INCLINE VILLAGE, Nev. – India is a country defined by its rich and varied culinary traditions, boasting unique and complex flavor combinations specific to each region. From hearty Punjabi in the North to exotic Keralan in the South; from the subtle flavors of Bengali in the East to the gastronomic smorgasbord in Mumbai. On the new Eat Your Heart Out: India Through Its Food tour, award-winning experiential tour operator Myths and Mountains will show travelers the immeasurable variety of cooking practices and use of ingredients, plus the limitless food options throughout the country – this is a tour for foodies who want to see and taste it all.
Along the way, travelers will also experience a wide range of cultural attractions – from the streets of Delhi to the intriguing city of Lucknow, from crush of Kolkata to the beaches of Chennai and onward to the wonderful old port city of Cochin. Throughout this tour, guests will spend time with locals, learning about their traditions, businesses and personal lives. Travelers will discover diverse cultures and their cuisines from the people themselves, taking travelers to the very heart of the places they visit.
Begin the journey in Delhi, a city dotted by monuments representing distinct rulers and architecture from the past 1,600 years. Here, travelers will get their first taste of Punjabi cuisine, the style people around the world identify as “Indian cuisine”. This delicious, hearty regional cuisine was created for a hard-working lifestyle, using staples such as wheat, spices and clarified butter to produce dishes like butter chicken, tandoori chicken and chole-bhaturey.
Move on to intriguing Lucknow, the “Golden City of the East” and enjoy dinner at a local chef’s kitchen specializing in Awadhi fare. This rich cuisine started as a way to feed to hungry masses and is still widely enjoyed today. The cooking style is known as dum, the art of sealing ingredients inside a large handi and slow cooking them over a fire. Well known dishes include galouti kababs, boti kebabs and biryani. Travelers will also get to sample street food like tikkas and enjoy a meal at Tunda’s Kebabs, one of the best known kebab restaurants in the city.
In Chennai, wander through the well-established bazaars in the busy neighborhood of Georgetown. Historically, people came here to trade and do business with Fort St. George; today, the market still teems with colorful exuberance and features wholesale markets, street stalls, retail stores and flower shops. This is where guests will try well-known Chettinadu cuisine and Tamil Brahmin. Chettinadu is famous for its variety of spices in mostly non-vegetarian dishes. It uses sun-dried meats and salted vegetables, reflecting the dry environment of the region. Most dishes are topped with a boiled egg and eaten with rice. Tamil Brahmin is based on the concept that food shapes an individual’s personality, mood and mind. This style shows great attention to cleanliness as well as balancing nutrition, flavor, texture and variety. Different spices play important roles and every ingredient has a purpose: fenugreek as a digestive aid, pepper to eliminate colds, turmeric as a healer.
Travelers will partake in interactive cooking demonstrations in Kolkata and Cochin, each taking place in a local family’s home. These are wonderful opportunities to learn about regional dishes from those who prepare them everyday. Learn about Kolkata’s Bengali cuisine, characterized by rice dishes, fresh water fish and five basic spices – cumin, nigella, fennel, fenugreek and mustard seeds. In Cochin, discover the diversity of Keralan cooking and learn about the influences other cultures have had on a variety of dishes.
The cultural aspects of this trip are priceless, giving guests a more in-depth look at what makes this country so special. Cultural highlights include: meet businessmen in Old Delhi who are sixth and seventh generation artisans; interact with local artisans in Lucknow and visit local markets to see the intricately embroidered textiles; experience Kolkata’s Kumar Tulli, a potter community of more than 600 families of clay makers; enjoy a backwater cruise through tranquil canals aboard a houseboat; visit a crab farm, watch coir yarn making and explore a farm in a Keralan village; enjoy traditional Kathakali theater, a mixture of dance and mime that incorporates ayurvedic medicine and yoga with costumes and props.
This tour gives travelers a true taste of India, not only through its gastronomic delights, but also through its religious and spiritual traditions, wide-ranging cultural heritage and intriguing history.
The new, 15-day Eat Your Heart Out: India Through Its Food tour starts at $6,495 per person land cost (based on 4-10 people) with most meals included. The 2016 trip dates are Mar. 15-29 and Oct. 19-Nov. 2, with custom dates available. For more information about this tour, please VISIT WEBSITE