We had a slow morning (you hear that a lot from us, don’t you!?) with breakfast in the usual place – I love the fruit musli with fresh coconut milk the Millets of Mewar are offering so much. We still wanted to visit the gallery of Rajesh Soni, so that was our plan for the first half of the day. We went to the gallery just on time to witness Rajesh, his brother, his father, who is a photographer too, dealing with a salesman of antiquities. The salesman had brought several old cameras, few bicycle lights and a mini-retro fan. The items for sale were traveling form hand to hand receiving comments from everyone involved. It took about 40 minutes for the family men to make the decision. It was a successful day for the salesman, as well as for the Soni family who claims to have largest collection of old cameras in India. Also the largest camera by size, one that fills a whole room. We did not understand much of their negotiations, but it was fun to watch how every item was examined and commented by the men of the family.
After Rajesh invited us for a chai. Guess where! – The same place we have had chai every single day we have been in Udaipur. So we sat there with Rajesh and his friend King, a designer of costumes and interiors, sipping chai and observing the street life from the other side. It was strange to hear the comments on tourists, knowing that we are “them”. It was a real pleasure to meet Rajesh. He is a great photographer and a great person, who is very open to share his opinions and his lessons of photography and business.
A fun fact – on our village tour we also visited a photo studio set up in one of the villages. Guess whose studio it was! Yes, it was a studio that Rajesh had set up with his friend. Rajesh was very surprised to learn that we had been there.
One of the things that I still wanted to do before leaving Udaipur was a cooking class. Why? Because I know very little (to be honest nothing at all) about Indian cuisine. Cooking classes are offered almost by every guest house in town. So you can have some hard time picking one.
After few days of doubt (since we were staying Udaipur for several days, we had the luxury to take time for picking our activities) I finally decided to go for a class with our favourite restaurant in town – Millets of Mewar.
It is not the cheapest option in town, but their concept of cuisine and the quality of meals reflects very much the way I like to cook. Plus you get to spend time with the great guys who are running the place!:)
We could pick 5 dishes from the menu. As we are far from being experts in the Indian dishes, Manoj and Sunny (THE guys of Millets of Mewar) helped us to make a nice combination.
We both (me & Stijn) took part in the class. So we had the chance to cut and rasp, to stir and fry and in the end taste the result.
One of my conclusions after the class is that Indians LOVE onions. My stomach is not the biggest fan of onions so back home I will have to experiment with modifications. You can not learn much on a 2 hour class, but I discovered some new spices, like black cardamon, and learned few tricks about frying.