Dharamsala India...internationally known as the holy abode of the Dalai Lama of Tibet in India is today home to many well recognized palate teasers like steamed Momos, Tibetan Tingmo,Chha Gosht and Chana Madra, etc.
While on the streets of this famous town never fail to enjoy the beautiful local and international cuisine restaurants and stopovers..!
dharamsala india, Vidya Niwas...Home baked Pizza topped with olives and wild baby mushrooms
My most memorable meals are the ones where, I can hardly remember what I ate...! I remember only the occasion and that is why I'm incredibly bad at giving recipes... I can still recall my college days eating 'Salzbury Steaks' at the nearby Hotel, Delhi while waiting with baited breath to get a glimpse of David Niven and Roger Moore(James Bond), for a film shoot, 'The Sea Wolves'!
By the end of the month, by the time we used to run broke, my African room-mate and me, would enjoy ourselves with, ..even omellettes and black tea, topped with African wine, listening to Neil Diamond and Kenny Rogers melodies.
Nevertheless, I will try my best not to mess up the recipes..and even if the recipes turn upside down remember, Laughter is the Best Medicine ...especially for Indigestion !!
Years ago, before Vidya Niwas was constructed in Dharamsala India, we decided to quit cooking for the day since it was a special occasion... There was an exciting cricket match between England vs India..plus my daughter, Naintara's Hindi Exams !
Dharamsala is famous for Tibetan Cooking and Indian Himachali Food.
We went out and got some Tibetan food of hot steamed 'Momos' packed, some apple cider and delicious Black Current creamy Ice-cream which was assumed to be our dessert for the night! The mood was just right, every single thing was going just right UNTIL...
...The unpredictable traffic jams of this small town.. where foreigners jump out to help, waving their hands, speaking in broken Hindi..There goes our Ice-Dreams...Oh ! our beautiful ice-cream melting into streams of milk...
My ten-year old daughter, was having a great time playing along with the Apple fizz like an excited monkey... Of course it went POP..!!..so much for Dharamshala food ! Bye-Bye Apple Cider!..
On reaching home, we were still banking on those steamy 'momos'.. The match had just started and the T.V set was on...
Woof! Woof!- what's that noise???..
In entered..our utterly satisfied Doggie (Julie), looking up at us with those extremely innocent eyes..smacking her pink tongue! Who wouldn't be satisfied with loads of 'momos' inside them ??!!!
OH MY GOD!!!! - Our ever hungry Julie, had eaten away the only remains of our hopeful dinner which had been left by my son, on his study table..in all the thrill of the match !
Ringing up the Momo shop for more we discovered that Dharamsala had run out on Non-Veg Momos!! Why now ???
A weekend full of veggie food was a living nightmare, especially for my daughter and son..!
So ,.. Office isn't the only place you can get stressed out..!!
The match had started with one player down of England..! A hungry family can be inspiring..so, I decided to cook our simple quick Chicken home recipe...aromatic and finger-licking Indian Food Chicken 'Garam Masala'!!
Vidya Niwas in dharamsala india...Sangeeta Gurung's Home Recipes
Take some 'garam masala'(Elaichi,Javitri,Jaifal,Laung,Dal Chini and Kaali Mirch). Roast it on a 'tava' lightly, powder it and store it in an air tight jar.
**Stir fry, the chicken cut pieces in sunflower oil. Sprinkle some little masala...salt & chilly powder to taste. When the chicken turns brown.. add curd, finely chopped onions, garlic & ginger paste. Add a bit of 'desi ghee' for aroma and taste.
When the chicken is fully cooked..it starts leaving oil and the smell, fills the air with exotic aroma and appetite..! This is aroma indian cooking.
This is the time when you add, finely chopped tomatoes and spring onions. PS: When table served, don't forget to add a little of the magical 'garam masala' again !!
**Now that we got over the protein part of the Menu we go over to some invigorating 'vitamins.'
Vidya Niwas...Home Recipes from Dharamsala, Dharamshala
While cooking, always keep a balance of the right diet and mixture. 'Greens'Vitamin rich food goes well with potatoes and there is nothing like a little bit of 'carbhohydrates' for growing kids in the home. We do that at our home - Vidya Niwas.
'Stuffed Patato Capsicums' have both and it is an amazing sight of flavour and taste !
**Take some boiled potatoes and stir fry on a non-sticky pan in well cooked 'mustard oil'. Add a pinch of haldi, coriander powder and salt and chilly powder to taste. Flavour it, with a dash of cheese spread and 'amchur' when cooked and brown.
