How do we ensure that our family, friends, and guests keep praising our food? What invites them back to us again and again, even in seasons when people don’t visit the hills?
Yes, among other attractions, it’s the food that we serve!
For us, food has to be delicious, made from good quality ingredients, and good for our health. We use locally purchased vegetables, that the villagers grow without using any chemicals. Sometimes, we procure various exotic vegetables from a couple of organic farms too, that are located some distance away from us.
We prepare various kinds of foods, from different cuisines. Sometimes we mix and match, sometimes we try to keep it as much authentic as possible. Depends totally on what our guests like.
Many spices are also grown in our own garden. Those spices that we can’t grow locally, we buy from the market, preferably organic. All the herbs that we use in the food are from our garden.
The fruit trees provide plenty of produce during the summers. We use these to prepare jams, marmalades, sauces, pickles, and chutneys. These preserves made using our homegrown fruits are sealed in glass jars using an age-old method of just heating and adding sugar. No chemical preservatives are added.
Though we are located in a very off-beat location, the people around us are very helpful. They provide us with fresh farm produce from their homes. Sometimes we buy milk and cottage cheese also from them.
Some families run cottage industries and prepare scrumptious delicacies. We are very fond of the various types of cheese that are sold nearby. These artisan cheese have their own flavors.
We at Maini’s Hill Cottages, also enjoy a variety of cuisines. Kumaoni cuisine is a local way of cooking. The delicious preparations are mildly spiced with fresh spices, hemp seeds, mustard seeds, and chilies. A variety of wildflowers and herbs are also used in this cuisine. When you dine with us, it is the culture of the region that you get to experience.
We also prepare dishes from traditional Awadhi, Mughlai, and other Indian cuisines, with a blend of right spices and cooked to perfection, with a touch of Kumaoni methods. Every day is different and so are our preparations. Even the taste of the same dish varies from time to time. We cook with love. Spices are added in pinches and when the smell is right, the amount is right for us.
This food is prepared in our home kitchen, similar to how we do it in our everyday life. Simple, pure, and healthy!
Since everything is prepared fresh, the preparations take time. Even the wait, with these aromas wafting through the air is an experience for us!
Our dining area itself is located in the garden, surrounded by fruit trees and mesmerizing views all around. Fresh breeze from the hills and chirping from the birds add further pleasure to our meals.