8 days, 7 nights
Duration

From the Plains to the Mountains: An Exploration of North Indian Cuisine Tour

Our Himalayan Cuisine Tour introduces you to a range of Indian cuisines, from the simple and relatively low spice Himalayan cuisine, to the buttery, richness of Punjabi, to the chili, often steamed, Tibetan. We’ll explore how vegetables are grown in the Himalayan region and spend time at an organic market. You’ll learn to cook traditional dishes and then sample the end result.

Finish your tour with a trip through the green valleys of Punjab, India’s food bowl. You’ll will visit the sacred Sikh Golden Temple in Amritsar to volunteer at langar, the community meal that feeds up to 100,000 people per day. If you love Indian cuisine and are eager to explore its many variations, this Ekno Travels Tour is for you.

 

TOUR COST A$1500
DURATION 8 days, 7 nights
DESTINATIONS Delhi, Dharamsala, Amritsar
Map North Indian Cuisine

Additional information

DestinationIndia
Day 1

Delhi

Transfer from International / Domestic Airport to hotel in Delhi. Spend the day touring New and Old Delhi, including visits to India Gate, Rajpath, the Secretariat Buildings and the Indira Gandhi Memorial Museum. In Old Delhi, we’ll visit the Red Fort and the spice market, smelling and tasting the array of spices offered. Late lunch at the famous Karim’s Restaurant, a fine example of Mughlai cuisine Overnight Delhi.
Day 2

McLeod Ganj

We catch our flight to Dharamshala, arriving in time to unpack and explore the vibrant Himalayan hill station of McLeod Ganj. We’ll take a walking tour of the town visiting the Temple of His Holiness The Dalai Lama, the Namgyal Monastery, and the Tibet Museum.
Overnight McLeod Ganj
Day 3

McLeod Ganj

Today we visit the local ‘subzi’ or vegetable market to see the variety of vegetables and fruit available. India relies heavily on seasonal vegetables and fruit for their cooking, with dishes prepared based on what’s available in the market. Mid morning, attend an Indian cooking class to learn about traditional spices and prepare dishes such as palakpaneer (spinach and Indian cheese), Rajma (kidney beans), Mixed Subzi (vegetables), Dahl (Red or Yellow), Chapattis and Naan bread (flat unleven bread). Enjoy your hand cookedlunch post. The rest of the afternoon is at your leisure to explore. Overnight McLeod Ganj
Day 4

McleodGanj

Today we visit an area in the valley below McLeod Ganj to learn about a small, all-natural supply chain, GreenLeaf (run by a local NGO). GreenLeafconnects farmers in an “all-natural” farmer collective to a local consumer market. We’ll learn how GreenLeaf strives to incentivize the production of organic produce and ease the transition from synthetic based agriculture to organic growing methods for small farmers from the Kangra Valley. We’ll also visit the local NGO, JagoriRural Charitable Trust, to learn more about their work. Late afternoon we’ll have a chance to cook with GreenLeaf products as we learn more Indian style with dishes, rice and breads (dishes will depend on seasonal vegetable availability).
Overnight McleodGanj
Day 5

McLeod Ganj

McLeod Ganjis home to the Tibetan government in exile and the largest Tibetan community in India. No tour to the area would be complete without learning, and enjoying, Tibetan food. Today, you’ll take a Tibetan cooking class, learning a variety of traditional and modern vegetarian Tibetan recipes including Momos (dumplings), Thukpa (noodle soupe), and Tibetan bread. Learn the art of preparation and then sample this little known cuisine. The rest of the afternoon is at your leisure. Overnight McLeod Ganj
Day 6

McLeod Ganj

After breakfast we visit Naddi Village, a beautiful hamlet with magnificent mountain views. We’ll visit the Tibetan Children’s Village (TCV), a thriving educational community for Tibetan children in exile. After visiting TCV, we head down the mountain for lunch at Norblingka Institute,a centre for the preservation of Tibetan arts and culture. Enjoy a post lunch walk through the gardens, peaking inside workshops along the way.

In the evening we’ll sample Himachali cuisine prepared over a log fire while visiting a local Gaddi House constructed from traditional mud. You’ll sample dishes such as Chana Madra (a yoghurt and chickpea flour based gravy popular), Makki Roti (corn flat bread), and Sarso-kaSaag (Mustard Green). Overnight McLeod Ganj

Day 7

McLeod Ganj to Amritsar

After breakfast, we bid farewell to McLeod Ganj and head to Amritsar, located in India’s great plains. We’ll arrive in Amritsar and check into our guest house. At 4.00pm,we’ll head to the Wagah Border Crossing to Pakistan, to witness the ‘Closing of the Border’. This highly ceremonial gathering happens every evening and involves a display of pomp and ceremony by the Indian and Pakistani soldiers. When we arrive in Amritsar we’ll take a moonlight stroll around the Golden Temple. Overnight Amritsar
Day 8

Amritsar

After breakfast, we’ll head back to the Golden Temple. The Golden Temple is a Sikh Gurudwara (place of worship). It is the most sacred Gurudwara in Sikhism reflected in its detailed and elaborate construction. It was first constructed in 1604 and was later rebuilt in 1764.

Service is a prominent tenant in Sikhism, reflected in the large langars, free community meals, available at many Gurudwaras. The Golden Temple serves up to 100,000 people per day with all food prepared and served by volunteers. At langars, food is served to all visitors regardless of faith or background.

We’ll spend some time volunteering at the langar, peeling garlic or hand rolling rotis.

After the Golden Temple we visit the Jallianwala Bagh, a memorial garden for the British massacre of 1919. Our last stop in Amritsar is a visit to the KatraJaimal Singh Bazaar, famous for its textiles and saris. In the afternoon we catch our train back to Delhi. Tour arrangements end upon arrival in Delhi. We hope to see you soon on your next Ekno experience.

INCLUDES

Greeting by Ekno representative at Delhi airport and transfer from Delhi Airport to hotel
6 nights’ accommodation and breakfasts
Flight from Delhi to Dharamsala
3 Cooking classes in Dharamsala
1st class A/C train (Chair) Amritsar to Delhi
Car and driver on Days 3 and 4 for sightseeing
Car and driver to Amritsar

EXCLUDES

Personal expenditure such as drinks, laundry service and souvenirs
Tipping expenses
Compulsory insurance of any kind
Camera and video entry charges at local sights

From the Plains to the Mountains: An Exploration of North Indian Cuisine Tour