Thiruvananthapuram, India- Once a year, millions of women leave their homes around the southern state of Kerala and pilgrimage to Thiruvananthapuram to cook a rice dish called pongala as an offering to their goddess, Attukal Amma. The entire ceremony revolves around her temple, pouring out onto the city's streets, where each woman will set up a makeshift hearth of three bricks, a pot, and coconut bark for firewood. On the morning of, the priests will signal over loudspeakers set up around the city, and at that exact moment, millions of fires are lit and the cooking begins.
Danakil Depression, Ethiopia- The Afar region is the hottest inhabited place on earth, a few hundred feet below sea level. The vast salt flats are dotted with camel caravans as local miners trek for multiple days to extract the salt with axes and wooden poles, and then sell at the local markets in Mek'ele. In contrast to the stark white landscape, the depression is also home to hydrothermal fields that offer an array of hot springs, mini geysers, and salt deposits with extraordinary colors caused by ground water heated by molten rock and dried out.
Dives- Every country has them. The low-lit, alcohol-serving establishment with its rough edges that make you imagine it's seen better days. It's still welcoming none-the-less, and hasn't changed in decades. Whether it's the perfectly poured Guinness in Ireland or a bottle of Toddy (fermented coconut sap) in India, you'll be guaranteed a story or two from the locals that have been calling it their spot for years.
Cooking at Home in Tigray, Ethiopia