Part of our tour included a stay at Bagh Tola Lodge near Kanha National Park and Tiger Reserve. The lodge is fairly basic but we enjoyed great hospitality and delicious Indian dishes. One of the highlights was an impromptu Indian food cooking class.
The cook has to prepare food on basically a bunsen burner - not easy, right? Check out the heat source (I would surely burn the house down):
We learned how to make the foundation to many Indian dishes: a paste of fresh ginger, red onion, and garlic. This was amazing to watch and I'm going to try it in my own kitchen. I usually start most of my dishes with minced fresh garlic and red onion but throw in a little ginger and you have a healthy kick! I've also read in a couple of Indian recipes that you can do this in a simple way by just throwing the ingredients into a food processor.
He prepared a carrot and pea dish with minced tomatoes. It began with the mixture of ginger, onion, and garlic, in a little bit of canola oil. Then the spices are added: salt, cumin, turmeric, and a bit of coriander. Once the spices are "alive," add the carrots and peas. Easy!
What isn't easy is... cooking in the dark! The power goes off frequently in India and the generator at Bagh Tola takes a few minutes to come on. In the photo below, someone is holding their cellphone flashlight up so we could finish our cooking lesson.
I created a simple video to show the cooking in action: