Cooking with Sumeet Nair in New Delhi – photo credit – Karen Anderson
Huge thanks to writer Catherine Van Brunschot for the City Palate magazine piece she wrote about the 2014 cuisine and culture trip to India I organized. I’ve been leading these tours with my company Alberta Food Tours and our business partner Indus Travels since 2012.
Catherine’s a writer’s writer. She quietly observes, scribbles notes and jots details. Her camera is always close at hand. She’s able to capture a moment and it’s feeling to share a sense of the traveller’s journey. I hope you enjoy reading her piece from the source: Eating India with Alberta Food Tours
I’m pleased to report that my 2017 trip to India is sold out and that Catherine is returning. When you get to the end of her article, you’ll see I’ve shared with you the answer to the question she poses.
For my 2018 trip to India we’ll return to some places I love – Delhi, Agra, Udaipur, Jodhpur and Jaipur – and also venture to a place I’m longing to visit – Kolkata. Please comment below if you’d like more information about that trip and I’ll be happy to email you an itinerary.
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 – firstname.lastname@example.org – if you’d like to be on this year’s trip invite list.
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.
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.
Mr. Abraham’s cheery home – photo – Karen Anderson
Coconut is a great ingredient and though I love coconut, I think spices are perhaps the greatest ingredient ever given to a cook.
This post allows me to share another savoury coconut recipe but it also satisfies my longing to share my journey to a very special place in Kerala, South India.
When I planned my first trip to India, I planned it around two equally passionate quests; I wanted to meet India’s people and I wanted to go to where the spices grow.
Both of these desires were fulfilled when I found myself at Mr. Abraham’s Spice Garden in a quiet, lush corner in the Cardamom Hills near Periyar. I fell in love with the garden and of course with the garden’s caretakers.
Mr. Abraham’s garden was included in a BBC TV show and book by Monty Don called Around the World in 80 Gardens. I think it’s as close to the Garden of Eden as I’ll ever get. Read on, for the recipe and a virtual tour of the garden and you’ll see why I’ve been back and will keep going back as long as I’m able.
Travelling is a great way to Savour it All
Today on Alberta at Noon I talked about a few recipes from my recent trip to Rajasthan, India. You can listen to that broadcast here. I’m on between the 28:10 to 34:10 marks in the show.
In my column today I talked about the colours of Rajasthan. I tried to convey in words on the radio a few of the images that have stuck in mind. I did not end up feeling that my brief words did this justice so I’ve put together a slide show so you can really begin to see why colour is such a phenomenon in this arid North Indian desert state.
Lal Moss and complementary vegetables and chapati
A lovely lunch at Rohet Garh in Rajasthan, India
photo – Karen Anderson
This week on Alberta at Noon I’m going to talk about my most recent culinary expedition to India. In November I took 21 guests to explore the food and culture of the capital region of Delhi and two of India’s Northern States: Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan.
I especially loved Rajasthan which is renowned as the land of colours.
The colours dazzle against the backdrop of landscape’s sandy hues. The tropically hued fuchsia and tangerine saris of the women flow like nectar giving our eyes, like hummingbirds to the flower, a little relief from the neutral tones which though soothing do not tend to be as life-giving. The colours of Rajasthan light up like match tips in the equally bright turbans of the men which change from village to village, occupation to occupation, and perhaps signal that molds that castes were made of are hard to shatter. You see a rainbow of colour in the food markets that materialize on street corners just as the evening meal must be shopped for and of course those were my favourite colours of all: the aubergine and bright green of indigenous eggplants, the scarlet of tomatoes and the muted tones of neatly bundles onions, herbs and India’s own culinary gems; her spices.
The people of Rajasthan truly manifest their culture’s belief that “Guests are Gods”. My business partners at Indus Travels and Hi Tours of India live and breathe this philosophy in every action they take for me and my guests on my annual odyssey to their homeland. They have become my second family and even though we are half a world away for 50 weeks each year I hold them dear and look forward to our yearly fortnight reunion.
This post will share a few of the many recipes that the expert cooks I met in Rajasthan so generously shared with me. I thought they might be just the thing to help us savour it all on cold Canadian January days when we might not otherwise feel quite up to the task.