(breakfast locale: typical Indian all-day joint, young, yet masterful, ginger-slicer)

Our week-long journey began in Delhi. Between the air pollution, congested traffic and immediate respiratory colds -- it wasn't exactly love at first sight. But we enjoyed ourselves none the less. I thought I'd give you just a slice of our morning there --

Wake up and get out of hotel by 8am --

rickshaw to Old Delhi gates -- passing many many people sleeping on the streets, brushing teeth, getting day started (lots of yawning!)

Wander around Old Delhi, chat with Punjabi guy at Chai stand -- sip the cardamon-infused sugar bomb and search for breakfast

Samosa guys and other fried-food vendors stare at me in questioning when I ask, "how much?" the vendors aren't ready for selling yet -- a miracle in a country that seems to be selling anything all the time

Start to get hungry and cranky -- buy cracker on street -- would have been perfect to dunk in chai...

Find a restaurant that's serving breakfast, across the street from the beautiful golden-domed mosque, a block down from the elaborate stone Jain Temple (which is also a bird hospital!)

We're pretty desperate and tuck into a staple that we love -- Dal Makhani (Punjabi in origin), which is a smooth, velvety lentil dish that is usually finished with a bit of cream or butter. It's the mellowest thing you can get around here, i find. I'm working on the perfect South Indian/Goan dal recipe now, but next on my list is the sensuous Makhani variety . . . More on those soon.

(colorful ceiling and dal makhani and chapati straight from the tandoor oven)

We tucked into the steaming lentils and freshly made bread -- with the wheat flavor jumping off the crispy edges and blackened/holy bits -- the chapati was very close to a perfect pizza crust, in texture and taste. And to drink, we guzzled Fruiti juice boxes ("fruiti" is a popular brand of mango juice here) with abandon! I finished my meal off and snuck a few extra bites off D's plate. I've never had lentils for breakfast and I must say, they really start you off with a boost! The meal gave us the oomph for a whirlwind day -- full of forts, tombs and the modern art gallery (which was jam-packed and pretty nuts).

Have you ever had an unexpected item for breakfast that you found quite tasty?

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