Favorites List (9.14.12)

Favorites List (9.14.12) Recipe

Before we jump into this favorites list, a quick question for you all. I'm planning a trip to India(!), specifically New Delhi and Rajasthan. If you've been (or live there), and know of spots/shops/eats that we absolutely can't miss, please please give a shout in the comments. Jodhpur, Jaipur, Agra, Udaipur...so far, all are in the cards and I'm out-of-my-mind excited. A couple of my favorite experiences in Japan came from you all, so, thanks in advance. Enjoy the favorites list and I'll be back in a few days with a new recipe. xo -h

- Garden-Grown Cocktails

- The Oyler House | Outside Inside

- Maryam's Marrakesh

- My Friend Maia (via my friend Bonni)

- HomeMade Winter

- Reading this.

- Ruth Reichl's Fresh Apricot Jam

- Bonbons in Paris

- Essex (huge congrats guys!)

- A lifetime with Leica

- Readerly promiscuity

- This story

- Ten Questions for Sophie Dahl

- Grown-up pinatas

- Magic Measured in a Pile of Salt

- You've all seen this right?

- This site.

- Love Home Swap

- Blackberry Lillet Sangria

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Comments

  • Hi i travelled india 12 years ago and loved it. I chose to land in Katmandu, did some trekking and then made my way down the mountains into India and first stop was Varanassi. Then we headed over to Agra via train, Jaipur, Pushkar (a must) and the Jaisalmer then train into Old Delhi for a week and flew home to Australia. I found this was a more gentle way into India that hitting the largest and most chaotic city first. A few travellers i met that were going the opposite way were a bit freaked out by the chaos. By the time i got to Delhi i was so used to it all that i just loved it. I do highly recommend Varanassi as it has a big market feel and loved the city. I also recommend Pushkar for the peace that you don't tend to get in the bigger cities. The funniest book i've ever read called "Are you Experienced" by William Sutcliffe is well worth a read too. The Peacock Hotel at Pushkar, mentioned in the book, is lovely and even has a nice little swimming pool. Bartering - asking price can be set by what country you say you are from (yes it is a loaded question) so say you are from a small country or make one up. When i was there the Aussie dollar wasn't as high as the US. Japanese were usually charged 3 times the price, US 2.5 times, Aussies double. They love a good laugh and always loved it if i pretended to be hurt when told a price and then said "but its my birthday". Keep some rice on you and if you feel the need to give to beggars than give them a handful. Giving money will just get you overrun by more beggars. Pencils are a great gift for the street kids too as a lot of them are trying to pay for school and need supplies. I do recommend sticking to a vegetarian diet as you'll have less chance of Delhi belly. Goodluck and make sure you try some Thali.. YUM

    Sharon O
  • It's great that you posted the NYT article on salt harvesting. I've been to the Ile-de-Re during harvesting and it was one of the most fascinating things I ever saw. I used to think that salt is salt, but then I tried fleur de sel while I was there and now it's so painful to use the industrial refined salt. It's so different, so light, so incredibly tasty in its light texture. It makes to whole cooking experience completely different

    Mike
  • I traveled to all those places you mentioned as a mostly vegan for a wedding last year. Granted I broke my veganism for some roasted paneer my favorite food in all of India was at peoples homes. The only restaurant I really enjoyed was a South Indian restaurant in New Dehli. I recommend just trying places. Definitly go to FAB INDIA, they have mainly clothing and home goods, its so awesome. Go to a spice market. Buy textiles, visit temples and drink Indian bear. Every thing is wonderful and special. Bring colorful clothes!! And nice things. The woman there dress up! I didnt realize that when I went there and I brought a lot of black and white. But I immediately when to Fab India and bought outfits in orange turquoise and forest green.

    samantha
  • I lived in Delhi for a few months last year and adored every second. I definitely recommend Kareem's in Old Delhi! There is a smart restaurant called Gunpowder in Haus Kaus that specializes in South Indian food which would be great for you to experience in contrast to the North Indian food you will mainly be exposed to. In Jaipur, the Peacock rooftop restaurant is fantastic and the service is superb. Try and book for a room in their hotel also (Hotel Pearl Palace) as it is beautiful. Enjoy!

    Laura
  • I just got back from living in India for a couple of years--though in Orissa and the south. I've never lived in Delhi/Rajasthan, only traveled through those areas. That said, for food, you must visit the paratha street in Old Delhi (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gali_Paranthe_Wali). Amazing. Udaipur is also spectacular, as is Bundi. Have a blast!

    Lily
  • Delhi is a tough city with a crazy, automobile-oriented urban geography, but it has many delights. Elena hits on a couple of my favourites - especially Saravana Bhavan, whose sambar is unparalleled. Do visit Hauz Khas village, preferably toward dusk, when you can walk around the lake, visit the ruined madrasa, browse the boutiques (don't miss Yodakin bookshop!), and enjoy a meal at Gunpowder, a happening little restaurant that serves good, simple southern food (it's best to reserve a table). Also, be sure to fit in a walk through Lodhi Gardens - New Delhi's most beautiful, serene public park. And for truly authoritative Delhi restaurant/streetfood/monument recommendations, visit http://www.thedelhiwalla.com. Among other singular Delhi experiences, the Delhi Walla turned me on to Matthew's - a street-side Keralan cafe not far from Hauz Khas which serves arguably the best porotta in town (http://www.thedelhiwalla.com/2011/09/20/city-food-%E2%80%93-masala-dosa-rk-puram/). I don't know Rajasthan nearly as well, but I'll join in Lindsay's praise for Bundi. If you have time to visit (maybe as a two-day stop on the way from Agra to Jaipur?) absolutely do. I love your recipes and prepare them often in my little Hauz Khas-area apartment. Hope you have a wonderful time!

