Learning to cook with Ama and Bua

5th September 2017

One of the many joys of living in the community is the ability to fully immerse ourselves in the Nepali way of life: getting to know the villagers, eating their food in host homes, and experiencing the local traditions and festivals. We were delighted to be invited into one of the host home’s kitchens to learn to cook roti with Ama Bhimkala for dinner.

While it was quite a simple process, she laughed at our regular blunders, mistakenly thinking that mixing flour and water was a rather self-explanatory task, only to find we may need a little more guidance. The kneading of the dough required the use of our new-found digging muscles, but proved harder than the digging itself. After what seemed like an eternity of kneading, Ama finally gave us the nod indicating our dough was ready to cook.

Alicia kneading the dough
Alicia kneading the dough

We then rolled the dough into circular discs using an old bottle as the rolling pin. Before we knew it, we were frying the bread on the fire, cooking both dry and oily rotis. What seemed like a mountain of roti initially, was soon devoured in seconds to the delight of both Ama and Bua.

While eating by the kitchen fire, we discussed the benefits of the water tank we are helping to construct and to learn about Ama’s life and ancestry. It’s interesting how much you can learn about someone in such a short space of time, despite the language barrier. Ama told us of her childhood, growing up in India before moving to a small village on the other side of the valley, where she eventually met her husband through his sister. She then moved to Chapthok at the age of 25 and has lived here ever since.

While she loves the community and is thrilled with the developments that the WASH project is making, there is still a nostalgia for her younger years in India. It was a really special experience to eat in their home and learn about their lives. With our bellies full of roti, we practically rolled ourselves back to the shelter, after a fabulous Nepali evening!

Youth In Civil Society Nepal