7 Days Cooking Holiday in India

  • Apani Dhani Eco-Lodge, Jhunjhunu road, Nawalgarh, Rajasthan 333042, India

Culinary Vacations India

Discover India's culture and flavors during this holiday cooking classes. Create your homemade vegetarian food using products from an organic garden, walk through colorful fruit markets, craft a workshop of your choice, and learn the traditional dishes and ingredients of the Indian culture. Join your host Ramesh C. Jangid and his family and learn how to prepare Indian bread, dal, vegetable curry, snacks, and desserts surrounded by rural nature in the heart of the Delhi.

Highlights

  • Daily cooking classes
  • Local market specialties tour
  • Craft workshop from your choice
  • Cultural guided village tours
  • 6 nights accommodation
  • 2 daily meals
  • 6 days with instruction
  • English
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Apani Dhani Eco-Lodge offers standard rooms for single occupancy with single bed of 120 centimeters wide and bungalows for single or double occupancy. Apani Dhani Eco-Lodge offers an environmentally friendly accommodation (natural building materials like bricks, adobe, thatch) and uses alternative energies such as solar hot water and electricity. The ten rooms are organized around a bougainvillea-clad courtyard where there is central hut encouraging guests to meet. All rooms have an en-suite bathroom with a shower and sink, hot water heated by solar panels, and toilets. The decoration highlights local crafts. Also an organic vegetable garden.

Culinary art is one of the ways people can learn about a country and its culture. During this holiday, you will learn how to prepare specialties of Rajasthan, vegetables, and pulses dishes, to make chai (Indian tea), various type of Indian breads (chapattis and parathas, baati), desserts, and typical Indian snacks.

Day 1

Upon arrival, you will check in and enjoy a welcome drink followed by an introductory cooking class that will start at 16:00. Afterwards, you will have dinner.

Day 2

You will start this day with a delicious vegetarian breakfast, followed by a tour to the local market to taste local specialties. You will have free time to explore and enjoy yourself, and at 16:00 you will have a cooking class in which you will learn how to make different types of Indian breads and dal. You will close this day with a delicious dinner.

Day 3

After a healthy breakfast, you will enjoy a guided cultural visit of Nawalgarh Havelis and other heritage buildings. You will have time to enjoy yourself followed by a vegetable curries class at 16:00. Then, you will enjoy a delicious dinner.

Day 4

You will start this day with a healthy breakfast and enjoy a walk in the countryside where you will have several activities such as bird watching or meeting a local farmer. Afterwards, you will enjoy time for yourself and a dessert cooking class at 16:00. Then, you will have a delicious dinner.

Day 5

After breakfast, you will enjoy another cultural visit to Dundlod nearby village. You will have free time to enjoy yourself and the surroundings, and then, enjoy a type of snacks class, followed by dinner.

Day 6

This day will start with a delicious healthy breakfast followed by a workshop of your choice. This workshops are an opportunity to meet and interact with members of the local community while providing them with fair complementary revenues. The workshop will be led by a local artisan and it may include wood carving, bangles or traditional bracelets making, or tie and dye scarves.

Bangles workshop

Bangles are traditional bracelets with shimmering colors worn on both wrists by married women. This workshop will enable you to discover their making process, the dexterity of two artisans, Noor Mohammad and Sher bano. In Shekhawati, bangles are traditionally made of a mixture of tree resin, sealing wax and powdered pigments. This material is then softened over low heat on charcoal until it is malleable enough to be shaped to the desired bracelet length and thickness. A thin aluminium thread can be inserted to reinforce it. This workshop will take place at Apani Dhani. Noor Mohammad and Sher bano will show you their technique. You too can venture on this making. If you wish so, you could choose the colors for bangles you would like to have made and buy them directly from the two artisans. This activity is about a two-hour session.

Tie and dye workshop

Through this interactive workshop, Ousman, a Nawalgarh-born artisan, will show you the process of making tie and dye or Bandhej; tying parts of a piece of fabric with a thread to shield them from the action of the dye. This traditional method of reserve dyeing is coming from Rajasthan and Gujarat. You will make scarves with simple designs that can be used like gifts for friends or to keep for yourself. Traditionally women are assigned to the tying while men prepare the dye.

In Shekhawati, tie and dye is on the verge of disappearing in the face of cheap machine-made imitations. Most of the male members of Muslim Rangrez community, whose traditional occupation is dying, have migrated to Middle East to find other types of work. By participating in this workshop, you will also be supporting a craft revival. After the workshop, if you wish, you could also buy scarves directly from Ousman. This is a half-day activity.

Day 7

This day you will enjoy breakfast then depart.

