Pushkar Camel Fair
"In the wild district...bordering Pakistan...the desert tribes are semi-nomadic, traveling in family groups with camels and goats."
"The western states...are perhaps the most visually exciting in India. The stark beauty of desert landscapes is offset by brightly dressed and bejeweled women and fine featured men with noble mustaches and multi-colored turbans."
Blue houses of Jodhpur.
"Fairy-tale palaces and dramatic forts dominate towns of tiny blue, pink and white house squeezed together in narrow alleys. In the countryside, thatched mud huts have dung-floor courtyards populated with buffalo, camels and goats."
Clay cooking pots.
For our meal to represent Western India, we made three different dishes. I forgot to take pictures until we were almost finished eating our meal. I quickly snapped a few pictures, before it was all gone.
|"This Guiarati dish blends the sweetness of pumpkin with jaggery with the sourness of tamarind and amchoor. "|
We made Gujarati Pumpkin with Tamarind, which had several ingredients foreign to us. One of the benefits of making dishes from foreign countries is that you become familiar with unfamiliar ingredients. In the Gukarati Pumpkin, the recipe calls for tamarind paste, jaggery and amchoor, none of which I was familiar with prior to our studies. I have discussed tamarind paste, but if you do not have it available, I have found that you can do a fairly accurate substitute by using lime juice and brown sugar in equal proportions. Jaggery is a concentrated combination of date, cane juice, or palm sap without separation of the molasses and crystals, which can make it vary from golden brown to dark brown in color. If you cannot find it, a good substitute for this is brown sugar. Amchoor is a powder made from unripe mangoes. If you cannot locate this, lime juice is an acceptable substitute.
|"Coconut milk is a perfect accompaniment to corn."|
We made Diu Corn Curry. It is a simpler tasting, sweeter curry and was a good contrast to the complex sweet-sour taste of the Gujarati Pumpkin with Tamarind.
Market Square, Diu
Diu is a small island in the Arabian Sea, just offshore from India's Gujarat. "Diu's pastel houses, narrow cobbled lands, tavernas and beaches are more reminiscent of the Mediterranean than India."
|"A zingy fruit salad makes a perfect accompaniment to a spicy curry."|
I had never had a savory fruit salad before, but was glad for the fruit's tart notes to off-set the heat and sweetness of the other dishes.
All quotes are from World Food Cafe by Chris and Carolyn Caldicott.