Happy Diwali! I’ve had some sad news recently, so it’s hard to get into the mood for celebrations, but celebrate we must. Most of my celebrations shown here, took place before the recent sad event, so I am just sharing with you as a way of trying to get over some of my pain. As you may know, Diwali is known as the Festival Of Lights, and it signifies good over evil, light over darkness, and knowledge over ignorance. May Diwali shine it’s light on my family, and yours. May the Goddess Lakshmi shower us with her love and blessings. If for some reason, the link does not take you to the gif image of Lakshmi, you may see it here on my Pinterest Board.
Here are some pictures I took at the Diwali Mela in San Diego on October 24, 2015:
There were ever so many people there, these two pictures will give you a glimpse at part of the crowds, both during daylight and at night – it was packed!
These girls had a very interesting costume, especially the head gear, but it certainly looked nice and colorful!
Here, they are dancing with the dandia sticks. It’s a South Indian dance I believe.
There were all kinds of dances, even hip hop!
Also, there were American girls dancing to Bollywood music. I think they did a pretty good job.
Here’s a video of their dance:
Here is a video that includes a variety of the performances.
Unfortunately, I could not include all of the performances or show the entirety of each performance. I hope you like the videos, and I hope you like the pictures.
I also hope you will candles, and illuminate your home with just candlelight later this evening. Remember, let light prevail over darkness.
Don’t forget to eat some Indian food – how could you not when it’s Diwali! I have some virtual food and drink just for you! Here’s naan bread with lentils, chicken curry, rice and raita (Indian yoghurt).
I love samosas, you can’t enjoy Diwali without samosas, or at least I think so.
You might even want to have a special dish of mine – my very favorite, and of course it’s a Punjabi dish – Makhi Di Roti (bread made from corn meal/corn flour) and Saag (spinach)! You must give this one a try!
After this, you must have sweets. You must have burfi (can’t even describe how delicious they are – Indian fudge is the closes I can get to it, and oh, how I love fudge!). Then there’s gulab jamun (syruppy goodness) and jalebi (sticky and syruppy goodness).
You might want to try kheer, which is basically a delicious rice pudding dish – it is a little less sweet than the jalebi and gulab jamun. Sorry about the quality of this picture.
Want more sweets? I knew you would!
Then, if you’re like me, you’ll have to wash the sweets down with a delicious cup of chai.
Now, hopefully that was a nice Diwali, some pictures, some entertainment, some food, some sweets and some tea!
Guess what? For the first time ever, we have been given the day off for Diwali in the USA and they didn’t even know they were giving us the day off for our special holiday! They thought they were giving us a day off for Veterans Day, well….I am very glad that we have Veterans Day! Thank you to all those who served, and made this day possible so that we could all be off together, and celebrate away from work! Please can we make Veterans Day next year be on Diwali too? Please? I don’t think it will happen again, as Diwali is on different days, sometimes in October, and sometimes in November. Still, it doesn’t hurt to ask or wish for it…….please, let it be on a holiday again, or better still – give us Diwali off (wishful thinking)!!! Anyway, must go and enjoy Diwali now. Happy Veterans Day, and Happy Diwali!
Indian food generally does not taste that great here in Indian restaurants in America. I think part of that reason is that Americans are not as used to Indian food as let’s say people in the UK are. There, the Indian restaurants are spectacular. They’re not afraid to make the food spicy there, and don’t make it bland to cater to other tastes. Also, where I grew up – we used to invite our English neighbors all the time to events, or even to our homes, and give them a taste of Indian food – which they seemed to love. Everyone seemed to know what a samosa was or what a chapatti or naan bread is.
Alas, over here, not only do people not know about Indian food, the food generally is more bland, and I believe it is that way because it caters to American tastes. There are exceptions – there’s a great place that I go to that is not that fancy, but it has really good Punjabi khadi – one of my favorite dishes. Then there are other places that if you eat from the menu, and not from the lunch buffet – the food can have more flavor.
Well, now I am happy to report that I found a great Indian restaurant that just opened up. It’s the Royal India restaurant on Miramar Road in San Diego. The food is tasty, and even a little spicy as it should be. I knew I had to go to this restaurant fairly quickly from it’s opening, and I’m so happy that I went there yesterday. Here are some pictures.
This picture came out a little fuzzy – by the way, I took all the pictures with my smart phone – my Note 3.