  • Guided cultural visit of Nawalgarh and Dundlod to discover local unique architectural heritage.
  • Local market specialties tour.
  • Walking tour to the surrounding countryside to enjoy a bird watching activity or meet locals.

This holiday will take place at the Apani Dhani Eco-Lodge, in Shekhawati, India. Shekhawati is situated in the heart of the triangle formed by Delhi, Bikaner, and Jaipur cities, in the North-East part of of Rajasthan. Nowhere else in the world is there such a profusion of wall paintings, so intricate and finely executed, in hundreds of cenotaphs, wells, and forts, as in this region. Shekhawati, at the gate of Thar desert, is also a rural area where traditions and customs are still very much alive. A large majority of the population still depends on agriculture and livestock.

The eco-lodge is situated in Nawalgarh, a town well connected by bus and train, that offers an excellent base for exploring the countryside and surrounding villages. The lodge has 3.3 acres of farming land with vegetables, cereals, pulses, and oil seeds. Ample opportunities of activities off the beaten track include discovery of the surrounding countryside, meetings with artisans, bicycle rides, and cultural visits accompanied by locals.

Nearby places

  • Bikaner, 230 kilometers
  • Indira Gandhi International Airport (DEL), 275 kilometers
  • Jaipur International Airport (JAI), 155 kilometers
  • Nawalgarh train station, 1.5 kilometers
Activities
  • Cooking classes
General
  • Environmentally friendly
  • Garden
  • Yoga studio
Services
  • Internet access
  • Tour assistance

During this holiday, you will enjoy two daily vegetarian meals. You will enjoy a daily healthy breakfast and have dinner after cooking classes.

  • Ask for tabla lessons: the tabla, a pair of small hand drums, often played with sitar, is the main percussion instrument of North India.
  • Enjoy an Indian classical music concert with Sitaram, a passionate Nawalgarh-born amateur singer and musician.
  • Full day or half day excursions to other towns of Shekhawati such as Mandawa, Fatehpur to take in the most representative features of its architecture.
  • Stroll in a camel cart, a traditional local mean of transport. It allows a slow-paced stroll through the countryside.
  • Take other craft workshops (wood carving, bangles making or tie and dye) than the one included in the package.
  • 1 craft workshop
  • 1 walking food tour and market
  • 1 walking tour towards the countryside
  • 2 guided cultural visits (Nawalgarh and Dundlod)
  • 6 cooking classes
  • 6 dinners
  • 6 nights accommodation
  • The recipes book of Apani Dhani
  • Additional activities
  • Drinks
  • Entry fees to the monuments
  • Meals not mentioned in the itinerary
  • Transfer to and from Apani Dhani Ecolodge

Driving directions from Delhi to Nawalgarh

It is less economical and environmentally friendly, but rather practical. This is a six to seven hours drive, about 275 kilometers. First, drive towards Gurgaon, further on to Rewari, Singhana, Chirawa, Jhunjhunu, and Nawalgarh.

Arrival by airplane

Please book your flight to arrive at Indira Gandhi International Airport (DEL) or Jaipur International Airport (JAI). Transfer from and to these airports is available upon request for an additional cost.

Arrival by bus from Jaipur

Go to platform 4. Look for the place where to buy your ticket and ask for the next direct bus to Nawalgarh. Numerous buses pass almost every 30 minutes. It is a 3.5-hour drive. In Nawalgarh get off at the second stop called bus depot (500 meters from Apani Dhani) and not at the first stop, near a roundabout and a petrol station. The latter is located a little further Apani Dhani. Buses not advisable from Delhi.

Arrival by train from Delhi

There are two direct trains a week, one every Wednesday and other every Friday. The train number 14812 Sarai Rohilla - Sikar Express, departs Delhi Sarai Rohilla at 06:50 and arrives at Nawalgarh at 12:15. The station is 1,5 kilometers from Apani Dhani. Other days, you may take a train Delhi - Loharu for 3 hours. Then Loharu-Nawalgarh by car for about 2-hour drive, 100 kilometers). There is no train from Jaipur.

Transfer to or from airport, bus/railway station or other destinations nearby can be arranged upon request at an extra cost.

Distances

  • Bikaner, 230 kilometers
  • Indira Gandhi International Airport (DEL), 275 kilometers
  • Jaipur International Airport (JAI), 155 kilometers
  • Nawalgarh bus station, 500 meters
  • Nawalgarh train station, 1.5 kilometers
  • A reservation requires a deposit of 100% of the total price.
  • The deposit is non-refundable, if the booking is cancelled.

Nawalgarh, Rajasthan, India

Apani Dhani Eco-Lodge offers an environmentally friendly accommodation and activities which bring in extra revenue to the local community as well as offering ample opportunities for exchanges.

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7 days / 6 nights

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