Tuesday, March 25, 2008

I am a Kashmiri

I am a Kashmiri was a leitmotif and a source of pride in the life of the extraordinary Indian stateswoman Indira Gandhi, whose biography I just read...
As a tribute to Indira's beloved Kashmir I thought I'd post on one of my favorite treats, Kashmiri tea. I first had it during a trip to Ladakh, in the Indian Himalayas. This regal, sugar-packed drink blends green tea and many spices, of which precious cardamon is my favorite. I keep my Kashmiri tea mix in a sleek wood box. What's your favorite spice?

In her memoir (worth reading!) Under My Skin, which I read last week, Doris Lessing says few novels can rival with well-researched, well-written biographies, and I may agree... My interest in historical bios was sparked by a gift, Carmen Cahill's excellent Bad Faith, on the life of the loathsome Darquier, a Frenchman who fervently promoted the German agenda in occupied France during WW2.
After Bad Faith, I read bios focusing primarily on the lives of incredible women: Anne Somerset's Elizabeth I, Caroline Weber's Queen of fashion (on Marie-Antoinette), Amanda Foreman's Georgiana and finally, Katherine Frank's Indira. All are remarkable reads.

15 comments:

Cris Lazoru said...

I really like the photo with the books.

C.

A World in a PAN said...

I don't think I have a favorite spice, I love how spices change food, each one in a different way. I'm experimenting right now Sumak, brought to me from Turkey.
I have not done Kashmiri tea for a while and after having seen your picture and read your post, I feel like making some this afternoon. Green Kashmiri tea, brown sugar, saffron filaments, cinnamon sticks, cardamom grains ...I can taste it already.

marie said...

i love cinommen and fresh nutmeg..i sprinkle them on almost everything ;) nice post!

Esti said...

As for the bios, I read only rock bios for a couple of years. Then I had enough and move on to novels and art books again. So I'm afraid I cannot recomend any historical bio, but I enjoyed Frida Khalo's a lot.

pve design said...

Great minds think alike, I shall be posting Carmen Callil's desk as part of my desk vignettes, and "Bad Faith" is sitting on my night-table for reading.
I am reading "Fearless" by Arianna Huffington. Finding it a powerful and inspirational read.
I love "Mint" and I also love Turmeric, it is great for soar throats and delightful with honey.
Love "Jasmine" Tea.
Send me your desk vignette!

Jill said...

Hey, I am reading Anne Somerset's Elizabeth I right now! It's so good. I'll have to try some of these others in your pile as well. Kashmiri tea sounds delicious...

Snobber said...

tea and books. it doesn't get much better than that. my favorite loose tea is the orange black tea from taylors of harrogate, which i have a tough time finding here in new york--the places that do carry it don't have the right flavor, ever. ugh.

thanks for the recommendations. i'm always looking for a good lizzy biography. xo

Arlene said...

Your photo of the books is wonderful. You can see the worn spines and imagine someone devoured each page. I found your site through PVE and I'm so enjoying it. What a wonderful and full life you seem to have!!

mansuetude said...

that tea sound wonderful, one of my students from Samalia brought me a bag of spices, to taste my coffee her way--very similiar. the book sounds wonderful. thanks.

ambika said...

I enjoyed Georgiana but I think was going into it with more of a school girls desire for scandal--after all, she had a long term menage a trois and I can recall being a bit saddened by how dryly this was all related. Of course, the writer had her own motives for wanting to approach the subject of her life with as much seriousness as possible. And perhaps now, if I read it again, I wouldn't mind.

chloe van paris said...

i would like to drink this Kashmiri tea with you.The box is lovely.My favorite teas are chinese green teas.
Safron & Cinnamon are the best spices.

design for mankind. said...

OH I love this vignette!!! :)

La minuscule exposition said...

beautiful blog!! je reviendrai...

Mary-Laure said...

Tumeric! Saffron! Nutmeg!
Thanks for sharing those flavors and fragrances with me in these comments!

iñaki said...

I love people who recommend books! :) I can't get enough but I find it difficult sometimes to find something interesting!
Thanx for the hep!
and loved the photos! :)

xx