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February 27, 2008 - Varanasi, India

Written by GingerBlossom Published in
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My Grandmother Perry (AKA G'ma P, pronounced Gee-ma pea) wrote letters almost exclusively about what she'd had to eat. When she'd send me money for my birthday, my thank you note back would have a detailed description of the restaurant meal that I'd bought with birthday money - I thought that she'd enjoy it vicariously.

So forgive my tendencies to write about road meals, I'm trying to curb that. However, last night's feast certainly deserves mention. The dinner's honoree, Shiv Kumar Sharma, India's leading Santoor master, was well feted with a banquet at Varanasi's top hotel, the Taj Ganges. Aloo dum banarasi, dal tadka, tandoori roti, khichdi, paneer masala - a plethora of wheat free and meat free dishes, hot, spicy, savory, yum yum yum. As the only westerner in attendence, some of the people were concerend that I wouldn't like the food - HA - stand back, it was delicious, everything that I ate, 2nds included. Meals are a tad pricey at my hotel, so what a treat to be able to sample such a variety, and service was impeccable.