    sophie
  • When in Jaipur, go to the Anokhi store there.. it is the main one and the best one..and they have a really nice vegetarian cafe too..There is a Anokhi museum of textiles also in Jaipur on the road to the Amer fort..and if you have the time, outside of Jaipur there is a place called Chand Baori which is a truly amazing and beautiful stepwell..I have personally not seen stepwells outside of India.. In Delhi a must see for me is the Lotus Temple and the Akshardham Temple. Hope that helps

    Sejal
  • So many great things on this list! It's funny, I was just looking at the original HomeMade book for the zillionth time today in the library- can't wait for HomeMade Winter!

    la domestique
  • Heidi, try to take a train or grab a flight from New Delhi to Varanasi. Visiting the Ganges is an absolute must at both dawn and late into the night. Take a boat on the river before sunrise. Words cannot even describe the profundity in the experience. Try to get out of New Delhi or Agra as much as you can, the real India is outside the metropolitan areas. (ps) Take a probiotic morning and night!

    Kelsey
  • Oh yay! You're gonna love it Heidi, but do expect to possibly hate is just as much ;-) That's just how it is in India. It will test you sure, but thankfully it's only the good bits you remember on your return home. Pushkar is a MUST. Sitting near the lake at sunset is one of the most magical things I've ever done. Jaisalmer is beautiful too, and I can already see all the wonderful photos you would take there. Can't wait to hear about your trip! Take care xxx

    Emma Galloway
  • Saravana Bhavan for dosas is a MUST. Best dosas ever. Second best in Delhi is Sagar (also for dosas). And nothing beats Bukhara for North Indian food in Delhi. It's expensive, but the experience is truly worth while. All the street food is great! It's actually most memorable than any restaurant experience. Note: be careful when eating street food! Anything with or mixed with water could get you sick. (Happened to me two years in a row.) If you want to try "golgappas", don't ever eat them at the street vendors, go to a fast food chain like Halidrams -- another GREAT place to eat. Shopping... any of the touristy street markets are good. (Talk them down to half of their asking price!) But, if you want beautiful (but expensive) home items, go to Good Earth. Head to Haus Kaus Village in Delhi. It's an indie kind of area with tons of boutique type stores, great restaurants. (Bought a couple of vintage handpainted Bollywood posters there.) Just a couple of things that come to mind! I'll post more if I think of anything else. My husband's family is from New Delhi and Jaipur (best pickles ever), so we try to make it out there at least once a year.

    Elena
  • If you haven't booked hotels yet, Ajit Bhawan in Jodhpur was like nothing I've ever seen. Not that it was unusually fancy (but nice enough), more that it was full of things you don't expect to see in a hotel. I know that sounds like a carefully worded non-recommendaion, but I really liked it.

    rehana
  • Homemade winter looks like such a dream... I saw that over @sunday supper and really want to attend the event if it was not so far away.

    phi
  • ah love this list

    Leah
  • Before you go, I really recommend watching Michael Wood's 6 part series: The Story of India. He will make you swoon over every piece of history you encounter. Bundi is a really special, sweet town in Rajasthan. The Taj Mahal at sunrise! Fatehpur Sikri is a smaller and less touristy place to stay than Agra. Lastly, home stays! Staying in people's homes made all the difference for my husband and me in India. So much more personal with lovely people and real food.

    lindsay
  • If you can swing a trip out to Varanasi you should do it! It's a beautiful and moving city. You can take a boat ride on the Ganges. I also went to New Delhi, Agra and Jaipur on my trip but none of these cities had the same impact. It's a little out of the way but I think it is totally worth it.

    Emily
  • Definitely spend time eating and shopping in Khan Market. Shop at Anokhi in Khan Market. Go to Fab India in Greater Kailash One (both clothes and housewares). And the Cottage Industry Emporium in Connaught Place for gifts.

    Punky
  • I've been, but it was 25 years ago. Tipsy just got back! Her first India post is here.

    Al
  • Longtime lurker, first-time commenter -- I just got back from exactly that area, and it was amazing. Disconcerting and chaotic and magnificent. For food spots -- Pinch of Spice in Agra is an awesome restaurant with the BEST naan and saag paneer ever. Smoky and delicious and perfectly spiced. The Taj Mahal at dawn and Fatehpur Sikri were the two main can't-miss things for me. Humayun's Tomb was also very neat. The spice and silver markets in Old Delhi are an experience -- Sunder Nager for loose tea shops -- and afternoon tea at the Imperial Hotel if you want to splurge a little and experience some true Britishness in the midst of India (although it's a bit of a jolt after the rest of Delhi, and Old Delhi in particular)-- Have a wonderful time!!! (And thanks for all the recipes!!)

    Cait
  • firstly, welcome! secondly, here's a partial list: for pretty authentic and extremely good mughlai food: Kareem's in the shadow of the Jama Masjid, Old, Delhi. Try the Qoorma, kababs and roomali roti. For food from Nagaland: Naga Kitchen, Defence Colony Market. Try the Pork Akhooni, steamed rice and boiled vegetables. Saravana Bhavan for southIndian food..

    chicu
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