Yesterday we took a very long bus ride from Jodhpur to Udaipur. The seven sleepless, smoky hours were actually pretty enjoyable. The bus stopped in every village to let a family or two off or on and the countryside out the window was dotted with not-quite-pastoral scenes of kids playing cricket in the dust and old men drinking chai in the evening cool.
of Octopussy and watch a much cheesier version of the real thing (EDIT: Udaipur is now famous for the fact this film was partly filmed here. Turns out mum and dad (bohdana’s) were here when it was being filmed, 27 years ago. Turns out not much has changed!).
The past week has been a good one for food, we’ve started to explore the street food and chai as our stomachs have gotten used to the spices and oil.
On our last day in Jodhpur we got a cooking lesson from a local couple in the back of their small spice shop.
It proved to be one of the most rewarding and relaxing things we’ve done so far and gave us a real insight into the everyday lives of a modern Indian family as we watched the comings and goings of thier children, parents and in-laws, all living under the one roof.
But the food! We were shown how to make a few different curries, a biryani, proper chai tea, the local saffron-spiced butter lassi and, my favorite, the breads! Hopefully you can smell the butter and spices coming out of our photos. If not we’ll cook you a meal when we get back.
Tonight we left the tourist area behind to try a thali at a hotel restaurant that is very popular with the locals. There wasn’t another tourist in sight as we tucked into easily the best meal we’ve had at a restaurant in India so far.
For those of you that have never come across one, a thali is a kind of platter of curries and accompaniying cooler dishes. In this case it was four delicioius vegetable curries as the hot part accompanied by coconut raita, yoghurt and some
kind of amazing coriander salsa to cool our mouths down. This came with rice and two kinds of bread and was all you can eat for 80 rupees (about $1.60). There was some heroic shoveling going on on the other tables! There were five or six waiters cirlcing the room, each in charge of refilling one or two bits of our plate.
They were lightning fast and eager to please so we had to be positively but very firmly assertive to stop our plates piling up!
Some more fun photos: