Foodies can now learn the nuances of different Indian cuisines and even be part of local street food tours. Rushina Munshaw–Ghildiyal, a gastronomy writer based in Mumbai, is soon set to launch food tours across the city. Called Masala Meanders, these tours will offer patrons a chance to sample local cuisine that belong to different communities and even learn to cook authentic traditional recipes. The first tour will be launched on November 20 and will focus on Gujarati cuisine.
The idea to start such tours came to Munshaw – Ghildiyal when she was abroad: “Most countries showcase their food even though they have no history or diversity in their cuisines. On the other hand, we have so much to show in India and don’t have a tour that brings out our best.” Another reason to initiate these tours was to show the world that India wasn’t just about curry, Punjabi and Mughlai cuisines.
The first tour will take patrons on a walk through Grant Road. Here, they will be left free to experience all the aspects of Gujarati cuisines, including a walk through the local market, learning about the various spices and farsans that are part of their meals through local vendors, learning about the utensils used in cooking through bartanwallahs (utensil sellers). They will also be informed about faralli (fasting) food. The tour will end at Soam restaurant where patrons will have a chance to taste authentic, traditional Gujarati food.
Tour takers also have the option of including a cooking demo at the end of the tour. The demo would be conducted by a chef or a homemaker and could be vegetarian or non-vegetarian. “I chose this area because it is home ground for me. I know all the vendors,” Munshaw – Ghildiyal says.
Masala Meanders has a fixed departure on the third Saturday of every month, no matter how many people take part in the tour. But you can also ask for customised tours, except Munshaw– Ghildiyal requires a minimum of four people. This includes street food tours where people can taste stuff sold on the pavement like pav bhaji, sev puri etc. “This is at the person’s own risk,” she cautions.
There are other cuisine tours on offer, but Munshaw –Ghildiyal will talk about them only after they are launched. Also, she is penning her book, My Mumbai Cookbook, which talks about her growing up in the melting pot called Mumbai.
The first tour will take place on November 20 and will include Indian home cooking (veg or non-veg) ` 3500-4000.
Log on to www.beaconholidays.au or http://a-perfect-bite.blogspot.com/p/culinary-tours-new-new.html . You could also log on to Facebook, look for Masala Trails, a culinary experience of India.