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September 16, 2014

shopping in Kolkata: part I

I think this blog is evidence enough that I love to shop. Then again, so do a decent majority of other 21 year old girls. So it isn't that big of a surprise that one of my favorite parts of India were the street markets.

While we did do some shopping in Mumbai and Goa, Kolkata was my personal favorite. Probably because a) I'm pretty fluent in Bengali so the communication barrier wasn't too bad b) my parents are familiar with the markets so they were the perfect navigators (most of the time) c) I'm just partial to Kolkata in general since I have roots there.

The street markets were something I cherished as there's nothing I've been to in the US that's comparable. You can find practically everything there. From saris, electronics, fresh produce, school supplies, you name it-- you can probably find it. The fruit sold are soo fresh and unbelievably sweet. They had the best mangoes I've ever had. It's a struggle to eat mangoes in the US now because they're not even half as tasty!

Gariahat: I don't understand how this place only has 3 reviews on trip advisor cause this market is huge! My parents did the majority of our grocery shopping here, as it was very close to our flat, buying tons of fresh fruits and fish daily. Let me just say, the stereotype that Bengalis loooove fish (or maach) is very much true. But if you're brave enough to wander into the fish market, hats off to you for tolerating such an abhorrent scent. Aside from food you can find everything else I mentioned up above-- clothes, electronics, etc.










College street: As a self proclaimed lover of books, it was necessary that I visit the largest second-hand book market in the world. If you think the Strand in New York is impressive, you ain't seen nothing yet. The way the smaller stands are able to cram a large amount of books into such a small space is a wonder in itself. I have fond memories of visiting here when I was younger, picking out as many Tintin comic books as my mom would allow.

If you don't plan on leaving empty handed, I would recommend knowing what book you want beforehand. It isn't really a place to leisurely browse. If you're looking for something akin to a trip to your local Barnes and Noble, you should visit the iconic Oxford Bookstore on Park Street, which has been around since 1919.










As you can see, I have so many pictures just from two of the markets. And this is after cutting some out. So I decided to keep the rest for a second post. Until then!

September 13, 2014

rosemary infused blackberry + honey popsicles




In my quest to eat healthier, I've been making a lot of smoothies and popsicles this summer. With so many delicious fruits in season, they possibilities are endless. I played off this food52 recipe to make these rosemary infused blackberry + honey popsicles :)

Ingredients for 4 popsicles: 

1 6 oz. carton of blackberries
1/4 cup brown sugar
Generous pinch of white sugar
Squeeze of lemon
1/2 cup water
2 sprigs of rosemary
1+1/4 cup full fat plain yogurt (you might not need all of it)
Raw honey


Directions

1) First make a syrup. Bring the sugar, water, and rosemary to a boil. Stir and let the sugar dissolve. Put aside to let cool.

2) Put the berries in a pot over low-medium heat. Add the pinch of sugar and squeeze of lemon to help bring out the flavors and juices of the berries. Leave the berries on the stove for a few minutes to get them nice and plump.

3) Blend the berries, then put them through a strainer to get rid of the seeds.

4) Add 1/3-1/2 cup of yogurt to the berries. (I started off with 1/4 and ended up adding a few tablespoons).

5) Add the syrup by tablespoon to determine how sweet you want your pops to be.

6) Fill the popsicle holders about 3/4 up. Freeze for 2-3 hours so that it's not completely frozen.

7) Finally add the final layer-- made by mixing 1/2 cup plain yogurt with raw honey until you reach your desired sweetness. You may need to use more or less yogurt depending on how much juice you got out of your berries.

8) Freeze overnight, and voila, your pops are all done!



September 07, 2014

the long weekend

Over labor day weekend, my family and I did what people from Jersey do, went down the shore and went into the city. We were fortunate to catch the sun while at the beach but got caught in the storm while in New York.

Can I just say, I can't believe it's already a week into September? It feels like June was just yesterday.

P.s I just added Disqus so comments might be getting eaten for the next day or two

romper: urban outfitters (similar), vest: american eagle (similar), sweater: 525 america, shoes: free people, jewelry: Indian street markets