And they seem to come and go so quickly sometimes- we are slowly finding a few reliable stayers- their internal politics Praveen is a bit oblivious to [a man for you!] and I don't always have enough Hindi to fathom what is going on.
Hotel 1 we had a great guy for cook/manager smart, well spoken, scrupulously clean- he was open from the outset he liked a drink in the evening, our response was "what you do OUTSIDE work is not our concern"....well he brought it to work, once and we gave him a good talking to, then Praveen was in Delhi and I was stuck out at the house, or so he thought and he decided to get legless at the hotel- I came back to a disaster zone. He was straight away fired and all sorted out....that one day though he managed to offend one customer as well which got us a horrible review on Tripadvisor- not good for a hotel these days....sometimes it just tumbles on....
Since then I have started showing Tripadvisor to staff and explaining how people's feelings about our service will impact on whether or not we all have a job.....good for them to think I will find out about things as well.
Being a Steiner school teacher in the past has proved such an amazing learning curve- I learnt so much from observation of the children and the games they play that I can use these days when working with people- it was a tough job, gruelling hours, a lot demended and sssoooo satisfying; this is child's play in comparison.
Hotel 2 is new, just starting to get the word out that it is ours and the response is starting to pick up.
We HAD a cook- he could cook well, if rather slow was softly spoken and always polite...but the kitchen help kept leaving....? could not work it out as no one would talk to Praveen or I ...then we discover that lurking behind the mild mannered exterior was a real foul and belittling mouth that quickly offended staff. This was when we weren't busy??? how would he be under pressure?
The cafe area in Our Pukka Place Hotel 2
Swimming pool is private and I have started a whole lot of pots to make it feel nice and jungly [bit hopeful this year but one day...:)]
Big Boss at reception- the murals here are very well done, Ganesha behind the desk for Good Luck- yeh Ganesha!
Our Pukka Place 1- a lovely day by the swimming pool- can you see the dragon fly? We don't have much insect life in the dry time leading up to monsson but as soon as the rains happen all types of life erupt.
My latest enthusiasm in the kitchen- they are kind of like an Indian version of gnocchi, but much more substantial as they are made with dal. Delicious
Moong Dal ki Goli
- 200gm mung beans [soak over night] or even better the skinned and halved mung beans[ called moong dal and soaked 2 hours]
- 1 T ginger and garlic pasted
- 1 t garam marsala
- 1 t red chilli
- little water as needed
- 1/2 tomato-fuinely chopped
- 1/2 onion finely chopped
-let cool a little
- use 2 spoons to make small balls-like French way of making quenelles or WET hands and do it by hand, they will be a bit sticky.
- set on a plate to cool for a little while
The little balls are called GOLI in hindi- hence the name of the dish :)
- 1 1/2 onion diced
- 1 1/2 tomato diced
- 1 green chilli
- 1/2 t tumeric
- 1/2 t red chilli powder
-blend and put back into pan
-carefully put goli in and poach for 5 mins or so
- sprinkle fresh corriander leaves over the top
I think you could use any dal- I have tried urad dal- you just might need to vary the seasonings and spices. Moong dal is a gentle almost sweetish dal so goes well with the garam marsala.
Urad dal is strong flavoured almost meaty- so I would 'beef' up the flavourings for it next time-lots of garlic, cumin, perhaps black pepper.
[weird using beefy in refering to cooking- would never say that here as it is a colloquialism the meaning of which would quite possibly not be understood and no one appreciates mentioning the eating of beef]