Meena’s kitchen, the only room so far on the second floor, is very basic.
There are no countertops or tables for food prep. She has a two-burner propane stovetop, but it’s hard to get a replacement propane tank to the house so she cooks over a wood fire most of the time. The black pot over the fire is for heating water for bathing and washing dishes.
There are no cabinets, just shelves. Priya has added her artistic touch to the papers lining the shelves.
Meena cooks everything from scratch. No canned or frozen food. She has no freezer. Canned food isn’t readily available in this area. Even if it was, it would be too expensive. Here she separates hulls from chickpeas.
A parantha is similar in appearance to a stuffed tortilla. The minced cauliflower with herbs and spices is added on top of the first layer of dough as a filling. A second layer of dough is rolled to cover the filling, and the edges are pinched to seal it inside. Then it is put on the tawa, an Indian griddle, for cooking.
There’s no sink in Meena’s kitchen, just a corner of the room with a drainhole. No plumbing, either. They carry in water from the tank just outside.