A Memorable Lunch

India is a place that can boast of a rich tradition. Every state has its own history and culture. There are many mini Indias within this country. When food, drinks and cuisines are concerned, Indian food remains unbeatable. Go deep inside the villages, you can find not only amazing but also unique tastes and flavors that can challenge even the best cuisines at high-end hotels and restaurants. The richness of rural food cannot be surpassed.

I had one such unforgettable experience that still is freshly etched in my memory. Not only because of the taste but also because I learnt two most important things about food. First is that the presentation is secondary to other factors like simplicity of preparation and freshness. The other ting is the feeling with which the food is prepared can actually instill such a taste and aroma that your hunger becomes insatiable.

I once had the opportunity to visit a village deep inside Gujarat, with three of my team mates as a part of my rural dissertation project. I would call visiting a village an opportunity because what I felt there was a peculiar feeling of purity and rawness that’s always absent in metros. That village was quite unapproachable and we had to walk a lot and also take local modes of transport like makeshift autos and carts.

The serenity and tranquility there was capable enough to cast its spell on anyone; I too fell in love with the pristine nature. The view was quite scenic and very beautiful. We interviewed a farmer as a part of our project. That old farmer and his wife were very courteous and requested four of us to stay back for lunch. The food was freshly prepared. The chapattis were made on an earthen tava (hot plate), the menu consisted of baingan ka bhurta, kacche chane ki sabzi, bajre ki roti, achar (pickle), gur (jaggery) and chhachh (buttermilk). The taste was heavenly and sacred to say the least. It was hard to decide whether I liked the food more or the village more. Flavor coupled with loving hosts made that lunch truly memorable. No cuisine in this entire world could match that taste and flavor. I still long for that tadka! The spices were far more aromatic than all those packaged ones available in the cities.

Ah, I did like the food more :)

Also, there was a cotton plant in old farmer's backyard. With his permission I collected lots of pure cotton in a plastic bag. At the end of my trip, this bag full of cotton summed up what I felt for the people, place and food - soft, sacred and pure.
A post by AS who blogs at The Humming Words

comment 2 comments:

BK Chowla, on September 16, 2010 at 12:11 PM said...

Sure, each state in India has a very different cuisine and naturally, different set of spices.Gujarat would be different from Punjab and so on.
Very informative post.

A S on September 16, 2010 at 3:11 PM said...

hello Mr Chowla

yes very true
thanks a lot!

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