All Seasons Homestay | Jaipur | Rajasthan

All Seasons Homestay - Rajasthani Thali
All Seasons Homestay – Rajasthani Thali

Live like a local when you travel to Jaipur.

I truly believe, there’s no better food than homemade food. Restaurant hopping is fun, however, I feel, living with a family, gives you a better insight into the local culture and flavours, when it comes to food. Hence, I chose All Seasons Homestay on Hathroi Road, as my den during my recent trip to Jaipur.

How did we find it?

Sifting through various options on Internet, I noticed a photo of a beautiful lawn. That was all I needed to choose All Seasons. And much to my pleasure, the lawn looked prettier in reality. However, to our dismay, we couldn’t spot any of the owners at our arrival. I was slightly tired anyway from the journey, so, I decided to head straight to my room. Room number 9, christened Agrahayan, was to be my space for the next 3 days. An old style room with attached kitchen, a balcony and my favourite specs – super clean washroom and a dress room, all things I love!

I liked the tasteful blend of traditional and modern decorative in my room. The wall plates from Blue Ceramics, Jaipuria quilt, vintage style wooden bed, tinted Rajasthani lamps – everything was nicely put together. Though it was one of the oldest rooms, a remnant of the original structure of the house, it had been recently renovated. So, the washroom and cupboards were fitted with modern amenities. The best part about this room was its separate entrance, which ensured calm and privacy.

In the common kitchen, a Microwave, Water Purifier and Induction Plate were provided in case one feels like cooking on their own. The common area had impeccable white walls and a huge window with tinted glass. Lined with huge sofas, one can sit here and read or relax. They provide books too, which by the way is good, as their Wi-Fi functions poorly. The other seating area on first floor had a roof garden, however, with the ongoing construction in the adjacent plot, I skipped the idea of sitting there.

My favourite was their outdoor seating besides the dining room. I’m sure that during pleasant weather, it could be the best place in the entire house to sit and eat. I mean, who wouldn’t want to sit in a lawn, near the plants and enjoy a plate of home cooked Rajasthani meal?

Meet the Owners

As, we were heading out to kick off our ‘Food Trail’ we met Ranjana, the vivacious owner of the homestay. With a broad smile and hearty laugh, she spoke with much spunk. She eagerly spoke of places to shop from and eat. Her energy levels were infectious.

An English teacher by profession, her zest for life was evident, every time she spoke about travelling to various cities with her husband, Dinesh, enjoying a game of Poker or going for a cycle marathon with her friends. She enthusiastically shared her ideas regarding expansion of her homestay business and additions that she wants to incorporate for giving her guests a wholesome experience. For someone who has built it all from a scratch, she naturally had a story associated with each decorative that she had handpicked, from all over India. Her stories about wall hangings from Ladakh, a pot from Sikkim or Tibetan artifacts from Mcleodganj, were as enamoring as the things adorning the place.

I didn’t see much of Dinesh, but he seemed warm and friendly.

Bina, Dinesh’s sister, is the brain behind the beautiful garden.

Most notably, I found Ranjana’s willingness to learn and share very inspiring. When I asked her what’s your favourite corner of the house, she replied, “My entire house is my favourite”. Her expression while saying that, stayed with me.

Home cooked Meal at All Seasons.

One of my most memorable meals in Jaipur was my dinner at All Seasons. On our request, Ranjana had prepared a beautiful thali consisting of Dal Bati Choorma, Besan ke Gatte, Mirchi Ke Tapori, Lehsun Chutney, Papad and Rice. This was far better than Chokhi Dhani. Ranjana even guided us, as we cracked the Bati and topped it with chutney, ghee, salad and daal. Made with different types of lentils mixed with garam masala, salt, turmeric and coriander, the Bati was perfectly crisp on the outside and soft inside. Daal was mildly spiced, a welcome change from the spicy food we had been gorging on in Jaipur. Besan Ke Gatte, made using black gram flour, cooked with onions, tomatoes, cumin, chili and heeng, had a tangy-spicy flavour to it, which I absolutely loved.

My mother used to make gatte sometimes, when we lived in Jodhpur. Eating the dish reminded me of those times. Mirchi Ki Tapori – green chilies sautéed in hot tangy spicy pickle masala, was a delicious condiment to go along with the mildly spiced Daal-Bati.

After we were finished with the finger licking mains, we were served Choorma. Prepared by crushing the Bati into fine-powder consistency and mixed with sugar and fennel, the choorma was the perfect sweet note, to end the meal with.

Every dish was prepared in Desi Ghee and much to my surprise, a Bengali cook had prepared it. Andrila Didi, who originally belongs to Cooch Behar, has been working in Jaipur for the past 5-6 years. As soon as she got to know, I could speak Bangla, she took me to her kitchen and spoke to me about her family and Maharani Gayatri Devi, who also belongs to the same town as her. We laughed and communicated with each other in our limited vocabulary of Hindi and Bengali. I wished her goodnight and thanked her for a lovely Rajasthani Meal.

Like I said earlier, the best food is always available at homes and this was an absolute delight.

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