Uzbekistan – Samarkand (Part 3 of 3)

Our next stop was a Samarkand Bukhara Joint Venture Silk carpet factory. By the time we went there, it was lunch time, still the lady in charge, explained us the entire procedure.

The girls were busy weaving the carpets, knot by knot. A carpet with intricate design can easily take 3 to 6 months to complete. The carpets on display were treat for the eyes.


I was more impressed by the tapestries created by those girls. They were nothing short of paintings or I would even say digital photographs. Those things were reasonably priced too. (But still beyond my budget.)


I purchased some scarves and jackets there.



Our next stop was Shakhi Zinda Necropolis. Shakhi Zinda means “The living king’. (Yes, the same meaning of Zinda, as in Hindi). It is complex comprising of eleven mausoleums arranged on both sides of a narrow street. You climb 40 steps to reach this complex. These mausoleums were built around year 1379 to 1449.


The first one is imaginary grave of Kusam ibn Abbas, Prophet Muhammad’s Cousin. He came to Samarkand in year 640 and spend 13 years. He was killed by Zoroastrians while he was praying. Till today, it is believed that he is present there, hence the name.


This place is truly divine. On both sides of the narrow streets there are beautifully decorated entrances to the mausoleums. But the problem is, that the street is so narrow, that you can not take photo of any of them, from a distance. Nevertheless, these are my trials to capture the beauty.


It was my last day in Samarkand. I wanted to see the lit up beauties of Registan Complex. Hence we went their again. This time, there was hardly anybody on the complex and I could click them, the way I wanted.


Next day we caught a fast train to Tashkent. The station and the train, both were impressive. (The speed going up to 216 km per hour ). My last day in Tashkent was reserved only for shopping.



I purchased flower and vegetable seeds, dry fruits, spices. I even found a Baboshka (A Russian wooden doll)


I also walked the market street opposite Chorsu Bazar. (I was impressed by baby cradle with drainage arrangements.) My guide Shokhrukh had been giving me company, for all these days. I requested him to go home to spend time with his family. I walked the streets of Tashkent all alone.


And first time in my life, I overslept. Shokhrukh woke me up for my return flight. We rushed to the airport. When I approached the counters I came to know, that my Mumbai flight was cancelled. But the staff on duty was quick to make alternative arrangements for us. They put me on Delhi flight instead and made arrangements for my onward travel to Mumbai. The flight was held up for us. (Hence, we were rushed to the plane. I missed the last minute duty free shopping.) And let me tell you, I had the heaviest and the tastiest flight breakfast on this flight, comprising of 16 items, nothing less.


Till today, I am holding the memories of my wonderful holiday in Uzbekistan. They are as sweet as this lovely, Halwa.




Uzbekistan – Samarkand (Part 2 of 3)

The area of Registan ensemble is very large and many international cultural events are held there. From there we can walk towards Bibi Khanyam mosque. The road towards this mosque has many shops on both the sides. We had ice cream in one of those shops.


There is an Art gallery on the way. The building is actually modern, but seems very much from history.


From a distance you start noticing the ribbed dome of Bibi-khanyam mosque. Amir wanted to build the largest mosque for his wife (Bibi) from the enormous wealth he brought from India. The construction took 5 years to complete and it was completed in year 1404.


The rumor has that while Amir was away on another mission, during the construction period. Bibi and the engineer of this massive project, had fallen in love. When Amir came to know about this, both of them were killed.



The construction was too big for the technology of that era and soon started collapsing within few months of the construction. The site has some photographs showing the very bad condition it was found to be. However, what we see now is the carefully recreated version. The walls and domes are beautifully decorated now.


Just outside of this mosque, there is a large bazar. Fruits, vegetables and dry fruits are sold there, among other things.


From that place, distant snow clad mountains could be seen.


We returned to Hotel Orient Star.


The next day we visited Mausoleum of Imam al-Bukhari. (This is about 25 kms from Samarkand). This complex has great religious significance and is considered as mini-Haj (with other places in Uzbekistan).

Abu Abdullah Muhammed inb Ismail al-Bukhari was great Theologian and hadith collector. His work “Al-Jomiy al-Saheeh” is considered a Holy Book, only next to the Holy Quran.


He was born in 810 and had visited many Islamic countries. However his mausoleum was neglected during the Soviet era. It was only is 1954, when Indonesian President visited U.S.S.R., and wanted to visit this place, it was “discovered” again.

At present, It is marvelous complex. The actual marble mausoleum is piece of art.


The 786 square meters prayer hall is very peaceful and soothing. Here we met a very kind mullah, who actually made me sit next to him and prayed for me.


This complex also has specially printed, crafted copies of the Holy Quran, which were presented by various countries. It also has kisva presented by The King of Saudi Arabia.



