Sarika takes us through enchanting Udaipur, its palaces, and forts, the many tales of valour, the controversy surrounding a film, Padmavati. She shares a yummy Rajasthani cuisine, Laal Maans, in the weekly column, exclusively for Different Truths.
Rajasthan is news these days because of the Padmavati controversy. Well, though the movie is yet to be released, I am going to watch it for sure, just for Sanjay Leela Bhansali. We first visited the Pink City in Rajasthan in 2010. I used to wonder why Jaipur is called the Pink City. Later, I came to know because of the royal pink buildings. A beautiful historical city where in every corner there is art. Every wall narrates some story and the rich food is just incomparable!
This year, during the autumn-break our son, decided to go for a school trip, so we two also packed our bags. I wanted to see Ahmadabad, but Mrinal, my husband’s vote was for Udaipur. So I suggested let’s go solo. My husband was not ready. He said, “Ek songe jabo (will go together) unless it is a business trip.”
Finally, we reached the non-alcoholic city Ahmedabad. I would like to mention I have visited all the states of India. We saw in and around of the city and the mesmerising light and sound show in Akshardham Temple was enchanting. We wandered around to witness the infrastructure of the state. One of the chauffeurs also informed us they have never experienced power outages in their lifetime. It is evident that it is one of the best states in the country. Women are free to ride their two-wheelers at 2 AM. It was Navaratri time, every corner was decked up very bright and was colourful. I read in newspapers that during this time of the year, the highest number of condoms were sold. The city is filled with bold, beautiful, aware, and brave young couples. They know what it is to be safe.
Our next destination was Udaipur, a dream city in the middle of the Pichola Lake. Some even call it the Venice of India. It is surrounded by traditions, culture, and handicrafts. The city ushered us with beauteous sunsets. We explored many monuments, palaces, and gardens with a royal touch everywhere.
We also visited the Kumbhalgarh Fort. It impressed me a lot. After that, I did some research on Mewar history. It is rich, especially the bravery of Maharana Pratap and Rana Kumbha. To see each and every corner of the fort you definitely need three days. But we had to return to other commitments of life.
I have visited several forts in my life, but I would rank Kumbhalgarh as one of the best forts in India. A must visit in Rajasthan. It is in the southern part of Rajasthan, which is about 80 km from Udaipur.
We returned home with so many fond memories, and I called it the second Honeymoon. As we discussed so much about Udaipur, let me share one of the famous Rajasthani cuisines.
Preparation Time: 10 mins Cooking Time:1 hour
Mutton – 1.5kg
Cinnamon sticks-3 whole
Chilli powder-5tbsp (roasts and paste)
Turmeric powder- 2tbsp
Coriander powder- 2tbsp
Heat ghee in a pressure cooker.
Add bay leaves, cinnamon, and cardamom
Add chopped onions, salt and cook until golden brown.
Now, add mutton and toss very well until it is golden brown.
Add yogurt mixture and stir well.
Add in some water and mix in with uniformly and simmer on medium to low heat for an hour and a half or pressure cook for five whistles, and simmer the flame and cook for 10 mins.
It is ready to serve.
©Sarika Sarkar Das
Photos by the author
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A teacher, day dreamer, random experimental cook and some hit and miss photography, and at last love to call myself a full time mother.