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They say that the best way to experience a culture is through food and sharing a meal with locals. I have found this to be tested and true, and undoubtedly why everyone was fascinated and drawn to the late Anthony Bourdain.
When you share a meal with others, you learn so much about the culture. This is why, when I travel, I make it point to dive deep in through cooking classes. The more intimate the better. You learn so much about someone and the intricacies of that culture.
It deems like India was long ago, but as I made this Curried Garbanzo with Spinach “Buddha Bowl” it took me back to my cooking class in Udaipur inside the home of Shahi. At the beginning of class, Shashi sat us down and told us her life story. Belonging to the Brahmin class of the Indian caste system, Shashi had no way to support herself and her two young boys following the death of her husband. Brahmin’s aren’t allowed to perform certain work, such as clothes washing and cleaning, leaving Shashi, who didn’t speak any English, with few choices. Her son’s friends convinced her that her cooking was so good she ought to teach classes.
Shashi now speaks fluent English and her cooking school is the #1 rated thing to do on TripAdvisor in Udaipur. The 5-hour course tantalized our senses with exotic smells and tastes… a feast of great proportions!
This dish was inspired by the recipes I learned at Shashi’s Cooking Classes when I was in Udaipur, Rajasthan in 2018. It makes for a fiber-rich, meatless, and low-sodium delicious meal with rice.
I'm an Integrative Nutrition Health Coach and Registered Yoga Teacher (RYT-200), offering guidance to high achievers in aligning their lifestyle with well-being through daily wellness and self-care routines, promoting balance and harmony. Join me at Wellness Bum for tips on living well, and consider subscribing to my newsletter or booking a coaching session.