Old Delhi

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Today we tried our first street food - from a vendor in Old Delhi that won a Times of India "Good Food Award"! Well deserved, too. Those were some tasty samosa, aloo tikka, and crispy pea-filled breads. Sarah, the ultra-cautious member of our group refused to try anything; she's fearful of falling ill. The rest of us dug in and enjoyed.

Onlookers cheer the parade from the balcony of the gudawara

Old Delhi was a madhouse today due to Guru Nanak's birthday. The main street was closed off for a parade of school children, flower-bedecked buses and men sword fighting. We skirted around them to the Jamma Mosjid, Jain Bird Sanctuary and then headed into the fray at the gudawara where all the action was centered.

Grilling chapati in quantity

We slipped into the gudawara's kitchen to watch the volunteers making chapati for anyone who wanted to eat. While Tod snapped photos, I was handed a long narrow spatula and nodded towards the grill. Everyone else was deftly flipping chapatis from one end of the griddle to the other. Mine all folded in the middle. It was a lot harder than they made it look.

Choosing nuts in the spice market

By the time we made it to the spice market (after another stop for glorious parantha from a 5th generation back alley dive), I was too tired to enjoy it much. But the colors and scents were sublime and almost reviving.

In the evening, we drove out to suburban Delhi to have dinner and a home visit. While her husband showed us their apartment and it's brightly painted blue and violet rooms, Alu made a feast for us with channa curry, spicy okra, potatoes with fenugreek, several homemade sauces and pickles and, of course, chapati. She gave us a try at forming and rolling chapati. Hers were so nice and round. Mine was rather heart-shaped. I think today was not my day for any aspect of chapati making.

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