Monday, July 30, 2012


On Saturday, a couple weeks ago, Karthik took us for a drive a couple hours outside of Bangalore, on the road to Mysore.

Channapatna is the little town that is kind of famous for wooden arts and crafts, especially toys.

It was fun to see what was there, but it wasn't quite what we expected.  Not sure exactly what we expected, of course.

 This is a pretty little park near the lake, or now, dry pond.

 This used to be a lake, but due to the drought happening now in this area, there is no water.

 Shopping in the Karnataka Toys Emporium

 I should have taken more photos of the toys, some of which were really cool.
There's not much traffic here in Channapatna.

Out for a walk in Bangalore

We love Bangalore and we wanted to go out for a walk one day, for no reason.

These are some things we saw out walking for 2 hours.

 This park is over on Double Road right here in Indiranagar.
 It's beautiful to walk here, but we like Defence Colony Park better for running.
 You can see how big the trees are compared to Elder Wigg.
 I love symmetry.
 This is Double Road.
 This area is New Tippisandra, a market area on the other side of Defence Colony.
 A toy store, as you can see.

 How fun to have flags up and flying!
 Here is a small fresh fruit market, with their wares nicely displayed.

 And the flower vender with lovely wedding garlands for sale. The white jasmine in the center of the picture costs about 15 rupees (or sometimes 10) for the length from your fingers to your elbow.
 Local dry goods sales
 We turned up this street, away from the market area into some residential area and after about half an hour, we were lost.  We ended up having to ask directions back to 80 Feet Road.  Finally we wound our way back to an area we were familiar with.  It was fun.

Yes, this is still in Bangalore!  
Everywhere you look are interesting sights, like the goat herd and goatherder!  It's so funny and unique!

Sunday, July 29, 2012

How to make Chicken Biryani

There are so many wonderful foods in India.

I was fortunate to be able to watch Sister Kumar prepare the meal for us on Saturday night.

I watched, took notes and pictures of the preparation.  
Here are the things that I learned.

 First the predetermined amount of rice (about 3 cups), rinsed, is put to soak with plenty of water.  The cilantro (leaves) are ready, washed.
 Usha chops about 3 medium red onions into large pieces, not too small.
 The kitchen is very clean, well organized and neat with lots of well designed shelves.
 Here are the chopped onions, (4 or more) tomatoes and garlic & ginger paste ready for beginning.
 The onions are fried in a little oil with ghee (clarified butter).  It smells so good.  Some hot chilli peppers are added, halved.
 Next go in the spices: bay leaves, cardamom pods, cinnamon sticks, whole cloves and 1 spice that Usha didn't know in English.  I will have to research that one.
 Next goes in the ginger & garlic paste.  That's pretty spicy but absolutely wonderful.
 Tomatoes are added next.
 Usha and her mom are cooking together in the kitchen.
 Next the chilli powder and cilantro are added.  Mmm, now it's really smelling amazing!
 That cooks up a little bit.
 The cut-up chicken breasts are added with a little bit of water and it simmers for a few minutes.
 Lastly, you add the soaked and drained rice with the correct amount of water (about 4 cups) and continue to cook.
 Grandma & Milsha
 Everything is in, and it's boiling at a hard boil.
 This is some chicken curry (gravy) that was made earlier, also for the meal.
 Usha likes to pressure cook for 1 blow of the compressed air.  Then the heat is turned off and it sits for a while, then it's done. You can just simmer for about 20 minutes, stirring occasionally if you'd prefer.  There is some cilantro saved to add after cooking.  

It tastes so good!  

For dessert we had gulab jamun and noodle pudding.  It was good, too.

I will need to practice as they are coming for dinner on the 11th and I am making Indian food for them.

 A friend came over with a laptop to try to view the photos from the temple trip to Hong Kong, but the disk wouldn't work on his computer.  It worked at the photo studio where they had some prints made.
 Elder & Sister Wigg, so full after a great dinner!

Usha's Mother, Milsha, Kumar, Usha and Rexzina - The Kumar Family

Thanks for the great dinner and instructions!  I love to learn and cooking is one of my favorite things to do here in India!

1 New Elder

President Gutty set apart 1 missionary not too long ago in Hyderabad.

 Elder Bangari was the first Elder to be set apart by a Stake President in India.
I thought this was noteworthy.  Unfortunately, Elder Bangari will be serving his mission in Delhi, not here in the India Bangalore Mission.  Too bad for us, we'd love to have him here.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Empire Buffet

We went to lunch at Empire Buffet with the Elders one day.  Mmm, spicy Indian cuisine!

 The buffet is very good, very hot and very cheap.
Elder Sommer, Elder Sharma, Elder Vinck, Elder Oraon
 We walked back to the office and it is a lovely walk.  Bangalore trees are huge and beautiful.
We often walk on the street between the parked cars and the traffic as the street is paved, smooth and easy to navigate.
The Assistants hopped an auto back to their apartment but the rest of us walked.