Isn't it beautiful? I love Naan. I have existed on Naan alone at times in my life. Like the time we drove five hours from New Delhi to Jaipur and stopped on the 'highway' to get something to eat, I waited until I knew I could get Naan. The time when the lunch menu in the tent city convention hall was suspect, I would look for the Naan vendor. Naan, I love it. However, I need practice, much practice. The lady at Spices of India, an ethnic grocery store in Tulsa-yes, I said Tulsa, said that cooking Indian food Easy. Baking Indian bread Not Easy.

I am currently working on a traditional Indian dish that will be perfect to cook in my Crock Pot. I made the dish, on the stove, last night and my family loved it. However, it is a little time consuming and I think it would be even better if the chicken could cook all day in the spices. Wow!! If you could have smelled my kitchen last night, Amazing, and in a good way. Just a hint I used these ingredients and ground them up in my coffee grinder.

The smell, the fragrance, it was perfect. It reminded me of all the good things about India. I loved the food, I liked the Le Meridian in New Delhi, I loved the Turkish Steam Baths that are available in the hotels. I also liked many of the vendors I dealt with and I liked Indian design.

However, the smell of India, the country, is something I am not too fond of, which is too bad because it is impossible to get the smell off of anything you take to India for a very.long.time. even a book. The only way I have to describe it is to imagine burning trash or a smoldering landfill with cooking smells and fuel exhaust mixed in. Lovely huh?

The best was checking into my hotel room in Jaipur around Midnight, opening the door and immediately thinking the toilet had backed up. I set my bags down and looked out the window. I found the source of the smell. My room was a corner room that overlooked the tash lot. Cows, dogs, and people were rummaging about, YUM! I remember that night because I actually broke down and cried because I still had SEVENTEEN more days to go before I flew back to the states. I called my friend LouAnn and cried to her, telling her I could not go on, I was not going to make it. Oh, the dramatics of jet lag!

I never did go to tourist areas since I was there to visit factories and potential vendors. Maybe that is why the smells were so strong, I was where the people of India actually lived and worked.

I got to go to a leather tanning factory where they made high end design leather products for Donna Karan, Ralph Lauren, Stetson, etc. The offices were nice but touring the factory? I would give anything to have taken pictures but I think I was a little freaked out. We had gotten stuck on a small street just before arriving to this leather tanning factory due to a festival float going down the same street. We were unable to turn around because we were boxed in by large container trucks. It was my Black Hawk Down moment. Let's just say they were not happy we were there.

My trips to India were wonderful experiences for me. It broadened my outlook on cultures, food, customs, and product design. I always looked forward to the Indian food and at the same time was anxious to get to China for the more structured environment. But how many people can say they fed a monkey that was sitting on the Ancient Red Wall in New Delhi, India?

He spit at me by the way....but it could have been worse.

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