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Ponmudi, Kerala, India – Early one morning we drove into the mountains of Ponmudi, into the lush jungle, home to one of the incredible indigenous tribes of India. It was an amazing experience to learn about their culture, and especially to watch them prepare a number of truly incredible cooking techniques – unlike anything else I’d ever seen in the world. #India #Kerala
I had no idea what or how they were going to prepare a leaf basket steamer, and I didn’t even know that’s what they were going to prepare from the beginning. So it was even more fascinating for me to watch them prepare this ancient, and rarely ever seen anymore Indian cooking technique. They first heated rocks in a hot fire. Then the next step is they fastened a leaf basket from a specific type of green leaf. When the rocks had heated for a few hours and were white hot, they dropped the leaves into the bottom of the leaf steamer, added in the cassava, wrapped it all in leaves, then added bamboo poles on the inside to feed in water in order to make then entire packet steam and smoke, and cook, all at the same time. The result was a flavor of cassava unlike anything else I’ve had. It was steamed, but had this incredible smokiness to it.
The fish was cooked differently, seasoned with chilies, and then wrapped into a banana leaf packet and tossed directly into the fire. That was cool too, and also delicious. But the highlight was the amazingly unique leaf basket steamer.
It was an honor to have this opportunity to meet, hang out, and learn from this Tribal community in Kerala, India. Thank you!
Watch the entire Kerala, Indian food video series here: https://youtu.be/WYk5yyHvpvE
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