A journey to India is incomplete without exploring the intensely diverse food culture. The state of Rajasthan, in particular, is known for its varied delicacies and has vast history of its food, spices and herbs.
Udaipur’s Shakti Singh Inda is playing his role in passing on the Indian delicacy delight to the food aficionados who come from foreign land and who have a passion for both eating and cooking Indian food.
Since last 12 years, Inda has been teaching cooking to a lot of foreign tourists in Udaipur and thereby making himself as one of the first few cooking masters of Udaipur to teach foreigners. India Spice Box – name of Shakti Singh Inda’s cooking classes, running at Lal Ghat, near Jagdish Chowk area is an ultimate spot for passionate cooks from all over the world.
Since its inception in the year 2000, Shakti Singh claims to have taught over 12000 tourists.
A typical cookery class taken by Singh runs for around 2 hours where he talks about the blend of Indian Cultural and Eating habits, along with preparation of three vegetarian recipes with rice and chapatis.
Shakti Singh started selling tea and spices, and to attract customers he used to demonstrate the preparation of tea. In no time, he discovered that instead of merely exhibiting ‘How to make tea’ it would add a lot of value to teach them the very Indian way of cooking and that’s how Indian Spice Box started.
Singh was also featured in Lonely Planet (Australian Guide Book) for 6 consecutive years from year 2000 and feels proud to have taught cooking to Jamie Oliver’s (renowned British Chef) first Assistant.
While sharing his experiences, Singh told UT that his very first class went on for nearly 7 hours with a batch of two. Further, at that time, he was not familiar with names of spices in his client’s native language.
“In the initial days it was not at all easy for me to teach my students as they came from distinct nationalities and language was a big barrier” said Singh.
Singh informed that he generally takes 2 batches per day in morning and evening shifts. However, during tourist seasons, the numbers of batches rises to 3 or sometimes even 4.
The practice of taking his students for buying vegetables has always been a part of classes.
Naomi and Olly, a tourist couple from England and Callum Valentine and Raquel Moss from New Zealand became part of Indian Spice Box following their curiosity for learning Indian food. Soon after the class, Olly decided to open a Restaurant Pub in his country so that he could cook and serve delicious cuisines.
Callum Valentine and Rarquel Moss in their first visit to sub continent said, “Indian recipes are very delicious to eat, but on the one the other hand are pretty difficult to prepare”.
Indian Spice Box is ideal for all those who want to learn very basic but distinct and delicious Indian Food.