Todays Kamma-Manhattan adventure included getting a six dollar haircut and paying four dollars for the supplies to make Christmas dinner. It also included exploring the only “organic” store in Bangalore.
If you come to Bangalore India and expect to eat healthy you are in for quite a challenge!
For the first nine days of our stay here I was TERRIBLE. I ate every Butter Chicken set in front of me and more Paleek Paneer filled goodness than you could count on one hand! I also pigged out on Coconut Rice and found myself way more addicted than normal to liver; Masala Style Chicken Livers that is, cooked with Saffron and Curry Leaves. I also ate so many delicious plates of Chapatis and Kerala Style Coin Parathas!
I had no shame.
I also had no veggies besides the Paleek Paneer and if you maybe count the few veggies in every dish. Does coconut (As in coconut milk) count as a veggie? Now that it’s almost two weeks later and I find myself struggling through my morning workout, drenched with sweat in our ninety degree apartment living room. I feel like I’m sweating out every inch of Ghee, Coconut Milk and Liver.
This morning my boyfriends sister and brother in law took me first to get a haircut. Which took twenty minutes and six dollars. Compare that to a three hour waste of my time in the U.S. and at least fifty U.S. dollars. I walked out of the salon very happy with much shorter and lighter hair in the warm India December heat.
Than Benji helped me barter for some coconut oil and chickpea flour (Which I paid around two U.S. dollars for. Would have been about fifteen dollars at home) Than on to another grocery store to purchase milk, curd and figs drenched in honey. (Three U.S. dollars) I couldn’t get a gallon of milk for that price in the United States! I was sad though that I couldn’t find any goat cheese to go with my figs drenched in honey.
There are so many goats every where on the streets of this nation! There must be goats cheese somewhere, right?
That was a unique experience. They did have organic produce. It was all completely moldy and covered in flies (But still for sale!) There were a few pieces that did look slightly edible but they were not things I was looking to buy (Big ass carrots and lady fingers and some banana gourds)
I was very tempted to take some photos inside the store but the veggies were just so gross looking, I didn’t want the store keepers to yell at me or think I was judging them! I felt like a very spoiled American looking at the best of what India has to offer when it comes to organic produce. I also felt really bad that people are stuck with all the pesticide laced non-organic foods you find everywhere in this country.
I felt like my boyfriends family thought I was a wacko for even wanting to go check out the organic grocery store. This is just a country where health food is not a big deal (yet) and just putting a meal on the table every night is a privilege not a right.
Being in India and experiencing the poverty, the trash and the filth first hand really makes you think about all the things we take for granted as Americans each and every day. (Like organic produce and the ability to shop at stores like Target and Costco and buy all our grocery and toiletry goods in one fell swoop)
There are a lot of terrible things to be said about India but I do enjoy walking to the corner vegetable stand each and every morning (Even if it’s not organic) I paid eighty cents U.S. for all this produce this a.m.
Now on to making my dish for our Christmas Eve potluck party, Sweet Potato Pakoras.
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