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Features

From spicy curries to tongue-tickling desserts: India is a country of diverse flavours

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Culinary experiences are an important part of the Indian culture.

Indian cuisine offers a plethora of flavours. Each region has a rich and diverse culinary taste. From the Kashmiri Wazwan, to the rich Punjabi dishes, to the thalis of Gujarat and Rajasthan that offer a heightened sweet and salty taste and the rich sweets of Mathura. East India, comprising West Bengal, Bihar, Jharkhand and Odisha, offer momos, thukpa (a clear soup), tomato achaar, machcher jhol, jhaal-muri (a spicy snack made with puffed rice and mustard oil) and desserts such as Sandesh and Rasgulla. A trip to Assam would not be complete without Pithas (rice cakes). South India too has its rasam, chutneys and dosas, and spicy Chettinad curries, which have crossed borders to reach restaurants in the Gulf. Enjoy the little tale that each region narrates with its flavours.

Langar

A community affair

Gurudwaras defy the popular adage, there are no free lunches. Apart from serenity, gurudwaras also offer a langar, a community kitchen prepared meal, made by devotees. The langar at the Golden Temple is special indeed. This does not have so much to do with the quality or taste of the meal but for the sheer scale of operation and the number of devotees who organise it with much love, every single day. Gurdwara Pathar Sahib, nestled in the scenic locales of Ladakh and Zanskar Ranges in Leh, is managed by the Indian Army of that area. Built in the memory of Guru Nanakji, the gurudwara offers the perfect ambience of serenity and spirituality along with lip-smacking, wholesome meals. Despite its remote location by the highway, it is very popular as a pit stop for the many treks.

A luxurious escape decked with food and music

Traditionally known for its grape cultivation, Maharashtra today is a thriving market for vineyards, and offers the country’s finest fruit produce. Gourmet world music fests, set in idyllic vineyards of Nashik and Vani Khood are a major attraction in our country. Grape picking and stomping along with sampling and tasting make for a wholesome experience. Shorter tours and tasting are also offered at various vineyards, across the attractive inhouse courtyards that overlook the lush farms. You can opt for a day-long package or stay at the luxurious accommodation at a vineyard for food pairing and wine tasting. A typical stay includes a vineyard visit, tasting and a tour around the local markets. The region sees a variety of grapes being produced and you stand a chance to sample over 10 variants of locally produced wines. If you are headed to Nashik, club your vineyard visit with a little exploration. Climb a small hillock to pay your respect to the Gram Devta or the chief deity of the city — Shivyogi Siddheshwar.

Vineyar1

Wine1

Top 5 food markets in India

1. Floating Vegetable Market, Srinagar

2. Pineapple Market of Nongpoh, Meghalaya

3. The bug Market, Nagaland

4. Friday Market at Mapsa, Goa

5. Namkeen Market at Amer, Jaipur

Bug market

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