Okay, so first thing you have to do when you go to an Indian restaurant is start off with some appetizers such as samosas or pakoras, both fried – but very delicous. Pakoras are vegetables, and spices that are encased in a batter that is fried. Samosas are pastries stuffed with spiced potatoes, and vegetables. I absolutely love samosas, and sometimes rate the restaurant based upon it’s samosas.
These samosas were fairly good, but the sauces were the best. There was a tamarind sauce that you just always have to have with samosas, and a mint chutney, a mango chutney, and a Royal India house chilli sauce. Oh, my gosh…..these sauces were all delicious, and when I finished the appetizers – I had to spoon up the sauces until my plate was clean!
I wish I had taken a picture of the buffet station with all the main entrees in it, but I didn’t, so all I can provide you is my plate piled high with delicious food – there was chilli chicken, chicken curry, two kinds of rice, saag (spinach) which I absolutely love, lentil curry and sholay or channa daal (chick peas). Of course there were other items that I could not put on my plate – such as chicken tikka masala, lamb kheema, and a few other dishes. They brought baskets of naan bread to the table – one had plain naan, and one had garlic naan – this is not usual that you get two assortments of naan at a buffet, so it was quite nice.
Chandi loves fruit, so she was eager to get to dessert, and loved the fruit salad.
I loved the Gulab Jamun which is a delciously sweet dessert – very sticky and syruppy is all I can say!
But, I had to get a little of the mango mousse (which was delicious, the kheer (rice pudding with milk) and a bit of the fruit too.
Then I felt like Royal-tea (literally) when they brought me the chai – I love to have tea made the Indian way – perhaps I should save that description for another day.
Niki and Luca loved it here too, as did Chandra shown in our family picture towards the bottom.
Here we all are after our stomachs are full.
This restaurant is really classy, and very elegant. It has chandeliers, and a bar!
It has separate rooms which you can book for your parties, and they also do Bollywood events and hold functions here. In fact, we were told about a Bollywood party that is going to be taking place this Friday at 8:30 to 1 am. I am tempted to go as I do like Bollywood and also Bhangra. Look at this beautiful room which is off to one side from the main dining room.
This place is really big – I think I heard it holds up to 561 people, and it has ample parking. I
I felt right at home here, and loved the music playing in the background. It was music from popular Hindi songs without the words – very classy. I can’t wait to go back to Royal India, and will definitely try one of their Bollywood events soon. I’m pretty sure they will hold a Punjabi Dance Party similar to one that I attended in the UK last year. Here’s my video of that just incase you want to see it.
Well, here’s to Punjabi dance parties and to Bollywood parties, and also to Indian food. See you next time.
I miss British food. I know many people think that British food is bland, but if you grew up with it – you wouldn’t think that. When someone told me to try a place called Capetown Pub/Restaurant on Miramar Road, and mentioned they have fish and chips and all kinds of savory pies, I was quite excited, but never did I imagine that this new discovery would be so good.
Here’s what I ordered -pie and chips! Not just any pie, but chicken curry pie and quite delicious- I must say.
The chips actually were chips – the British kind – and not just thin tasteless fries. I was in heaven! Additionally, there was vinegar – Heinz Malt Vinegar – to drown the chips in- but since they were so good, I didn’t drown them!
Here’s a look at their menu
The only problem is deciding what to get as I wanted the samoosas, which must be like the Indian samosas, and my little girl wanted the chicken curry and rice. I also wanted the fish and chips. In the end, we opted to share the pie and chips.
You must be wondering what the restaurant looks like. Here are a few pictures:
There’s a few pictures of Nelson Mandela on the walls and the music playing reminded me of UB40 – one of my favorite groups from the UK. There are at least seven TV screens showing sports, including cricket of course.
Even though I was full, I could not resist dessert, especially when I found out that the one recommended had custard in it on top of a thin layer of sponge cake. It’s called “Milktert” – basically a Milktart, but should have been called Custard Tart or something like that – it was heavenly, delicious, yummy…..I should stop there. The other options were Brandy Tart with custard which I had wanted, and another one that was a sponge cake with coconut. All the desserts sounded wonderful.
Here’s the Milktert
Oh, I forgot to mention that all that delicious cold custard had cinnamon sprinkled on it. I was very tempted to get a cup of tea to go with my pudding, but resisted – not sure why. Anyway, if you crave South African food or British food, perhaps even Indian food….and you enjoy a modern, even trendy setting and tasty food – then give this place a try.