Samal – cooking Food and climbing Hill

23. February 2019


One village after another… Samal is on the way to Kumbalgarh. Another village with a mixture of tribals and caste children. And another focus: cooking together! We were with a family where it seemed to me that there hadn’t been that many people before. There was a large interested audience.




One dish was pakoras in sauce. The first step was to chop up the chillies. The woman did it, I did it, the audience watched.


chopping woman


The man also joined in the cooking and started with the tomatoes for a pumpkin dish. The audience was obviously not bored yet.


chopping man


Our cooker looked like this and was therefore fuelled with wood. The temperature and cooking length could be regulated quite well with the smaller twigs. There were more cooks. Once the pakora dough was ready and checked (quite a “muddy” consistency), I let small heaps slide into the boiling oil according to the instructions. I couldn’t take a photo of this, however, as my hands were full of pakora dough. In any case, it took me a while to get the portions to the satisfaction of my strict teacher.




The crowd was thinning out by now and there was another cook: our driver. In the picture at the top, he is stirring – I think it was the pumpkin curry). In this picture, he doesn’t like to look while chef Guide stirs the pakoras in the sauce.




In the meantime, the woman started with the dough for the corn chapati.




The chapatis are prepared outside the house. The woman baked a chapati and then gave me a portion of dough. It’s really difficult to tap the dough back and forth between your hands to make it bigger and thinner without tearing at the edges. I was very clumsy and we both had a fit of laughter. I was relieved – the woman seemed a bit tense and anxious beforehand.


smiling woman


And then we finally had the food, which tasted very good. However, without a single corn chapati produced by me. I gave up. But I was proud of my tasty pakoras.




Afterwards we went for a walk through the village and I was so amazed by the sky that I could hardly keep my finger off the shutter.










Well, of course there were a few people on the tour.




After all these treats and exciting experiences, I felt like a little hike. The hills tempted me and I climbed one and sat by the flag for a long time looking down. The animals were driven home. And nobody took any notice of me. That’s very rare.






looking down 1


looking down 2


However, that changed when I had to take a bit of road on the way back. Various moped riders were thrilled to see a lone Westerner walking around. They honked and hooted and were delighted. I was in a good mood from the day and was happy too. That is not always like that in Rajasthan.