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An Affair with Local Food and the Himalayas at Kausani

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It’s been a month now when I’d visited Kausani in Uttarakhand. Since it was Diwali, it was a long weekend and we got four days’ off, so we planned to head towards Himalayas.

I’d always wanted to explore Uttarakhand as Dhanaulti and Munsiyari in the state have always fascinated me. These are some offbeat hill stations to visit. I started with Kausani, Mahatma Gandhi called it the mini Switzerland of India and now I know the reason.

It’s a small, peaceful village and a hill station situated in Bageshwar district. As they say, “The real Beauty is in Simplicity”, Kausani is the example for it. I had stayed there for 2 days. The first day I just sat staring Himalayas from my Hotel Room’s window and took a walk around the hotel.

Oh! I forgot to tell you. Kausani’s sunrise and sunsets are quite famous, so on the second day, I woke up too early to see the sunrise. Since it was foggy and cloudy, I just got to get a glimpse for 15 minutes 😀 . Then I headed to local market. There’s nothing much to buy but there are government associated Kausani woolen shops and the store for Himalayan tea, jams and Buransh flower’s juice.

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Second day and I started with the Kausani tea estate. We really need not take permission to visit the tea garden. Anyone and everyone can visit between 9 am to 4 pm. Since, there was no one to talk about the tea estate – it belonged to the Uttarakhand government – I just clicked random pictures and headed to Himalayan View Point, a restaurant just opposite to the tea garden.

Spot on! I got what I was looking for -the Local Food of Kumaon Region! The stars of the day were Madua ki Roti, Badee ki Sabzi and Bhatt ke Dupke at the restaurant. After enquiring about the food, I started to talk about the speciality and how it’s made with one of the waiters. He was kind enough to tell me the main ingredients of all three cuisines, and a bit of how they are made. Now it’s the food time; at 11 am I was having lunch 😀 😀

The aroma made me to eat much although 1 Madua ki roti was enough to fill the stomach.

Madua ki Roti – It’s made with Madua flour. A simple roti with lots of pure ghee on it. Yummm!

Bhatt ke Dupke – I thought it was a kind of sabzi. But no. It was a dal (lentil). The flavors of the spices were infused in it. The dal had a distinct flavor which made it more tasty, otherwise, it was cooked in the normal onion, tomato masala.

Badee ki Sabzi – The veggie made of Badee or Bari. The Badee was made with a mix of urad dal, lauki (bottle gourd) and a few spices, and then cooked in onion, tomato curry.

A treat to stomach! I thanked the waiter and headed towards the Kausani tea store. They keep Buransh juice too, I had 1 small glass; the cost was just Rs. 10. In such a painstakingly expensive world, I got a Rs. 10 organic juice, what more I had wanted for! It was slightly tangy with sweet flavor.

After that I headed to Anashakti Ashram – Mahatma Gandhi had spent a few days there – and then back to my hotel room. Luckily it rained in evening that day and the next morning before I’ left this beautiful place, I got to see the entire Himalayan Range. It’s exotic!

The recipes of the cuisines will follow soon.

— Shared by Sara Khan

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