guestblog: India #2

The food in India is of course amazing, especially for a vegetarian. As cliché as it sounds, India really is an explosion of sensory stimulus. The food alone is overwhelmingly sensory; Delicious, fragrant, colorful and textural. After a long day of tromping around a city in the hot sun, nothing gets your blood sugar levels back up like any one of the fresh juice stands that are ubiquitous; sugar cane, pineapple, orange, mango, papaya…Take your pick, you can’t go wrong with the fresh juice even if the guide books tell you to stay away! Sweets are everywhere as Indians can’t seem to get enough of them and because prasad– the ritual food offered to a deity, usually sugary- is needed on a daily basis. For meals, home-cooked food was usually the best option. When you book a room in a family’s haveli (an Indian mansion or large home that now has become synonymous with B&B), the proprietor of the place will often provide you with a meal, which means that for the equivalent of $5, you can get a lovely room and an amazing, freshly prepared meal.

After weeks of being blown away by all the home cooked meals, questioning why my Indian recipes at home never turn out so good, and trying to sneak into kitchens to “help out”, I finally signed my boyfriend Bruce, our friend Evan and myself up for an afternoon-long cooking class held by a woman named Neena and her husband on their roof-top, open air kitchen with a view of Lake Udaipur. Neena patiently endured our slug-slow note-taking and roll upon roll of photography, as we tried to document every trick to making perfectly soft chapatis and mind-blowing malai kofta. -Sarah

Stay tuned tomorrow for a recipe from cooking class!

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