37 Asian Odysseys [including 5 in India]
full story at NYTimes.com
The World’s Most Beautiful Buildings
The Golden Temple, Amritsar, India
This most sacred Sikh shrine sits in the middle of what was once a wooded lake. The Buddha came here to meditate, and so did Guru Nanak, the founder of the Sikh faith, some 2,000 years later. The Harimandir, or “Temple of God,” was built and destroyed many times before the current version was erected in the late 1700s. The radiance of this gilded building, a mixture of Hindu and Muslim architectural styles, is amplified by reflections in the surrounding water and the devotional music that emanates from the temple day and night.
Night Owls Welcome: The temple is open 20 hours a day, from 6 a.m. to 2 a.m. daily, and is illuminated (and especially lovely) at night.
viaTravel + Leisure
A Daal Festival
I remember when I first attempted to cook something with daal in it in India. I expected it to be fairly simple, because after all daal is lentils, right? Yet, even my simplest cook book left me totally confused. One dish called for moong daal, one dish called for channe ki daal, and one more called for tuar daal. And another dish called for all three types of daal, plus masoor daal. I was totally clueless. Back home we commonly just have lentils and chickpeas (channa). Those names cover it all. I didn’t even have any idea what all these Indian varieties of daal were supposed to look like. The recipe book had some descriptions that confused me further. Tuar daal was yellow lentils. Moong daal was split yellow lentils. And channa daal was yellow split gram lentils. Huh? Somehow I managed to muddle through it. But today I discovered that there so many more types of daal than what I ever suspected. The local supermarket is holding a daal festival, and I counted an astonishing 25 types of daal (including channa and rajma) on display. I wouldn’t even know where to begin with cooking it all!
via Diary of a White Indian Housewife
^This is an awesome blog. Be sure to check it out!