Another incident happened there. When I came from the hall, and wore my shoes, a young lady tapped on my shoulder and said something. I did not understand, what she said, so I checked with my guide. He told, me that, she had said, my trouser were soiled. ( I had sat on the steps). What a kind gesture. ! I could not even thank her. This is how people of Uzbekistan are.  Hopelessly friendly and caring. Frankly, I myself would not have bothered to do this for anybody, even after I had noticed it.


Then we visited the Observatory of Ulugbek.  Ulugbek was more of an astronomer than a ruler. He had a huge observatory constructed on a hill. As written by Babur, it was a three storied building (estimated dimensions 46 meters diameter and 30 meters height). It also had a giant goniometer vertical circle of radius, estimated to be 40.212 meters. They were able to document the positions of more than 1000 stars and their calculation of Solar year is almost equal to that calculated today, with modern instruments.


Unfortunately, after the death of Ulugbek, this complex was destroyed. Much later, only in year 1908 archaeologist Vyatkin found first document regarding the location of this observatory. What remained was only the underground portion of goniometer.

Nevertheless, there is a very well maintained museum at that place now. They have not built the observatory but it’s model is kept in the museum and so are, some of the instruments.

We then visited a unique place where silk paper, (yes, paper not cloth) is made. This process is carried out using ancient technique which has not changed over centuries.


The leaves of mulberry tree are used to feed the silk worms and the inner bark of this tree, are used to make this “Silk Paper”. The sticks are scrapped to remove the outer bark. The inner silky bark is boiled for several hours and then pounded using ancient technique. The pulp is washed and dyed using natural colours. Then it is pressed and dried. The resultant paper is hand polished, using stones or sea shells. The resultant paper is very strong and durable. It can not only be used for printing but also can be made into money purses, jacket etc.


It can withstand modern printing also and surprisingly it is more soothing for the eyes.

To be continued.

तोंडलीची ठेचून भाजी




लागणारे साहित्य असे


 – १) २५०  ग्रॅम्स तोंडली,

 – २) १२ ते १५ लसूण पाकळ्या,

 – ३) ४ ते ५ लाल सुक्या मिरच्या,

 – ४) किसलेले सुके खोबरे, अर्धी वाटी,

 – ५) मीठ,

 – ६) १  टीस्पून जिरे,

 – ७) अर्धा टीस्पून हिंग,

 – ८) २ टेबलस्पून तेल,

  – ९) मूठभर काजूगर, ऐच्छीक. 


क्रमवार पाककृती


१) या भाजीतली सर्वात महत्वाची कृती म्हणजे तोंडली  ठेचून घेणे. त्यासाठी  एके तोंडले घेऊन ते

वरवंटा किंवा कुठल्या तरी जड वस्तूने  ठेचून घ्या. तोंडली ठेचणे थोडे  कौशल्याचे काम आहे. ठेचताना ती  इकडे तिकडे उडणार नाहीत आणि बोटांना ईजा होणार नाही, याची काळजी घ्या, त्यासाठी  तोंडली एका जाड कापडावर ठेवून ठेचा.


२) लसणाच्या पाकळ्या पण अश्याच  ठेचून घ्या.  लाल  मिरच्यांचे तूकडे करुन घ्या.


३) तेल तापवून त्यात हिंग व जिरे घाला, मग त्यात लाल मिरच्या आणि लसूण परतून घ्या. ( काजू वापरत असाल तर ते घाला.)


४) मग त्यावर  ठेचलेली तोंडली घालून २ मिनिटे परता.


५) झाकण  ठेवून मंद आचेवर तोंडली शिजू द्या, याला ७ ते ८ मिनिटे लागतील.   खाली लागतात असे दिसले तर पाण्याचा हबका मारा,

पण शक्यतो तोंडली वाफेवरच शिजू द्या.


६) मग त्यात मीठ व खोबरे घालून भाजी परतून कोरडी करा.




Ghute, a Maharashtrian gravy of urad dal


ghute dish.png


1) 1 cup udad dal ( without skin )

  • 2) ½ teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 3) 4 to 5 green chilies
  • 4) 1 inch ginger
  • 5) 4/5 garlic pods
  • 6) ½ cup chopped fresh coriander
  • 7) 1 tablespoon ghee ( clarified butter )
  • 8) 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 9) ½ teaspoon asafetida
  • 10) Salt to taste




1) Dry roast the udad dal till it turns pink in colour


2) Remove from fire and soak it in water for 30 minutes.


3) Add turmeric to it and cook till it turns soft. ( You may use pressure cooker and cook it for 3 minutes under pressure, but if you could cook it

Without pressure cooker, it taste better. In pressure cooker it becomes little mushy.)


4) Grind together Chilies, ginger, garlic and coriander.


5) Heat ghee in a separate pan and add asafoetida and cumin seeds.


6) Then fry the chili ginger paste, in it.

7) Then add the cooked urad dal and salt, boil for 3 to 4 minutes


Enjoy with bhakari and some curds.





