Nearly 500 years ago, a Sikh guru introduced a revolutionary idea when it comes to the consumption of food. The idea was simple enough: a place should exist where everyone, regardless of religion or social status, could sit on the ground together as equals and eat the same food. The langar, as it's called, never closes—and even late at night, pilgrims will stop by for a meal. Langar is served in every Gurudwara in the world, but the one in the Golden Temple is a whole new level.
The Golden Temple has the world’s largest free kitchen which feeds 50,000 people on an average day and up to 100,000 on festivals and special occasions. We will go for a tour of the kitchen which daily consumes an astonishing amount of raw materials: 12,000 kg of flour, 1,500 kg of rice, 13,000 kg of lentils, and up to 2,000 kg of vegetables. While much of the work is done by hand, a mechanized oven and conveyor belt produce 200,000 roti’s on a daily basis.
We also have the opportunity to volunteer in food preparation and later enjoy the simple, yet delicious vegetarian food for lunch. For some of you, this may well be the highlight of our journey.
If you want to know more about the Golden Temple and the incredible kitchen, have a look at this informative video here
The ‘Sheroes hangout’ is one of its kind café in India. It is a heart-warming café which is run by 5 acid attack survivors. It’s their fight against stigma, against discrimination, a battle for normalcy after suffering, and for equal opportunities.
Adorned with wall art, trinkets and graffiti, this café competes with large restaurants and high end cafes. They don’t charge for the menu, it operates on pay as you wish basis. We will visit this café a bite when we are in Agra. This is another opportunity for us to do some “Good” while on the tour.
Rather than get a celebrity chef and hire a flash kitchen for a master class, we thought of visiting a friend’s house and learn how to cook authentic, home-made Indian food.
Gourmet Desire offers unique food & cultural experiences in New Delhi and invites its guests to experience, explore and relish the culinary and cultural heritage of India. Just like Good Food Journeys aspires to showcase India to Kiwi’s, through ‘Gourmet Desire’, Jyoti Agarwal is successfully sharing her passion for Indian food and culture.
We believe that the best food is homemade and hence the cooking classes take place in our home in the heart of New Delhi. We will enjoy the delicious food that we will cook for lunch. And by the end of the day we will address the general misconception that Indian cuisine is oily, spicy and difficult to make.
Our journey takes us to Goa, a coastal state on the shores of the Indian Ocean. Goa was once ruled by the Portuguese. Therefore the cuisine and the culture has had a large influence from the Portuguese and is very different from what we will experience in North India.
While we are in Goa, we will visit our friends Rita’s home for a fun-filled culinary experience in the form of a cookery workshop. We will enjoy a guided local farmer’s market tour to see an array of spices, herbs, vegetables, fruits etc. Later we will learn how to cook authentic Goan food and relish the delicacies we have created over a sumptuous meal. This is a hands-on informal interaction in an eco-friendly environment and an informal interaction with regional culture and traditions.
The Swapna Mahal (Palace of Dreams) imitates the great houses of the British and French nobility. The restaurant is completely fitted out with European furniture, chandeliers, mirrors, curtains and unique crockery collection. The double height ceiling has breath taking majestic crystal chandeliers and panels of silk curtains will take you to the glory of yesteryears of royalty.
Built with several beautiful arches, silver Jharokas and colored glasses, the dining hall conjures up images of its fantastic past and every meal is tribute to royalty. Every chair and table of the restaurant is so elegantly designed which will give you the feeling of the princely state and Maharaja’s. The crockery museum displaying the crockery used in 17th and 18th century is fascinating.
While we are in Agra, we will dine in Esphahan – a restaurant in the Amar Vilas Hotel, a 5 star luxury hotel. Esphahan is a demure restaurant with intimately arranged candlelit tables. Secreted behind carved wooden door panels and adorned with dramatic sandstone and marble stacked pillars, guests can enjoy live traditional music while savouring delectable Mughlai cuisine.
It is well known that the Mughal emperors were patrons of lavish food. We will experience a glimpse into that lifestyle during dinner. The fine dining menu features recipes passed down from the Mughal emperors' kitchens and inspired by their adventures on the Northern frontiers. Our chef’s tasting menu consists of some of the best dishes handpicked for us.
It would be fair to say that Bukhara at the ITC Maurya in New Delhi is one of India’s most iconic restaurants and landmark dining destination. In this day and age of liquid nitrogen and molecular gastronomy, the food at Bukhara is rather fuss free and simple, The cuisine is inspired by the North West frontier tradition of assembling around the warm glow of a campfire with luscious tandoori fare that is low on oil and high on flavours.
Bukhara is a beacon of culinary excellence across the globe and over the years has won many accolades. It is a globally recognized Indian restaurant and the preferred dining destination of celebrities, presidents and heads of states visiting India.
For our last night together, gather around a table for an ethnic experience and enjoy rustic, flavourful food in each other’s company at the legendary Bukhara.
The Masala Library by Jiggs Kalra experience is showcased through its unique spread represented by dishes from the key provinces of the country, retaining the authenticity of each dish while preparing them using their original traditional methods and recipes. While retaining the rich cultural heritage from centuries, they include Molecular Gastronomy to present the future of Indian cuisine. This restaurant is at the forefront of cutting edge cuisine in its endeavour to incorporate molecular gastronomy as an integral part of its menu.
For our tour in October, this is the perfect grand finale for the 11 days of culinary discovery. Our chefs tasting menu will be incredible, all 16 courses of it!
It’s been a few days that we last experienced Royalty in Jaipur, so we will enjoy the taste of royalty again today at Maharaja Bhog. Their sumptuous pure vegetarian Thali is full of authentic Gujarathi dishes. This is one traditional Western Indian meal you are not likely to forget in a hurry. The recipes have been handed down from generations, leaving your satiated.
The Thali typically has 30 menu items and they change their menu daily, not repeating it for an entire month. It is a buffet, and eat as much as you can, but with a twist. Instead of getting up for a refill, you get food served to your table. The chain currently has 8 outlets, 4 in Mumbai, 1 in Cochin, 2 in Dubai and 1 in the USA.