapattis to come out as good as hers, and then went back again to wait.

Finally, when we were all really tired, but quite happy spending the time with her kids and talking to Reingard, she came in with a full Tali for each of us!!  Chappati (with ghee of course), two kinds of subji (vegetable dishes-one cauliflower, the other potato and cucumber) and delicious soup made from cucumber!!  Talk about a light snack.  This is one meal we certainly won’t tell the doctor about!!  But it was soooooooooooo delicious!   And we had a truly love time.

“Light Snack” at Laxmi’s House

 Her kids have gotten so big, and as they go to a good private school (paid for by Reingard all these years), they speak wonderful English.  Michal had finally picked up the four suits she had tailored for her and so we also had a fashion show, which was great fun!

All in all a lovely evening.  And now happily off to bed.

Namaste from Rishikesh

Jane


April 6, 2011-Perfect Aloo Parantha

April 6, 2011

The Importance of Having the Proper Tools of the Trade

I didn’t expect to be posting here again, but since what happened today at home is directly related to my last stay in Rishikesh, I decided to post anyway.

Perfect Aloo Parantha Puffed Up on Tawa (pan)

I just made the perfect aloo parantha…thanks to the new rolling pin I brought back with me from Rishikesh and the practice in Seema’s kitchen…you can see it is perfectly round (which I never accomplished in the past) and beautifully puffed up here…and it was SOOOOOOOOOOOO yummy!!

Preparing Parantha in my kitchen

I’ve been making parnathas for several years now (paranthas are made from dough – the same used for chapattis, which is filled with various fillings, rolled out flat, and then cooked over a high flame on a cast iron pan to insure that they puff properly and are cooked through by steam), as well as chapatti, and although they have always tasted good, they have never been round, and rarely puffed up to be properly steam cooked.  While in rishikesh I asked Seema again why this happens and she invited me once again into her kitchen.  When I rolled out paranthas in HER house, they were perfectly round, with no problem, and the filling did not come out all over the place.  we tried to figure out what was different, and came to the conclusion that I was using the wrong type of rolling pin and because of this, they also were not coming out round, and not puffing.  If the dough is not rolled out exactly evenly all over, it will not puff on the pan, or when placed directly over the flame, and then will not be cooked properly inside.

So I bought a rolling pin exactly like seema’s and a couple of days ago it arrived in a parcel. You can see it in the photo above.

Today I made my dough, as usual, my potato filling, as usual, and the only difference was the rolling pin.  And to my great amazement, as well as that of my daughter, the paranthas came out as perfect as perfect can be!

Lovely Round Aloo Parantha Cooking on Pan

Which only goes to show that we can make every effort possible to make sure things are done properly, and insure the best outcomes, but without he proper tools, are efforts are very often in vain.

Shalom

Jane

 

 


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