I've been hanging about the old city in Udaipur a lot for the last few days. I got a facial and a massage, which was quite nice. Yesterday I also went to a cooking demonstration class with three girls from New Zealand. The class was offered by Shakti Singh, the owner of the Spice Box shop.
Under Shakti's guidance we made some standard dishes including masala chai:
This is paneer with green peppers and a tomato-based curry. Pretty tasty. I have read through Indian cookbooks before but it was actually quite helpful to see someone make them. We got a handout with recipes for everything we made. Got to attempt them at home to be sure I've got it.
I've also spent a couple of afternoons at Pap's Juice stand, which is right by the footbridge across the lake. It is popular with tourists and with teenage Indian boys who come after school to buy clear plastic bags of juice and lassis.
And that's it for Udaipur. Tomorrow morning, on to Jodpur and then to Jaisalmer.
I like Pap's lassis because he adds a bit of cardamom and dried coconut to them, which is a nice flavour I haven't seen at other shops. He says it's what his family likes to do at home. I sat on a lawn chair drinking lassis and pomegranate juice, reading a book and watching the roadside bike mechanic in the stall next door. This is the view. People pull up and get a little adjustment and then they leave again. See the tools?
Hanging above Pap's shop awning is a lime threaded with chili peppers. This is pretty common to see and it is meant as a charm against evil. I finished Rohinton Mistry's novel Such a Long Journey a week ago and remembered the lime and chilis were what Dilnavaz used to try and get rid of Sohrab's angry thoughts (didn't work, in the book).