Saturday, June 9th, 2012.  Hyderabad, India.

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This is actually a picture of the Mango tart Hamsa made, but it was the only food shot I took.  The tart was very yummy.  If you are on a diet, you don’t want to know the ingredients!

It is the start of monsoon season, so heavy rains are on their way.  We’ve seen no more than a sprinkle, but will surely soon hit some rainfall.  That should cool it down a little, but also increase the humidity.  Right now it is in the high 90s here in Hyderabad.  In Punjab (our next stop), it may be twenty degrees warmer.  Yikes!

Our friends have a cook named Hamsa who comes in several times a week to make meals for the family. She is a lovely woman (as Laura said, think Indian grandmother) and a very good cook.  As the Ventimiglias are not big fans of Indian cuisine, she mostly does western cooking, but we spent two days with her learning a variety of Indian recipes and basic cooking techniques.  We made some very tasty dishes (most of the Ventimiglias even enjoyed them) and look forward to getting home to make more.  We’ll likely make some adjustments to make some of the recipes fit the healthier eating style Kelly and I are following at home.

Today we made some plain paratha bread and dal (lentils) for lunch which was very tasty.  Once we figured out a few more recipes we had to go to two stores to get all the ingredients, which took more than an hour.   Eventually we got to make Chicken Curry, Chicken Biryani, and Eggplant Curry with nuts which we all enjoyed for dinner.

Afterwards, we left the kids and Kelly and I joined Phil and Laurra at the Westin hotel for some drinks.  I decided to skip the alcohol and had a lovely drink of coconut juice, banana, apple, and mint.  Very refreshing.  Looking forward to more cooking tomorrow.

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