This blogpost is written by one of our German volunteer
As we all know, German food is in many ways very different to Indian food. Nisha, the coordinator of the children's home at the Hope House has often joked about Germans only using two spices - salt and pepper (see her articles to read about her experience in Germany). Whilst we of course do actually have and use more those two spices, the array spices used in the Indian kitchen is definitely different to those in Germany.
That is why, before coming to India, one thing I was most excited about was learning how to cook Indian food. My family and I have always loved going to an Indian restaurant nearby our home, however I have never been able to recreate it in my own kitchen.
Arriving at the Hope House, I was very quick to meet our cook Priya, being introduced to us as the most important person to befriend with.
Watching her cook, one thing I was surprised to notice was that despite, at least in my eye, a lot of the ingredients seem to be used over and over again in each recipe, each meal has its own distinguishable taste. Some staples I recognise in almost every meal: mustard seeds, curry leaves, turmeric, chilli… and of course salt.
Furthermore I am always impressed by the fact that Priya knows all of the recipes she cooks off by heart. There is not a single cooking book in sight. Therefor, in order to learn how to cook some of our favourite meals, every so often we have been able to look over her shoulder. We often like to assist her (mostly by cutting onions and brinjal) whilst she cooks our meals and teaches us what she knows. My personal favourite meal is by far the potato curry with puri.
After having studiously watched her cooking and written down the ingredients and proportions, I am very excited to try many recipes back home in Germany. I will invite my friends and family over and try to give them a similar experience to the Indian cuisine I am able to have here. Although I am sure, I will not be able to recreate the exact taste, it will be a nice way to bring some of India back home with me. I will definitely always think of Priya and the Hope House eating Indian food in the future.
On the topic of food: we have a program where a donor can choose to pay for the food freshly cooked for Hope House children. If you like to sponsor a meal, kindly fill the form on The Hope House website and one of the staff will get in touch with you to take the process forward.