Thursday, December 11, 2008

Cuisine tour photos

I always love it when I get photographs in my email. The latest ones in my collection are from Katie and Allyson, two guests of mine, who sent pictures of their recent cooking session. They were part of a group visiting Mumbai on business, but they stayed back a couple of extra days to do some private tours.

The cuisine tour was led by Arundhati, who is a wonderful cook, and whose lovely apartment was the venue for the cooking. Arundhati has published a very nice cookbook (that's her in the centre, signing autographed copies of her book for each of them).

The cuisine that Katie and Allyson tried was South Indian - a Tamil Brahmin meal, to be precise. Before the cooking session, they went to Matunga Market to look at a traditional bazaar and to understand the basics of Indian cooking. Freni, their guide for the tour, explained different ingredients and spices, and also the ayurvedic /philosophical classification of food in India. They also bought banana leaves, to use as plates for the meal.

After the bazaar walk, they went to Arundhati's house, where Katie and Allyson both tried their hand at making vadas and dosas. I was there as well, because Arundathi lives almost next door to me, so it was easy for me to join in. Arundhati did most of the cooking, but it was fun for me to watch Katie and Allyson experiment with Indian cooking techniques and compare it with their cooking back home.

It was a very pleasant afternoon, with great food and lovely conversation. The menu, in case you want to know: Masala Dosa, Lentil Vada, Coconut Chutney, Sambar, Coconut Rice, Vegetable Rice, and Kesari. We all ate too much, I think! The coconut-rice was absolutely divine, and the tamarind in the sambar gave it a special tangy kick that we all loved. (The shallots and spices in the photo are some of the other ingredients for the sambar).

Arundhati brought out a photo album of her traditional religious house-warming ceremony, and we discussed the costumes and rituals. Arundathi's teenage daughter (who was Chief Taster for the day!) and 20-something son added to the family atmosphere.

Katie and Allyson had done city tours with Mumbai Magic before that, but I think they enjoyed this one more. I think it's because it was very much like visiting friends; they could go to someone's house and really see what life in Mumbai is all about. When the tour ended and the goodbyes were said, I was very pleased with myself for organising it!


Lotus Reads said...

Nice post! Also, I think it's so great that three generations of women are writing here...I look forward to reading what comes next. BTW, what is the name of Arundathi's cookbook?

Blogeswari said...

ha! lovely - yummy :)

Can't wait to shift to our new place sometime in Apr '09 - close to Matunga !

Anonymous said...

Dear Madam
We are a married couple from Spain,

We are looking for to rent a room for to be able to go to Mumbai 1st february, for stay 5 months(preferibly with an indian family)Kyon ki main(Sheila)thori hindi parh rahi hoon,isliye main hindi practice karna chahti hoon!

And my husband is very pleasant and he can help with anything

If you know somebody,please,contact to:

Have a good day!
Mrs:Sheila L.

Anonymous said...

How about some articles from male members of the family

Anonymous said...

Deepa, it will be interesting to know about how you met your husband, whether there were any problems etc in a write up. Of course this is personal but would make a nice read.