Wednesday, December 16, 2009

A proper tourist must shoot cows and spices

This is my first trip to India and I have failed to take proper tourist photos yet as we've been so busy working on the Indigo show. I'm staying in the home of my artistic collaborator, Shelly Jyoti, so when we aren't working on the show, were eating!

For the sake of my family back in Chicago, here is my weak attempt at being a tourist today:
A while back, Shelly decided that we'd make a video about our collaboration. If it were not enough to jump into the new medium of textiles for me, I'm attempting to figure out how to make a video. I came to India with a pile of footage which I've edited and now we've shot artist interviews and footage from the preview. Here we are in route to the videographer's studio. We were up late last night working on the script and story boarding and picking out shots.
Based on the Lonley Planet version of India, I feel that a proper tourist must shoot cows and spices. I'll get a better shot of the cows later but I promised my daughter, Midori, that I'd show her what they look like here. They wander the streets during the day and make their way home to their owners each night.
Shelly is teaching me how to cook. She's originally from the north so we are eating both Punjabi food but also the local Gujarti food. Everything is vegetarian, of course, and you always start with spices (usually cuman seeds along with garlic paste with chillies, and onions).

One of the dishes for lunch today was paneer with chillies. She usually serves dahl or a soup, rice or chapati (they make the best really thin chipatis), a salad of fresh veggies sliced up (always fresh tumeric) that are served with lime and masala, and a vegetable dish like aloo gobi or saag paneer. This is served with chili pastes, sauces, relishes etc. There is always chai or milk and a sweet. One morning for breakfast she made halva and a south indian breakfast dish called "upma." There have been many variations on chipatis that they have cooked as well. Shelly makes her own masala mixture that makes her food has an original flavor (very delicious)! So I've only been going back and forth from the dinner table to the gallery but it's an amazing way to see Baroda so far.

Gujarati snack dish "handva" - made from rice and pulse paste with water gourd, ginger, garlic, green chilies, salt, turmeric, mustard seed and sesame seeds
stir fried peas and carrots mixed with cilantro (notice that the carrots are red)

Gram dal - oil and cumin seeds, chopped onion, tomato, garlic, ginger, salt and turmeric, garnish with cilantro, green chilies

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