Tag Archives: Indian food and culture

An invitation to my 2018 India trip – Delhi, Rajasthan, Agra and Kolkata

The Taj – photo – Karen Anderson

I’ve been fascinated with India and Indian cooking for a very long time. My mentor Noorbanu Nimji and I published A Spicy Touch – Family Favourites from Noorbanu Nimji’s Kitchen in December of 2015 but we’ve done tours and taught Indian cooking together in Calgary since about 2007. In 2011, because I am also founder and owner of Alberta Food Tours, Inc., I was asked to lead tours to India and have been happily doing so since 2012 thanks to my partnership with Indus Travels.

My 2017 trip has been sold out for some time so I’m happy to announce my plans for  India 2018. Click on the link for the full itinerary. The synopsis follows along with some photos from past trips to whet your appetite. Continue reading

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Armchair #Travel to #India – my favourite #books and #movies about the culture

South Indian child - photo credit - Karen Anderson - @savouritall

South Indian toddler – photo credit- Karen Anderson

I feel privileged to travel to India every year. I felt its pull when I began practicing yoga 15 years ago. I wanted to go to the place that taught people to focus on awareness and fully living in this existence. Now that I’ve been a few times, I am increasingly drawn and look forward to each new journey’s discoveries.

So, that’s all the more reason I find it shocking when people say to me, “Why would you ever want to go to India?” Some people have indeed had poor experiences. They tell me INDIA is an acronym that stands for I‘ll Never Do It Again. I’ve learned to recover quickly and to share the reasons why I personally love it. I tell them INDIA stands for I Need to Do It Always.

I love the food, the patterns of daily life, the markets, the natural beauty and diverse landscapes, the arts and crafts, the monuments, the colours, the textiles, the exotic plant life, the cows everywhere, the ancient culture, the fascinating religions and most of all – THE PEOPLE.

I know most of you will never go to India but, if you’re at all curious, this post will give you some books and movies to explore so you can know it a bit better – from your armchair – at least. Continue reading

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Teaser video for my 2016 #India #cuisine and #culture tour

We go at a thrilling pace when I host tours of India with my partners at Indus Travels and HiTours. There’s so much to see and do and TASTE in India that I don’t want my guests to miss out on any of the food, fun and adventure this rich culture has to offer.

You’d think my guests would go home exhausted but I’ll let you in on a little secret. We finish each tour at a world class spa for treatments and my guests go home rested and rejuvenated.

Watch the video above to get a sneak peak at what will be waiting for my guests at the end of this year’s itinerary as we spend two weeks in September touring from Mumbai to Kerala with some very exciting stops in between. More on that soon, I promise. We’re busy finalizing all details but in the meantime, please email me – karen@calgaryfoodtours.com – if you’d like to be on this year’s trip invite list.

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#EatPrayPlay – Would you like to join the cuisine and culture trip I’m hosting to #India November 7 – 23, 2015?

at a Sikh Langar (free food kitchen for all regardless of background) in Delhi - photo - Pauli-Ann Carriere

at a Sikh Langar (free food kitchen for all regardless of background) in Delhi – photo – Pauli-Ann Carriere

This will be the fourth time I’ve lead cuisine and culture journeys to India. It gives me great joy to share this year’s itinerary here.

This year’s trip is all about #EatPrayPlay.

#EAT – because this trip is for food lovers and our shared passion for the mouth-watering cuisines of India.
#PRAY – because India’s religions are so much a part of the vibrant daily life of her people – we make an effort to learn about them and the culture that forms around them.
#PLAY – because, though we’ll see lots of “life in our face”, India will surprise you with the joy and love in most of her people. We make sure to play, have fun, join in festivals and unwind with a restorative form of yoga that anyone can take part in.

Interested?
Let me share some photos and highlights from trips past and plans for this year’s custom tour designed by me and my partners at Indus Travels.
Continue reading

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Savour food Savour life- Cool Thing no. 8 – this @IndianSummerCND festival video features @Vijs_restaurant

I love Indian food and culture so much I’m going to have to figure out how to get to Vancouver this summer to attend the Indian Summer Festival. It is an annual event celebrating arts, ideas and diversity and it connects Vancouver and South Asia via 10 days of music, literature, film, well-being, dance, cuisine & visual art.

I took a group to Kerala, India last year and will explore India’s Golden Triangle’s cuisine and culture this coming fall with the help of my business partner Indus Travels. As a student of Indian culture I’ll be waiting for this Vancouver festival to announce this year’s schedule of offerings. The more I can learn about India the better guide I can be for my guests. To be totally honest, I’d also like to go to Vij’s Restaurant for a much needed fix of his food and I could shop for the saree I need for the Diwali party I’m invited to on November 2 in New Dehli. This is what I love about being Canadian. I could potentially be dressed up in my cowgirl gear presenting at The Calgary Stampede Western Life Calgary Coop Showcase Kitchen one day in July and then be shopping for a saree in Surrey, B.C. the next day. Coincidentally or non-coincidentally The Indian Summer Festival in Vancouver is the exact same dates as our Calgary Stampede – the biggest outdoor show on earth – July 5 – 14, 2013.

I need to go to Vancouver for this fun, delicious and intellectually stimulating Indian Summer Festival. It will definitely help me savour food and savour life.

In case you doubt my sincerity, here’s a poem I was moved to write one morning when I was on my Kerala soujourn last fall. I have a lot more to write about India but this was a good way to start. Hope you agree.

Glorious India
By Karen Anderson (written in Kovalam, November 30, 2012)

We met in God’s own country Kerala
In you my heart opened wide to receive love poured forth
Nothing is hidden here
Angel’s Trumpets white and pink, blue morning glories, red puffs of calandria, orange marigolds, lush green forests; they all grow beside humanity’s debris.
The colours, the noise, the spectacle, the fragrance and your sheer numbers, they keep me focused on all that really exists
The here and the now
Your gift is the present
The present is your gift
A sea of earthen people remind me that we come from and go back to your body and the oneness within
The endless variation of faces and smiles remind me of infinite love and the universal power of creation
I sit at your feet and see it takes three oceans to wash them
Each wave of the Arabian caresses and massages your sensual body
Each wave is your breath; deep and regular and completely without effort
Each wave joins your body and my mind and takes my spirit to join a universal one
I am ready to allow what will be
You have opened me just as they said you would
You are mother, goddess of women and feminine energy divine
I have received you
I take you with me and all is well
Here
Now
Wherever I will be
We are forever one
Oh Glorious India

Lunch delivery Keralan backwaters Photo by Karen Anderson

Lunch delivery Keralan backwaters Photo by Karen Anderson

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