Put this stuffing, inside the garden green capsicums. Then cook it lightly in a an Indian 'kardai', sprinkle it with water and cover it for steaming. PS: Sprinkle the dish with a few drops of fresh lime juice for the lovely 'green effect'!
**Toss up a Garden fresh salad..! I like mine garnished with olive oil, green chillies, lemon juice and parsley leaves sprinkle.
Vidya Niwas in Dharamsala India...Home Recipes
Sons grow-up on 'Popeye' and daughters on 'Archies'! None the less 'Popeye' plays a significant ambassador for 'Spinach' as a health diet in the West.
Some of that has rubbed off here in dharamsala india.
Our home made 'Paalak Raita', is a hot favourite accompaniment, for an Indian meal.
**Take some boiled/minced Paalak,and mix it with plain yoghurt. Flambe' it with cummin seeds and red chilly powder..flavoured with black salt !!
PS: Complete this Meal with Hot 'Chappatis', Steamed Rice and fresh mint chutney..a sure Vidya Niwas Health Healer !
Vidya Niwas in dharamsala india..Home recipes
***I don't remember what we drank that day in Dharamshala..Wine or Beer ? We probably ended it with a 'fresh fruit salad' as a palate freshner!! Like I said it is the 'Occasion and the Company' which makes a meal special. The Euphoria of Saurav Ganguly throwing his shirt to the crowd..and making INDIA proud was what made it memorable !!
PS: VEDIC KITCHEN TIPS ON HEALTHY COOKING AT VIDYA NIWAS, DHARAMSALA INDIA...
1. Never worry about the proportion, flavour is all about Taste and Smell.
2. Never cook for yourself...enjoy cooking for others !!
Contact Sangeeta Gurung for more Himalayan recipes from Vidya Niwas in Dharamsala India :
Mobile : 91-9816291271, 91-9805802061
..Cook your own spice stories at 'Vidya Niwas'..Click the Graphic below !
Food n Love at Vidya Niwas...The origin of many a recipe in a home comes from the fondness and caring of a heart..surely there could be no better ingredient in life than the unconditional affection of home pets..!!
From the cook pot to the fire....September 2020 !
Yes..The monsoon is going out... with the fall of the leaves..Autumn is coming in with the occasional raindrops on the roof...it is fun n frolic. Time to taste the street array in the market...
Not to forget the hot Momos !
"Postcard India",Vidya Niwas,Dharamsala..
Loving India with your mind, can leave you sadly wanting in intoxication and so the ebullient flavors of India, can best be remembered by, racing heart beats and not by the doddering steps, of cold logic !
A picture postcard India, spilling gold on ripening fields of mustard, warm smoke of cooking hot 'rotis', in wayside 'dhabas' (food corners) and the smell of local sugarcane toddy wine in the air.
Something which binds the zest n zing of India, in winters are the sun-drying pickle jars, in the backyard of any Indian Home. The Red stuffed Chillies of North India, the Chamba Chuug of Himachal and the Green fragnant 'lime' achar, can arouse many a dead 'appetite'..who can forget granny's mango pickle recipes, chutneys and 'Aam Papar', enjoying the winter bask, as much as we do !
"Whether it is the rejuvinating Yoga of the Northern Mountains or the Sandle incense of the warm South... India stays unforgettable on the senses and lingering on the tastebuds in more ways than one."
India Food..Garlic Journeys, Vidya Niwas
Many small journeys of Life..an Indian panorama,..a roit of colors n aroma. My first nature encounter in the Himalayas, left a deep impression on my mind, as I had never seen such green garlic fields before. It brought to mind, the lingering nostalgia of home cooked food.
A little bit of India to take back..On a rainy day, with many helping hands to peel the garlic, we pickled an old granny recipe, and recycled it in home jam bottles to take back home for our guests.
• 1 Cup Garlic Cloves(peeled and chopped) • 1/4 Cup Lemon Juice • 2 tbsp Coriander seeds( roasted) • 1 tbsp Cumin Seeds(roasted) • 3 tbsp Red Chilli Powder • 1-1/2 tsp Salt • 1 tsp Turmeric Powder • 1/2 Cup Sesame Oil..white
How to make Garlic Pickle:
• Heat oil in a pan. Add garlic cloves to it and saute. Add powdered roasted seeds, chilly powder, turmeric add lemon juice, salt n pepper to taste to the garlic cloves while shallow frying. You can add more heated oil with a hint of dried fenugreek. • Let it cool and preserve in glass bottles.
For your Cooking Ventures..Contact Us.
**Cooking Classes available for minimum 04 persons and house guests of Vidya Niwas..!