Sunday, January 23, 2011


I love to make a waffle breakfast on the weekend. For a long time I've been meaning to try one of the recipes for overnight or raised waffles with yeast. I finally got around to it and I think it's the best waffle ever to come off of my waffle iron. There are a couple of recipes out there, the Marion Cunningham's raised waffles and Mark Bittman's overnight waffles. I followed Mark Bittmans and it was so easy to put it together, leave it on the counter overnight and then add the egg yolks and whipped whites in the morning.
It smells like bread baking when they are cooking.
This is definitely the new waffle of the house.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Masala Chai

I've loved chai tea for years. I used to get the cartons of concentrate and make it at home or order it at a coffee shop. Our first morning in Mumbai at breakfast I asked for coffee and Mark asked for tea. My coffee wasn't very good so I took a sip of his tea and proclaimed "oh it's chai!" and I was hooked. He loved it too and every morning we drank at least three cups. It was very creamy, probably made with whole milk.
A typical breakfast in Mumbai: a boiled egg, spiced potatoes, bread, fruit and the fabulous tea.
I went to the grocery store in India to try and figure out how to make it like they do. I have a recipe from my yoga teacher here but it was quite complicated.
I bought a couple of beautiful boxes of tea in Mumbai. One says masala chai on it and the other one is darjeeling.
I started experimenting right when I got home. The box marked masala chai said to add a teaspoon to boiling water. OK, but no creaminess. Then I used 1/2 milk, 1/2 water and it got closer but not spicy enough. I decided to check in one of our local Indian grocery stores A Taste of India and see what they had available. He told me, to make it you use the regular orange pekoe tea and then add the spices which you can do individually but they had a spice mix all ready to add.
So I think I have it down now. I use 1/2 water and 1/2 milk adding a teaspoon of tea per cup and then a teaspoon of the kamal tea masala per cup and simmer it for about five minutes.
Definitely a taste of India!
(And definitely has caffeine, I had to cut back on my tea consumption to get a good night sleep)

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Mumbai, India

I'm still digesting all that Mumbai is.... what you see, hear, smell, taste and the trials of communication.  I think it needs to be processed in a different way than I might normally judge a country and it's people. Overall it was an amazing experience and has altered me in that wonderful way that travel opens your head and heart .

One of the most interesting things to me was the dabba or tiffin( the container) wallahs. I'd seen the metal containers before at World Market. And now I know their story.
 Mumbai's 5000 dabba-wallahs work tirelessly to deliver hot lunches to office workers throughout the city.

Lunch boxes are picked up each day from homes and restaurants and carried on heads, bicycles and trains, and taken to a centralized sorting station. A sophisticated system of numbers and colors is then used to determine where every lunch must end up. More than 200,000 meals are delivered in Mumbai in this way- always on time come monsoon or searing heat.
The same intricate supply-chain system has been used for centuries and dabba-wallahs are known to take immense pride in their work. On average only one mistake is made every six million deliveries. Impressive!
We brought home a three stack dabba for packing lunch sometimes.

footnote-dabba-wallah info from Lonely Planet guide book on India