Inside the world’s largest community kitchen

The langur (community kitchen) at the Golden Temple serves 50,000 free meals a day to everyone, regardless of religion or class. More than 5,000 happy volunteers work round the clock, cooking up a full meal of tea, rice, vegetable, daal, chapati and kheer (pudding). A whopping 18 quantals (=18,000 kg) of daal and 50 quantals…

How to make Poha, from the king of breakfasts

Hasmukh was the king of breakfasts. It was his responsibility to make them at Sapna Ranch and each morning there would be something different – bhelpuri (a type of chaat, made with puffed rice and tangy tamarind sauce), poha jada (thin beaten rice), poha patla (thick beaten rice), upma (savoury porridge made using semolina and…

A recipe for khichidi rice and curd curry (khadi)

25 year-old Kunal is not your average guy, he cooks, massages people’s feet and makes flower mandalas. He is a co-volunteer here at Sapna Ranch, where he showed me how to cook khichidi , a simple ‘temple food’ invented by Saint Sai Baba. Khichidi is almost always served alongside curd curry (khadi). The mix of…

Recipe for Kada: a healthy and herbal Indian tea

I’m writing this with my brother Jack in mind as I know he’s feeling a little under the weather right now. Kada is a traditional Indian herbal tea that is very popular all over India due to it’s healthy and revitalising properties. It’s good for coughs, colds, sore throats, aches and pains. It even helps…

Alleppey special duck curry

This rich duck curry comes from Shaila, who was Bhagath’s mother. We could only communicate with smiles and head shakes, but over the four days we stayed with Bhagath, Shaila cooked us all sorts of delicious Keralan meals. This curry is an ‘Alleppey special’ and traditionally eaten on Sundays, much like the Sunday roast. The…

An African welcome

If I went up to someone in England and asked if I could go to their home and they showed me how to cook shepherd’s pie, what would their reaction be? Would they laugh in my face and tell me to piss off? or would they welcome me into their kitchen? My friends and I were having…