The young with the old, the lost with the found… a tea trail in Delhi is the crux of all things tea. From the banks of the Brahmaputra to the valleys in the Nilgiris, from Assam to Darjeeling, all types of tea find their way to Delhi. The quintessential roadside tea stall may be on the descent but there is no dearth of posh tea houses in the National Capital Region. So take a breather and take notes on the changing culture of the city.
Mughlai influence pervaded the deepest parts of Lucknow culture, down to the core of humanity – the food. Indulge your senses in kebab recipes and halwas that have been around for centuries, hidden away in the back alleys of the city. As you explore the new age dining experience, rest assured you will have your own shiny silverware to perfectly complement the minced meat drenched in delectable Awadhi spices.
If you’re looking for a taste-bud experience away from the norm, look no further than the Ganga and Ganja Tour! While the name, we admit, is made up, the experience is very real. Incredibly flavoured milk (sometimes mixed with cannabis) will flood your senses and give you a good buzz till you pop a Banarasi paan. The tangy sweetness of the betel nut and stuffing with the pungent essence that oozes out of the leaf combine for an unforgettable zing!
Gujaratis come out in droves for the good food that is available from roadside stalls to the high-end restaurants. Amidst these is the Vishalla experience. Landing somewhere mid-spectrum, the eco-friendly, outdoor dining experience offers incredibly healthy village food that comes with a bottomless glass of chhas. You’ll be left devouring every last bite on your plate.
Connoisseurs of the grape variety, heed the call of India’s first vineyard at Sula. Past the gates of the Sula Vineyard, rows upon rows of pristine grapes, organically grown, are lined up to greet you. And before the wonder wears off, embark on a whirlwind tour of the facilities for a glimpse of grape squashing, a lesson in oak barrels and finish off with a 6-wine tasting session. If you haven’t sniffed and sipped to your heart’s content, plop down on the patio for an evening with wine.
For most people who come to Goa looking for the party lifestyle, it comes as a shock that so much of it is still undeveloped or rather, untouched. As you head deeper into the backroads, the pristine air gives way to the inimitable scent of cashews. And as the scent grows stronger, the roads narrow and turn till you find yourself puttering into a cashew farm. The surprise at the end of the tunnel? Cashew liquor, Goa’s prize, right at the source.
Locals believe that a kitchen without coconut milk or Kashmiri chillies is in dire need of a pick-me-up. Get your hands dirty as you learn to fry the regional staple – fish. Seasoning the delicacy with authentic Goan spices you see the lines between borders blurring and the various Arabian, Portuguese and local influences come to the fore. Who would’ve thought cooking could be such a cultural eye-opener?
Street food takes on a whole new dimension when you’re amidst hundreds of people trying to get their hands on the last of the yummy morsels, and all this happens past midnight at Sarafa. Here, delectables include typical Indore cuisine served right from the kitchen and crunchy vegetarian snacks like samosas, chaats and dahiwadas. Besides a mouthful of deliciousness, these makeshift shops also have intriguing histories. A meal and a story? Sign us up!
The professional tea taster can distinguish infinitesimal changes in the notes of a good cup. The various notes sing as beautifully as those of a harp, distinct and sharp yet harmonious. At a tea estate up in Wild Mahseer, you can give in to the aromas that waft through the air and wrap you in a cool sense of relaxation. Or you can dive nose first into a one-of-its-kind tea tasting session that will warm you from the inside.
You will not soon forget the experience of exotic spices that grow in the shadow of the revered Mount Kanchendzonga. While the scape and weather are incredibly enticing, if there was a piece of Sikkim you wished you could take back with you, we bet it would be the cuisine. In just a few short hours you can master the traditional techniques of ethnic, mouth-watering, Sikkimese dishes – to never again miss what it means to be in the hills of Sikkim.
No other place in India offers such a variety of cuisines to visitors. If you close your eyes and sniff, you will encounter aromas ranging from Armenian dishes to local ones. The influence of outsiders was especially prevalent in Kolkata during the time of the British Raj; there was a surge in the quality of the cuisine and each distinct style. As you set off on a culinary tour, be sure to grab a traditional Bengali lunch at famed Kewpies or 6 Ballygunge Place.
A quiet Sunday evening with some wine and cheese is an addictive thought, but even more so when you’ve churned the cheese yourself! High up in the hills of Coonoor, in an unassuming farm, you can make your own feta or haloumi to take back with you. The natural, fresh concoction will leave you feeling like a Master Chef discovering the secrets of the little-known hill station. The best part is, you can take home a cheese colander and make your own cheese whenever a craving for the good stuff hits you.
To say biryani is an epicurean’s delight would be an understatement. When you embark on a trail to sample the many ways this concoction of fragrant rice, meat and vegetables is prepared, be sure to carry a packet of tissues because you are going to come across some eye-watering dishes! Also, if you’re a vegetarian, don’t fret. Because India has the largest variety of vegetarian options anywhere on the planet.
The Wazwan is not a meal, but a ceremony. Traditionally served on a Trammi Platter, this shared meal is an introduction into an age old ritual meant to bring families closer. Mouthwatering dishes of minced lamb and chicken are just two dishes of a 36 meal course! Is your tummy rumbling yet?
Tantalizing to the taste-buds and stimulant of choice for half the world, most people would agree that coffee is life. Indians take their coffee very seriously. From the hills of Chikmagalur, coffee beans travel hundreds of miles to find themselves at Kumbakonam where the namesake Degree Coffee is the most sought after Cup of Joe. We’ll sweeten the deal for you with a local tour of the most famous Coffee Shop, at the source where you can catch a glimpse of what goes on behind the counter.