Dec 092013

FINALLY had kulfi.  Saffron Kulfi to boot.
Kulfi is traditionally prepared by evaporating sweetened and flavoured milk via slow cooking, with almost continuous stirring to keep milk from sticking to the bottom of the huge pot.  It is stirred until it has been reduced by half, so it is thick and has a higher fat, protein and lactose density.  It has a distinctive taste due to caramelization of lactose and sugar during the cooking process. It is then poured into these sort of triangular shaped molds and frozen.
When we were driving through the country they pointed out the Guar that was growing, and stated it was used in ice cream making in India – LIGHT BULB – I had been wondering what the recognizable, powdery, vanilla flavor was in all their ice cream but couldn’t put my finger on it.  One taste mystery solved.
Then we had Chikki – this is really similar to Joyva Sesame Crunch that we get in the U.S., but here it is more sesame seed than hardened sugar syrup.  
The last was at a Jain Restaurant (more on that later).  This was noodle pudding, or seviyan, and looks just like it sounds.  Noodles cooked slowly in sugar syrup.
Today – December 9th, we left Jodhpur and headed for Udaipur.  It was a very, very long trip.  It was however, broken up by a trip to Ranakpur. 

Ranakpur is a Jain Temple.   The temple was founded in the 6th century BC.  Jain is  based on a doctrine of non-violence towards All living things. It is not a religion in the sense that there is no central god, or a central type of worship.  However, they do have temples, and elders and lots of other practices, not something I am going to go into here.  
Ranakpur is jaw dropping, breath taking and impossible to believe.  Another Indian spot that photos will not do justice.  Mother has been to Ankor Wat, and this place is 500 years younger and somewhat fashioned on Ankor Wat, but she said this is far, far more spectacular.
The temple is all marble.  Inside is a literal forest of pillars, everyone carved differently.  There are domes of marble with intricate carvings, it is just, again, impossible to fathom.   
One last thing for today.  Driving through the farm land our guide stopped when we ran across a Persian well.  Some farms are so small that purchasing electric pumps just doesn’t make sense so they still get their water through oxen and old fashioned pump mechanisms.
These wells feature an ox-driven pump where the ox walks in circles around a central drive shaft which turns a wheel that raises water via a chain of buckets from the well. 
With that I will leave you with a new type of monkey that is found in the hillsides. This fellow is a Langur Monkey