On Saturday we headed out to the Andhra restaurant we've been to several times. This time we were going for the biriani instead of the traditional meal of several curries and rice served on a banana leaf. The banana leaf is still there, but the biriani comes in its own steel bowls. I had egg biriani and the others all had the mutton. It was a lot of rice; I ate barely half of mine. But it was delicious, a variation of the Hyderabad style. There are two main types of biriani in India, northern Lucknow-Mogul and Hyderabad. They all have rice slow-cooked with lots of spices and, usually, meat.
Across the street is a sweet shop that I remembered from the last visit. It is the only place that I've ever seen mango barfi, and they still had it. So delicious! Barfi is a popular Indian sweet made from khoya -- milk cooked down until it is nearly solid -- and sugar. Many different flavors are added, often pistachios or other nuts. I've had a dark chocolate one that was wonderful. I got 250 grams of the mango, and we all ate it down. If I'm lucky, I'll get there one more time while we are here.
We stopped for Dan and Mahesh to pick up some of their friend Old Monk. Nina, Dhruv and I went into a supermarket across the street to look for some special sweets that Dan wanted to take along to the South. This picture is for my India-related friends from the 60s-70s-80s. Having a store like this available was unthinkable when we lived here.
In the late afternoon we drove across the Ring Road (no walking!) to a new park. It is quite large, has a lot of trees, and there were quite a few people out for an evening stroll, even though this picture doesn't show them. There are curbed walkways throughout and open field areas where some people were tossing balls and playing around.
Here are Nina and Dhruv posing for me. If you look closely, you can see the men ahead of us between them. The red shirt is one I brought as a gift for Dhruv. I think I picked well, as he didn't take it off for the entire weekend! (Today he goes back to school after a week's break, so he'll be back in his uniform.)
The moonrise was incredible. I took several pictures, but it was bright enough that this is the only one where it can be seen. This photo also shows some of the many trees in the park. So nice to have wooded areas in the middle of a big city.
Sunday was a lazier day. We walked to the apartment about 11:00. Dan was all packed up for his trip to visit several orphanages and a nursing school in the far south. He had his shoulder bag, a backpack and a borrowed duffle. Much of the contents include gifts for the sisters who will show him around. He also got eclair candies to hand out to the children in the orphanages.
The afternoon and early evening were spent watching the first India-New Zealand ODI cricket match. Dan has greatly enjoyed being able to see most of three full tests while we've been here. He and Nina are big fans, the others of us watched off and on. India won handily less than half an hour before the taxi was due to take him to the station -- great timing! (They also won all three tests, quite a feat, as NZ was ranked number one when they came.)
I went along in the taxi and was dropped at the hotel. The rest of this week will probably be quiet, as I entertain myself while Mahesh and Nina do their work (from home, so they'll be around).