David Whyte is not only a poet I admire, he is a friend. For several years, along with a few other friends, we accompanied him on a sort of annual pilgrimage, having good conversations about whatever particular harvest one might be experiencing in one’s life while roaming the Tuscan countryside.
Devigarh. There are few places in the world that catch my breath like this place. High on a hill, the old palace fort overlooks the Araveli hills and the village of Delwara. It inspires meditation and natural tranquility and gives a 360 view. If we could look with a lifted perspective on life more often, we would be much happier.
After a splendid cooking class with chef Manish, at the Lake Palace Hotel in Udaipur, we sat down to this Thali literally vibrating with good taste and energy. The most exciting flavor was the Kadaknath chicken curry made from kali-masi, black-flesh country chicken, gamey and delicious. The other star was the solar-cooked jeera gucchi palao, a slow-cooked cumin-tempered basmati rice with Kashmiri morels.
The Old Delhi spice market is a Mecca of sorts. It’s a cooks dream to walk amongst the burlap sacks bulging with fresh, vibrant, aromatic spices. Red chilis, whole turmeric, coriander, cumin and more. You have to cover your mouth with a scarf, but you still cough anyway.
January has rolled around and we find ourselves at the top of the year. I find that leaving the country has been a fine thing to do. It’s hard to pick up in the middle of winter and fling oneself out the door, especially to the other side of the world. It feels wrong in some ways, like one is supposed to stay put by the fire.