In today's episode we are with our host the Bhatt family to explore more about the traditional food culture in the village of Pingalkot in Kausani, Uttarakhand. After spending half of the previous day with Kartik and his family exploring the Kausani market, cooking dinner in their open lawn and sharing various stories, the following day we joined him and his father on a farm visit.
Situated adjacent to their house, this elevated farm was home to many medicinal plants like holy basil, turmeric, lemon grass etc. vegetable and fruit trees like gaderi, kakdi, malta, timil etc. They practice organic farming. We gathered lemongrass and holy basil for herbal tea and gaderi for sabzi.
Kartik then took us to Pingla Devi Mandir located some 200 mts away from his house. The tranquil green surrounding had a divine vibe to it.
We soon returned to the kitchen to oversee the lunch preparation. We started with the intake of herbal tea that was with herbs, whole spices and Pahadwala honey. It was a rejuvenating potion. Here we made friends with the youngest member of the family Prisha. Her adorable and lively presence brightened up the whole atmosphere. Moreover she too was a food enthusiast who ate the regular without fuss.
Before beginning with the main course, we savoured some mustard leaf fritters and urad dal fritters with Pahadwala plum chutney and mint chutney. Next Kartik's uncle prepared the gaderi ki sabzi with hemp seed paste and spices. This was followed by rajma, bhatt ki churkani, maas ki chains and choi roti. The basic spices used in these dishes included cumin, jakhiya, jamboo and gandreni.
Finally we joined Kartik, the ladies and Prisha for lunch. The sight of the regular spread made us super excited. At Prisha's recommendation we started with plain rice and bhatt ki churkani. The runny dal had an earthy taste. Maas ki chains were spicy and creamy in texture. Munshiyari Rajma and gaderi were our personal favourites. Finally the sweet choi roti was a perfect end to the gratifying meal.