बाजरीचा तिखट खिचडा / Bajara spicy khichada

For English version, please scroll down

Bajari khichada dish



लागणारा वेळ:

२ तास

लागणारे जिन्नस:

खुप वर्षांपुर्वी शांता शेळके यांनी कालनिर्णय मधे हि कृती लिहिली होती. इथे अंगोलात चक्क मला बाजरी मिळाली म्हणून खुप वर्षांनी हा प्रकार करुन बघितला.


लागणारे जिन्नस असे

१) दोन कप बाजरी

२) अर्धा कप इतर धान्ये ( यात चण्याची डाळ, तांदूळ, दलिया वगैरे घ्या, मी मूगाची डाळ वापरलीय.)

३) मूठभर शेंगदाणे ( मी कूट वापरले )

४) दोन टेबलस्पून तेल

५) ४/५ लाल मिरच्या

६) एक मोठा कांदा, उभा चिरलेला

७) २ टिस्पून काळा मसाला

८) मीठ

९) वरून घेण्यासाठी तूप व कोथिंबीर

क्रमवार पाककृती:

१) बाजरी स्वच्छ धुवून पाण्यात तासभर भिजत ठेवा आणि निथळून घ्या ( चण्याची डाळ, दलिया वापरत असाल तर ते पण वेगळी भिजवा. मूगाची डाळ भिजवायची गरज नाही.)
२) फक्त बाजरी, थोडी करून मिक्सरमधून जराशी भरडून घ्या आणि पाखडून कोंडा काढून टाका


Bajari khichada bajari



३) कूकरमधे तेलाची फोडणी करून त्यात मिरच्या परता आणि मग कांदा परता.

४) त्यात काळा मसाला परता आणि मग ५ कप पाणी ओता.

५) पाण्याला उकळी आली कि त्यात बाजरी आणि इतर जिन्नस घाला.

६) मीठ घालून नीट ढवळून घ्या व झाकण लावा आणि प्रेशर खाली १० मिनिटे शिजवा.

७) गरमागरम खिचडा वरून कोथिंबीर आणि तूप घालून खा.

अत्यंत वेगळ्या चवीचा हा पदार्थ खुपच चवदार लागतो. वाढणी/प्रमाण:

४ जणांना पुरेल

अधिक टिपा:


माहितीचा स्रोत:

वर लिहिल्याप्रमाणे


Bajara Spicy khichada


This is a spicy mix of cooked Bajara, with other ingredients and it is a very healthy breakfast for any cold morning.

What you need –

1) 2 cups bajara

2) ½ cup other pulses and grains ( You can use Chana Dal, Rice, Moong dal, daliya etc )

3) ½ cup ground nuts

4) 2 tablespoon oil

5) 4/5 Red chilies

6) 1 onion, sliced

7) 2 teaspoon goda masala OR 1 teaspoon garam masala

8) Salt to taste

9) Some ghee and fresh coriander to top


To Proceed


1) Wash and soak the bajara in water for ½ hour, wash and soak other pulses and grains separately in water.

2) Drain and grind the bajaraBajari khichada close up coarsely in mixer, spread it in a flat plate, shake and blow off the husk.


3) In a pressure cooker heat some oil and fry the red chilies.


4) Add the sliced onion and fry till it turns golden brown.



5) Add the goda OR garam masala and add 5 cups water.

6) When the water boils, add bajara, other grains and pulses, ground nuts.


7) Add salt and close the lid of the cooker, and cook for 10 minutes under pressure on medium heat.


8) Turn off the heat, when the pressure drops, open the lid. Add the ghee and coriander.


If you do not like it spicy, omit the chilies, onions and salt. Add little gur or sugar. You may add little milk also. This version also tastes great.

Dinesh Shinde

Dinesh Shinde


नमस्कार, मी दिनेश शिंदे.. गेली २० वर्षे पाककलेत काही प्रयोग करत आहे. त्यातून जे प्रयोग यशस्वी झाले, ते

इथे सादर करणार आहे. या पाककृती अगदी सोप्या, कुठलाही दुर्मिळ घटक किंवा खास  उपकरण न वापरता

केलेल्या आहेत. अगदी कुणालाही जमतील अश्याच.

त्याशिवाय भटकंती आणि फोटोग्राफी, दोन्ही जमेल तसे करत असतो, तेदेखील इथे सादर करणार आहे.

तूम्हा सर्वांचे प्रतिसाद अर्थातच अत्यावश्यक आहेत …





Hi, I am Dinesh Shinde. I have been experimenting in cooking for past 20 years. I will be

presenting here, those recipes , which were successful. These recipes, do not call for any

hard-to-find ingredient, nor any special equipment is needed. Hence, they are very easy

to follow and try.

Apart from these, I also try my hand in photography and do visit various places, whenever

possible. I will try to write about that also.

Of course, I will need and wait for your comments.