We were in the outskirts of Jodhpur exploring ethnic arts, village life and the wild when our guide politely offered lunch with a local family. After being on the road for several days, it was very tempting to get the taste of home made food prepared with love and patience. Food is an excellent way of exploration, since it reveals history, lifestyle and warmth of the land which often goes unnoticed in the superficial world of commercial hotels and eateries.
As we stepped into the courtyard, it seemed to be a well kept rural home, spartan yet full of warmth. The Surahi’s (earthern pots) stood still under the tree while the birds chirped around swinging on the horse’s tail or generally fluttering about. A pretty veiled lady sat next to a country oven (chulha) and doled out round roti’s of wheat flour, bajra one after the other, smearing it with generous amount of home made ghee.
I sat next to her trying to capture her amazing dexterity. She skilfully managed to knead the dough, make the roti using the belan (the long wooden stick) and chakki (wooden plate) , fry it and keep it aside not burning or over cooking a single one. The ones made from bajra were beaten into shape with the hands and then roasted on the flame.
Soon we were served our food on a neat steel plate complete with Roti’s, Rice, Dal, Gatte ki Sabzi (curry) and Kachri ki Sabzi (curry). I had tried some of the local Rajasthani recipes in the restaurants around but the taste of the land came alive in the small bowls that were served. The Gatte (besan balls) was steamed and lightly fried retaining the tenderness inside and the gravy made from onions, masalas and curd was just right. The bajra roti was as organic as it could be as the host pointed to the patch of land right across the chair we were seated where it was harvested.
The tour was organized by Bishnoi Village Safari and we were hosted for lunch at Mr Deepak’s house who was our guide and organizer. He patiently drove us from our hotel in Jodhpur through the villages, explaining history, laws of the land and giving us a glimpse of the homes and simple lives of the people around. We started around 7.30 am in the morning and were dropped back after lunch around 1pm. After all the history, forts and palaces, this will be a welcome break. More about the tour in a later post.
Deepak can be reached at 93147-21655 or you can contact him and his partner Mr Dhanraj 98291-26398 at http://www.bishnoivillagesafari.com/contact_jodhpur.html
- Click for Recipe of Gatte ki Sabzi