Food is an integral part of the Indian life. Every region has something special to offer in the form of flavours and recipes. One of the best ways of learning these special dishes is under the tutelage of a homestay host and most are happy to provide cooking classes to guests. Discover why cooking in India is not about slaving over a hot stove.
Understanding spices: India is the land of spices and many homestays particularly the large ones in South India also have plantations on their property. Pepper, cardamom and other such spices are grown within the compounds and the hosts love to explain their importance to guests. Discover the true flavour and medicinal properties of home grown Indian spices.
Picking vegetables: Homestays like Kewzing village in Sikkim, Rajmandir in Nagod and many others grow their own vegetables on a large scale. Picking them for use in a meal is a welcome experience. Kewzing homestays as well as many of the ones in Punjab even have their own cows and poultry. Milking the cows for a fresh glass of milk and fetching eggs from the coops is a great way to prepare breakfast from scratch.
Fishing and diving for food: Homestays particularly in coastal areas such as Vembanad homestay and Taamara arrange fishing, diving for clams and even night fishing for guests. This is done with the aid of local fishermen giving guests an authentic experience. In Coorg, the homestays can be used to organise angling and particularly trying to capture the great mahasheer.
Mastering the hot stove: There are many ways in which food is cooked in India. In the countryside you can even experience cooking on wood or coal-based stoves. The recipes unique to the region can be learnt from the homestay hosts so you can return home and recreate these dishes and remember your holiday as you enjoy them with family and friends.
Find out about the homestay experience and don't forget to check out our ideas on things to do in India or browse our India homestays.