Experience authentic Indian cooking on a ME to WE Trip
A cooking lesson with Chef KK
A ME to WE Immersive Volunteer Trip to India is one-of-a-kind: a truly authentic travel experience, giving you the chance to immerse yourself in a vibrant culture, volunteer alongside communities and make an impact. For many travellers, a highlight is meeting Chef KK, our in-house chef at Araveli Cottages and Tented Camp. He has more than 20 years of experience cooking for people across India. Once, he even catered an international cricket match and served 10,000 of them! With that kind of experience, you know he’s the real deal. On your trip to India, you’re in for a treat—meet Chef KK and experience his authentic Indian cuisine (prepared alongside Western favourites), and learn to prepare his dishes yourself with a fun cooking lesson.
We sat down with KK to learn the secrets behind some of his most popular dishes!
Q &A with KK
What does KK stand for?
KK actually stands for Krishna Kumar—but I made it mean Kitchen King!
Tell us a bit about yourself.
I was born in a small village in Rajasthan. Where I lived, women would do most of the cooking, but a few days a month would take a rest—during that time, I started cooking at my home. I started getting better and better. After I finished secondary school, I went to the Food Craft Institute in Udaipur and got a diploma in Food Production.
What do you like the most about your job?
I can’t explain it—it’s always enjoyable for me to prepare food, serve food, and seeing people smile. I love meeting people who visit here, because they come with a lot of positive energy. Some people who visit are also chefs, and they like learning about Indian food since Western and Indian cuisine have a lot of differences.
What’s your favourite thing to cook?
I enjoy cooking local, Indian cuisine, but I also love to cook whatever comes in front of me. When I’m cooking, in my mind I’m always thinking about who will be eating it and where they’re from—I want to make something perfect, that they’ll like.
What do you enjoy about leading cooking classes on ME to WE Trips?
I’ve completed probably 65 or 70 cooking classes—always teaching people how to cook samosas and butter chicken, but the people attending are different so it’s always enjoyable. People love shaping and stuffing their own samosas and preparing them themselves.
Want to try authentic Chef KK samosas? Check out the recipe he shared with us below to bring the flavours of Rajasthan to your kitchen! (And try some authentic Indian chai tea.)
Recipe: Chef KK Samosas
Makes 4 pieces
For dough wrappers:
- ½ cup wheat flour
- ½ tsp carom seeds
- A pinch of salt
- 10 ml oil
- 50 ml water
For spice mix:
- 10 ml oil
- ½ tsp coriander seeds
- ½ tsp cumin seeds
- ¼ tsp anise seeds
- 1/3 tbsp chopped ginger
- ½ tsp salt
- ¼ tbsp turmeric powder
- ¼ tbsp chaat masala (can substitute with lemon juice)
- 2/3 cup boiled mashed potatoes
- 1 ¾ tbsp green peas
- 2/3 tbsp pomegranate seeds
- 1/3 tbsp raisins
- 2/3 tbsp cashew nuts
1. Prepare the dough:
2. Mix all ingredients for the dough (flour, carom seeds, salt, oil, water) and knead tightly together. Let sit for 5-10 minutes.
3. Make the spice mix:
4. Heat the oil.
5. Add the cumin, coriander, and anise seeds to the oil. When they start to brown add the ginger and remaining spices and mix.
6. Mix for 30 seconds.
7. For stuffing:
8. Crumble the boiled potatoes into the pan with spices and mix well.
9. Add the remaining stuffing ingredients and stir until the mixture is dry.
10. Remove from heat and salt to taste.
11. Mold the dough into two oval shapes and cut in half length-wise.
12. Place a few teaspoons of the stuffing mix into each piece of dough and fold to close. Seal with water.
13. Heat three inches of oil in a pan until it reaches 300 degrees.
14. Fry each samosa until golden brown.
15. Let cool and serve.
Recipe: Traditional Indian Masala Chai tea
Makes 3 cups of tea
- 1 cup milk
- 3 cups water
- 2 pieces of green cardamom and ginger
- 3 tsp tea leaves
- 4 tsp sugar
1. Heat milk in saucepan.
2. Crush green cardamom and ginger and add to milk.
3. Add water to mixture and bring to a boil.
4. Reduce heat and add tea leaves.
5. Steep for 3-5 minutes.
6. Add sugar and serve.
Have more questions for KK? Want to taste his food for yourself? It’s all part of the adventure on a ME to WE Immersive Volunteer Trip to India. Learn more.