Meena’s Kitchen

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Meena’s kitchen, the only room so far on the second floor, is very basic.

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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.

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There are no cabinets, just shelves. Priya has added her artistic touch to the papers lining the shelves.

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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.

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Mincing cauliflower.

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Rolling the dough for paranthas.

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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.

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Meena flips over the parantha on the tawa without a spatula.

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Meena gets the fire going again by blowing on the embers through a bamboo tube.

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Meena’s food processor.

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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.


2 thoughts on “Meena’s Kitchen

  1. This shows very clearly that you don’t need a large kitchen with stainless steel appliances, granite countertops, and a spacious center island to create delicious meals! I wish I could taste these!

  2. No, you don’t need those things, you just need to be an excellent cook. But Meena has very little in the way of labor saving tools. She has zero time for relaxing.

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