Sama's pic titled "Breakfast Time" subtitled "taken at homestay outside Jodhpur, Raja

#1 Feb 12th, 2014, 10:37
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#1


Sama's pic titled "Breakfast Time" subtitled "taken at homestay outside Jodhpur, Rajasthan"
#2 Feb 12th, 2014, 10:39
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Sama's pic titled "Breakfast Time" subtitled "taken at homestay outside Jodhpur, Rajasthan"

When Sama first posted this picture I immediately liked it, but did not know why. Since then it has been growing on me and tells a lovely tale which I shall recount.

Her simple adobe kitchen is a real marvel and a cook's paradise. Behind it is her family's open-plan bathroom area.

In her kitchen, she has all the utensils needed for a gastronomic feast. What an amazing diversity of cooking styles are made possible in such a small space.

At the top right of the picture, leaning on the wall, is the huge 'traas' (large shallow kneading tray) in which she mixed whole wheat flour, some oil, salt and spices and hand kneaded the unleavened dough to make her 'theplas' (spiced shallow-fried rotis). Next to the 'traas' is the 'chhalni' (sieve) through which she sifted the flour to give the dough air. Next to it, in a steel 'thali' (plate) covered with a green plastic plate, is the kneaded dough from which she is making her 'theplas'.

What you can't see in the picture, right in front of her, is her 'paatlo' and 'velan' (rolling board and pin) as she rolls out her 'theplas'. She has put the oil container in a copper bowl right in front of her to lightly oil the theplas on each side as they roast.

She has a plastic vacuum insulated container in front of her to store the theplas and keep them soft and warm once off the stove. The lid to the thepla's vacuum container is propped up against the wall to her left.

There are twin wood and straw fired 'chulas' (hobs) one of which is fired up and is being used to roast the 'theplas' on a cast iron tawa (shallow griddle pan) with a handle.

Her cast iron 'karahi' (wok) sits on the shelf behind the other unlit chula, with another wood-handle tawa used as its lid. The karahi hasn't been used for many days for deep-frying because of the spiralling cost of cooking oil.

She has a Sun-dried cow pat fired 'sigdi' (barbeque) upon which the narrow-necked copper 'matko' (cauldron) of 'daal' (lentils) is bubbling away. The smoky aroma will be imparted to the stock by the red-hot glowing smouldering fuel! You can see the steam from the freshly made daal wafting from it sending its fragrance across the kitchen.

There is a steel tiffin carrier and a plastic thermos flask waiting to be filled with the food and 'chaas' (buttermilk) for her husband before he sets off to the fields to tend to his livestock. Resting against the smooth rounded grinding stone and stone anvil there is another narrow-necked copper 'matko' in which she stores the boiled purified water for cooking use, with her 'saansi' or 'pakkad' (steel tongs) lying nonchalantly beside the anvil on the kitchen floor.

At the bottom right, lying on its side, is the huge 'dasto' (pestle) which she used earlier to pound and grind her whole spices in the 'khaandi' (mortar) out in the courtyard.

At the bottom of the picture are the unwashed utensils, the 'patila' (tea-pan), 'chamach' (spoon) and 'gurni' (tea-strainer, with strained tea-leaves still in it), used to make her masala chai in the morning, drunk from the steel glass there. Next to it is her container for the tea-leaves.

At the bottom left is the large square open and half-empty tin container in which she stores her family's milled wheat flour, the main staple food for the family. Largely hidden behind it is a 'top' (water storage container) storing the water collected in the matko and carried on her head every evening from the village well.

But you cannot fathom her thoughts, worries, joys and sorrows as she stares wistfully into the distance while she waits for the second side of the 'thepla' to roast, her covered head benefiting from the ventilation provided by the small window in the wall behind her, allowing the shaft of the morning sunlight to shine on her shoulder to usher in, hopefully, a new day of cheer and fulfilment.

Lovely beautiful evocative picture Sama!

Did you partake of the breakfast meal? Will you cook for us? When do you get time to post on IndiaMike?
#3 Feb 12th, 2014, 15:25
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#3
thank you!

yes, I ate breakfast, lunch (if I was around), and dinner. all the guests in the homestay ate with the family (they are weavers.) wonderful food and family!

the millet chapatis (not wheat) were the best! they used buffalo milk for the curd and in the chai....ginger/buffalo milk chai, delicious!
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#4 Feb 12th, 2014, 15:49
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#4
... But Sama, was wondering, had you analyzed your creation so wonderfully and in such detail as ViShVa has done...
#5 Feb 12th, 2014, 16:29
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#5
Lovely beautiful evocative narration of Sama's wonderful picture
aamar payer tolai sorshe...(I have wheels under my feet)
#6 Feb 12th, 2014, 17:02
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#6
Nice pic and also great imagination.
#7 Feb 12th, 2014, 17:34
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#7
Quote:
Originally Posted by Prakaant View Post ... But Sama, was wondering, had you analyzed your creation so wonderfully and in such detail as ViShVa has done...
yes. but in a different way. after all, it is my photographic eye that framed it as such.

too bad there was no sparrow in the shot to steal crumbs as they were doing!
#8 Feb 12th, 2014, 17:39
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#8
Sama, it is a brilliant and beautiful photograph.

ViShVa, a brilliant and beautiful local-knowledge commentary.

Thanks to you both.
#9 Feb 12th, 2014, 18:34
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#9
I agree with Nick. Beautiful photo, Sama. I love the way the woman is looking so thoughtful.

ViShVa - wonderful insight on Sama's picture.
#10 Feb 12th, 2014, 20:55
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#10
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sama View Post thank you!

yes, I ate breakfast, lunch (if I was around), and dinner. all the guests in the homestay ate with the family (they are weavers.) wonderful food and family!

the millet chapatis (not wheat) were the best! they used buffalo milk for the curd and in the chai....ginger/buffalo milk chai, delicious!
Millet (Bajra) is used at least every week in Gujarati and Rajasthani households, and is a very nutritious grain. In Maharsashtra, the hill folk use a different millet called 'naachni' which is also very good for health.

Both bajra and naachni have a low glycaemic index and are rich in iron and fiber.

Sama, is there an account of your homestay anywhere that we can read? Would love to hear your experience of it.
#11 Feb 12th, 2014, 21:10
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#11
The essence of India, in a photograph and in prose.
#12 Feb 12th, 2014, 21:21
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#12
I am a bit stunned Vishva picked the photo to write about.... considering I have almost 10 years of photos here from 7 previous trips! I think there are a few more good ones!

thanks, Vishva!
#13 Feb 12th, 2014, 22:01
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#13
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sama View Post too bad there was no sparrow in the shot to steal crumbs as they were doing!
That would've been perfect !

Lovely picture, but totally loved the tailor in Goa as well



:brishti
#14 Feb 12th, 2014, 22:30
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#14
It is said that a picture speaks a thousand words, here the picture and the words really complement each other, both would probably be incomplete without the other.
#15 Feb 13th, 2014, 03:05
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#15
It has such excellent lighting. Most kitchens are so dark and even uninviting..


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