Make Shift Kitchens, Indian Style

Indians love to travel. They are visible all over India: going to weddings, making a pilgrimage to a holy destination and on school holidays, just to name a few. For the most part, they travel in groups and aren’t familiar with the concept of traveling light.

While in south India I was taking a short cut through the bus station and came upon two parked buses that caught my attention.  They were colorfully painted but beside them you could see entire kitchens set up right there in the station with the tantalizing aroma of delicious meals filling the air.

Open Air Kitchen

Open Air Kitchen

Bus Station Kitchen

Bus Station Kitchen

You can see that these groups are traveling with their own canisters of gas and huge cauldrons. In the south in particular, strict vegetarians are common.  Their dietary requirements are very important to them so they bring a cook along and everything else necessary.  Make shift kitchens go up wherever possible, not just in the bus station.

A Few Chiles?

A Few Chiles?

No meal in India is complete without lots of dried, red chiles…and piles of tomatoes and onions…and a big smile.

Steaming Cauldrons

Steaming Cauldrons and Smiles


About ninagrandiose

I am based in NYC but travel regularly to India and Mexico. Both of these countries feel like home. In India I scour the country in search of fabulous textiles to incorporate into my clothing designs. I sit back and let the ambiance and wonder of India seep into my consciousness so I can be inspired to write about what India is for me. I bring a limited number of people to India on exclusive and intimate tours of my favorite hangouts. In Mexico I take in the natural beauty that surrounds me and dance the night away. I constantly give thanks for all this and am pleased to share it all with you.
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10 Responses to Make Shift Kitchens, Indian Style

  1. Andy Schwartz says:

    Informative and enjoyable post with photos that put me right there beside the bus!

  2. Quite different from my world, where we can’t do anything in public, except show facades and coolness. I love this way of living. Great images which captures the relaxed an easy going way of handling make shift kitchens.

    • ninagrandiose says:

      These differences are why I travel and naturally, they inspire me to capture it all through the lens. Thanks, Otto.

  3. As an Indian, these are things that fly by under the radar for me. It’s quite common to have make-shift kitchens while travelling in groups, more so if you’re a pure vegetarian. The way you represent it, it sounds positively exotic! 🙂

    On a side note, did you know Indians who travel to Europe in groups have a cook arranged by the tour organizer? It’s for the strict vegetarians who’d rather have their own cuisine in every part of the world. These cooks also carry ingredients from India, though don’t have such open kitchens, the concept is the same.

  4. ninagrandiose says:

    Thanks for your interesting and informative response. I also travel with my own set of Indian spices but not a cook!

  5. leggypeggy says:

    What a great post. Thanks.

  6. Must have been quite a experience !!! yeah these are quite common in India.

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