Whether you are a lover of India, a fan of colour and pattern or you would just like to learn more about the intriguing Indian culture, we recommend reading a few of the books below:
- A Fine Balance by Rohinton Mistry – this wins a gold star from us!
- The God of Small Things by Arundhati Roy
- Behind the Beautiful Forevers by Katherine Boo.
- The Secret Lives of Colour by Kassia St Clair (this book is about the delights of colour rather than India)
- John Robshaw Prints by John Robshaw and Elizabeth Garnsey
- Madhur Jaffrey’s Indian Cookery by Madhur Jaffrey
- Madhur Jaffrey’s Ultimate Curry Bible by Madhur Jaffrey
- Love Jaipur & Rajasthan by Fiona Caulfield – If you are off to Jaipur this guide book is a must. Infact, all Fiona Caulfield’s guide books on India are essential purchases!
In India lemon and green chillies are often tied on the doorways of houses, shops, offices and even underneath cars. It is a common sight and it is thought to keep homes and businesses safe from evil spirits as well as bringing good luck. Usually it is changed every week, commonly on a Saturday.
HOW TO MAKE
- Take 7 green chillies and one yellow lemon.
- Take a needle and some black thread and tie a big knot at the end.
- Pierce it through the lemon first and then the 7 green chillies.
- This is now ready to be tied at the entrance of your home, garden shed, office space or your car.
- Make sure it does not interfere with opening your door or the movements of tall people as this can be ever so unlucky!
Whilst in Jaipur I was introduced to Adeep, Jaipur’s master of masala chai. He very kindly showed us how to make it from scratch. This sweetly spiced tea is drunk all over India and is a morning ritual for most Indians. Chai wallahs are found on every street corner in India (as well as on all trains!) selling their own personal blends. We are big fans of the sweet stuff – partly because it tastes so good but it also has numerous health benefits.
All the spices used have anti-inflammatory qualities, it can help digestion and even helps fatigue. Give it a go: it will provide a welcome change and it is certainly more exciting than your daily bog standard builders’ brew!
This recipe makes 600ml.
- 1 English breakfast teabag
- 6 cardamon pods
- ½ tsp ground ginger
- 6 cloves
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 12 peppercorns
- 500ml freshly boiled water
- 100ml milk
- 2-3 tsp sugar
Open up the teabag and place the contents in a pan.
Add all the spices and the boiling water and simmer for 4-5 minutes over a medium high heat.
Strain it through a fine tea strainer into a jug before returning to the pan.
Add the milk and sugar and stir over the heat for 30 seconds. Read more