Southern India Culinary Tour

Kerala is famed for its delightful people, tropical scenery, and delicious food.  On our culinary and cultural journey we will be exposed to a diversity of experiences.  We will explore the colonial heritage city of Cochin, home to a fusion of Portuguese, Dutch, Arabic, and British influences; walk through the spice and tea plantations in the hills of Munnar; relax on a traditional Keralan rice barge in the backwaters of Allepey; and taste exotic fruits as we explore the beautiful palm-fringed beaches of Kerala.  We will dine on succulent coconut curries, seafood straight from the Malabar Coast, rotis and naan hot out of the tandoori oven, spiced vegetables, sweet lentil dishes, and an assortment of meats doused in delicious masalas.

Trip Summary: Southern India | 7 Days

Trip Dates:  Year Round

Group Size: Capped at 16

Price From: $2900

Trip Highlights:

  • Explore Kerala and beautiful Cardamom Hills Spice Gardens.
  • Enjoy guided visits to Munnar Tea Plantations and a traditional Indian boat tour through Kerala's backwaters.
  • Learn from some of the best in Southern India during 3 different cooking class sessions.

Itinerary | 7 Days

Day 1 Southern India | Traditional Welcome Dinner: : You will be greeted at the Kochi Airport by your private driver and escorted to your hotel.  After you have settled in we will set off to explore the city --visiting the Mattancheery spice market where you will see fresh produce, talk with the spice merchants, possibly buy some Indian cooking utensils.  In the evening we will gather for a Traditional Welcome Dinner of delicious curries, naan bread, and seafood at the famous Oceanos Restaurant.  Accommodation: CGH Casino Hotel

Day 2, City Bazaar and Spice Market Tour:  After a delicious breakfast buffet where you will experience a variety of traditional Southern Indian specialties such as Masala Dosa and Idli.  The menu changes often, and always incorporates local Keralan ingredients and recipes.  As we set off to explore the city – we will set out first to the Mattancherry spice market, followed by a visit to the antique furniture market, and a tour of some of the oldest synagogues and temples in India.  You will see fresh produce, talk with the spice merchants, possibly buy some Indian cooking utensils, and dine on traditional temple food in one of Kochi’s most famed and ancient temples.  Accommodation: CGH Casino Hotel

Day 3, Backwater Jungle Tour:  One of the most tranquil and relaxing things you can do in Kerala is to take a trip in a houseboat along the palm-fringed Kerala canals, known as the backwaters. Reclining on cushions, you’ll travel through the rivers on a labyrinth of man-made canals that flow through island paddy fields.  Halfway through our journey we will stop for a unique experience – eating a meal with local families and hearing their stories.  Accommodation: CGH Casino Hotel

Day 4, Hands-on Indian Cooking Courses:  The southern coastal region of Kerala is renowned for its cuisine that incorporates Hindu, Christian, and Muslim cultural influences.  Seafood, vegetables, and coconut feature heavily in the food, along with spices like cinnamon and ginger.  In three different cooking courses during our time in Kochi and Munnar, we will learn how to cook a variety of traditional Kerala dishes, focusing on delicate seafood, spices, and coconut flavors.  Be prepared to create beautiful coconut curries, prawn biryanis, delicious samosas, and savory vegetable stir-fries.  Accommodation: CGH Casino Hotel

Day 5, Visit to Munnar Tea Estate and Spice Garden Experience: Inner Kerala is blessed with the natural beauty of winding lands, misty hills, and forests full of exotic plants and wildlife.  The beautiful villa of Munnar is one of the most beautiful tea Estates in the region.  Here we will take a tour and see tea being picked and processed, even having the opportunity to sip Chai Masala (Indian Tea) straight from the gardens.  Then we'll head over to the Munnar Spice Garden which is hidden amongst the trees of the jungle.  We will have the opportunity to embark on a tour of the spice farm and learn about each of the spices, how they are grown, and how they are used in traditional Keralan Cuisine. Plants and spices grown on the farm include – coconut, pineapple, bananas, different types of yam, tapioca, spices such as pepper, ginger, nutmeg, cinnamon, turmeric, vanilla and other tropical fruit trees and medicinal herbs. Accommodation: Kaivalyam Retreat

Day 6,  Traditional Parting Dinner | Cultural Show: In the evening we will have the opportunity to have our last, real, in-depth experience with Southern Indian culture and cuisine as we dine on authentic Keralan fare at the Malabar House.  Our evening dinner will be followed by a traditional Kathakali Performance at the Cochin Cultural Center.  The Kathakali Dance will leave us with a final memory of just how exotic, beautiful, and unique Southern India is.  Accommodation: Kaivalyam Retreat

Day 7, Departure: After a delicious breakfast and leisurely morning, we will say goodbye to Kerala, India as we depart for our international flights back home or extend our stay another 4-days in Sri Lanka (see Sri Lanka extension directly right).

