Route To India Presents: Journey to the Spice Capital of the World
Route To India Presents: Journey to the Spice Capital of the World: Kerala, India Dec 12th – 21st 2010
Set on this stage called India are elements of fantasy, straight out of a James Bond movie...fabled forts, legendary palaces, adventure a la Indiana Jones ... jungle safaris with tigers, elephants and wildlife; ancient temples, awe-inspiring monuments, mighty rivers, god men, musicians, courtesans and wandering minstrels. Imagine all this spread across a historic canvas stretching from 2500 BC to the 21st century, and you will get an idea of the Great Indian Epic.
Let’s Eat Pray Love in God's own country, Kerala.
Tour and taste the best of Kerala with Nalini Mehta as she takes you to her home country. She has for past many years been teaching Ayurveda cooking in Manhattan and guiding culinary tours of ‘Little India’ in NY. Nalini has documented traditional Kerala recipes and culinary techniques handed down through the generations. During the tour we will use these recipes while cooking with local experts in beguiling locations- on a houseboat in the backwaters, at a cardamom plantation, in organic spice farms, and finally in the kitchens of a renowned Hindu temple.
Embark on an incredible journey of self discovery. All 5 senses will come alive here... Mornings will begin with yoga, meditation and a complete Ayurveda immersion. We will eat breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince and dinner as you deem fit! We will then explore the land and its divine people.
Each day will make you more proficient in Kerala and Ayurveda cuisine, its techniques and the use of its prized spices. The same spices that Columbus went on a quest for almost 600 years ago, instead he discovered the Americas! All this, close to nature yet in the lap of ultimate hospitality and luxury.
India is a melting pot of 1.1 billion people and is the world’s largest democracy - a mosaic of 6 ethnic racial groups and the birthplace of 4 religions - Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism and Sikhism. India has 1,652 spoken languages and dialects, 22 regional languages and 2 classical languages - Sanskrit and Tamil. However, don’t worry as English or a Hindi phrasebook will get you understood, countrywide.
The tour will begin in Cochin (Kochi to the locals), Kerala (COK is the international airport code) and will take you to 4 exotic destinations (you will need to arrive in Kochi by the evening of December 12th). It will last through the afternoon of Dec 21 and then we fly out of Kochi later that evening. The good news is, we'll arrive back in the US on the same date, since you gain time.
PRICE: $3,950 (approximate) based on double occupancy. Note that the price does NOT cover international airfare. It does cover all hotel stays and ground travel within India, sightseeing, cooking demos/ classes, most major meals. While we try and accommodate you in 5-Star like high end luxury resorts/hotels, sometimes this may not be possible. However, there's a guarantee of at least a 4-Star equivalent facility.
Day 01: Arrival Cochin
Day 02: In Cochin
Day 03: Cochin – Munnar
Day 04: Munnar – Periyar
Day 05: Periyar – Kumarakom
Day 06: In Kumarakom
Day 07: AC house boat/
Day 08: Alleppey - Mararikulam
Day 09: Marari Beach
Day 10 Marari – Cochin airport
(Sneak Peek) Day 2 in Cochin, December 13th:
We will stay at one of India’s premier resort hotels situated on a historic stretch of Cochin's famed harbor. Here you have a unique opportunity to dwell amidst the shadow plays of 19th century history. After a good night's rest we will start the day with yoga or an ayurveda massage. A hearty breakfast of fresh juices and dosas - the famous south Indian rice crepes and pancakes, and we are ready to explore the city - the Mattancherry spice market, antique furniture market and the oldest synagogue in India. See the fresh produce, talk with the spice merchants and perhaps buy some Indian cooking utensils. In the afternoon we will have our first induction to Kerala cuisine with a world renowned chef in her own home. She has been written up by New York Times and several other magazines as one of the best teachers of traditional Kerala cuisine. For dinner we will enjoy treats that the chef prepares for us.
7.00- 8.30 am ‘Yoga hour’ daily or Ayurveda massage (optional )
9.00-10.15am Dosa demo followed by traditional south Indian breakfast
10.30- 11.00am Get ready for a day of shopping and cultural exploration of Fort Cochin.
11.00- 1.00pm Guided historic walk Fort Cochi, Visit the Spice market and shop for spices and antiques
1.30- 2.30pm Lunch (Grand Hoteli)
2.30- 4.00pm Visit Jew Town, Jewish Sinagogue, Dutch Palace
4.00 -8.30p Cooking class at Nimmi Paul’s followed by dinner
For more details contact: nanusri[at]yahoo.com or call 212.361.9477; website: www.routetoindia.com
Nalini Mehta has over ten years' experience in the NY food industry as a caterer, a cook and instructor. She is the founder of Route to India Inc.
Nalini has been a culinary instructor at the Natural Gourmet Institute for Food and Health, Whole Foods Culinary Center, Intstitute of Culinary Education NY, and NY Open Center teaching Ayurvedic cooking and has given lectures at several institutes like Baruch College, Rubin Museum of Art, Bloomingdales SF and Step Up Women's Network, .
Growing up in an environment where healthy eating habits were a mission for her mother and yoga and meditation a part of daily life, she has continued to be conscious of the power of food and has honored this as a gift from god.
All information and photos contained herein pcourtesy of Nalini Mehta