Photo Credit: Brandy Brown; Susan Manser

DAY 09: UDAIPUR

Highlights: Shaping and baking four different Indian breads in Shashi’s cooking class, creating delicious mango & coriander chutneys from scratch, learning the secrets of Shashi’s “magic sauce”– the sauce used by restaurants as the base for 20+ curries, and dining with Shashi and her husband on a traditional Rajasthani meal.

We can’t believe that it is our last day in India.  Tomorrow some of our group members will fly back home, while the others will route to Nepal for 4-days to explore the culture, cuisine, and nature of the Himalayan region.  We have enjoyed every minute of our adventure here in India and cannot believe it is already coming to a close.  I guess time flies quickly when you are having fun. 

Today was another highlight day of the trip.  We spent the morning and the afternoon before our flight in the home of Shashi, learning to cook over a dozen delicious Indian dishes.  We learned how to deep fry pakoras (vegetables in chickpea batter), create the perfect mango and coriander chutneys, & blend together the perfect amount of spices and onion for Shashi’s “magic sauce”. Shashi also taught us how to use her “magic sauce” to craft four very delicious curry dishes, prepare an authentic vegetable palau, and cook the three famous Indian breads – naan, roti, & paratha.

During the cooking experience, Shashi shared with us her story.  She was married for only a couple years & had two children, when her husband passed away and left her a widow.  In Indian culture, when a woman is widowed she cannot remarry and she is often outcast from society.  Shashi spent nearly 15 years living behind doors, walls, and scarves, as was expected of widows.  She was unable to show her face to the public and life for her was hard. With the encouragement of a few German tourists, she started offering cooking classes. Over the next several years she began to offer cooking classes to more tourists, eventually turning her hobby into a small business. Her desire & persistence to become a positive influence in the world of female entrepreneurship is inspiring to women all around the world – and her recipes are delicious.

Shashi’s Recipes:

Vegetable pakoras, coriander chutney, mango chutney, “magic sauce”, palak mater, auberguine tikka masala, paneer curry, vegetable palau, naan bread, roti, sweet paratha, aloo paratha, and many more…

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