 

This Acanela Expedition © is the perfect fusion between comfort & adventure. Embark on this small group exploration and have hands-on encounters with local peoples and cultures, while experiencing all the historical & culinary highlights along the way.


Trip Locations:  Munnar, Kerala, India

Trip Locations:  Munnar, Kerala, India


Expedition Dates:

Year round.

Private dates upon inquiry.


Prices From:

$2600

All inclusive package including accommodation for all nights, in-country transport by private bus, train, or flight, lecture and instruction materials from our expert guides, all activities, and meals as listed on the itinerary. *International Airfare and Visa Fees are not included.


Contact Us: 1-323-657-3496

Call to speak with one of our agents about this trip, or email us at: expeditions@acanela.com


Expert guide:

Professional Chefs: In the evening we will dine in the small and cozy restaurant, experiencing the culinary skills of local chefs in Southern India, whose philosophy is to retrieve the foundation of traditional Southern Indian cooking, by designing dishes in accordance with authentic Indian traditions and using original, and wherever possible, locally grown ingredients, integrating past and present cooking methodologies.  Last but not least, a selection of excellent wines from over 400 outstanding regional and national producers will make your experience especially memorable.

Professional Chefs: In the evening we will dine in the small and cozy restaurant, experiencing the culinary skills of local chefs in Southern India, whose philosophy is to retrieve the foundation of traditional Southern Indian cooking, by designing dishes in accordance with authentic Indian traditions and using original, and wherever possible, locally grown ingredients, integrating past and present cooking methodologies.  Last but not least, a selection of excellent wines from over 400 outstanding regional and national producers will make your experience especially memorable.

What to Expect of a Culinary Adventure: Embark with our team as we immerse and cook our way throughout Southern India exploring tradition, history, and culture, while being mentored in Indian cuisine. This is a great opportunity to develop your skills as a cook, or simply come home with a variety of recipes to share with friends, and explore some of India's hidden mountains, cliff-top roads, and wineries. At the end of your trip, you’ll receive a greater love for diverse cooking including Southern Indian cuisine that you can use when you go back home.

What to Expect of a Culinary Adventure:

Embark with our team as we immerse and cook our way throughout Southern India exploring tradition, history, and culture, while being mentored in Indian cuisine. This is a great opportunity to develop your skills as a cook, or simply come home with a variety of recipes to share with friends, and explore some of India's hidden mountains, cliff-top roads, and wineries. At the end of your trip, you’ll receive a greater love for diverse cooking including Southern Indian cuisine that you can use when you go back home.

4-DAY SRI LANKA EXTENSION: Extend your journey 3 nights and 4 days and experience an entirely new culture and cuisine.  From the thriving city of modern Colombo to the world Heritage Sigiryia rock, the sacred Dambulla caves to the cool tea plantations in the center, and finally the small fishing villages and towns along the southern coast, our journey will take us on a miraculous cultural and culinary journey.  We will have the opportunity to take a Sri Lankan cooking class, hike deep into the spice jungles, visit ancient ruins, see wildlife, and learn about the culture and cuisine of remote tribes.  

4-DAY SRI LANKA EXTENSION:

Extend your journey 3 nights and 4 days and experience an entirely new culture and cuisine.  From the thriving city of modern Colombo to the world Heritage Sigiryia rock, the sacred Dambulla caves to the cool tea plantations in the center, and finally the small fishing villages and towns along the southern coast, our journey will take us on a miraculous cultural and culinary journey.  We will have the opportunity to take a Sri Lankan cooking class, hike deep into the spice jungles, visit ancient ruins, see wildlife, and learn about the culture and cuisine of remote tribes.