An Indian Food Odyssey

Our first meal in India

As a resident of Bradford, curry forms a staple part of my diet and is probably one of my favourite cuisines. So embarking on this trip to India promised to be a journey into some serious culinary delights! 2 months into the trip, I think its about time to set your mouths a-watering!

Initially Indian food did not live up to its promise at all. Our 2 days in Delhi bore only small fruit in the form of some scrummy Masala Dosa; a rice pancake with various dipping sauces. Stuck in Agra for 4 days, we found little to much on… the vegetarian restaurants used very poor ingredients but I guess the meals were passable… when washed down with a clandestine beer! It was when we arrived in Varanasi that we found some delicious curries.. Malai Kofta, Aloo Gobi and freshly baked breads.

In Chandigarh we were extended some Indian hospitality by a local family who happened to own a restaurant and gave us our first non-veg meal of Butter Chicken and Fish Masala… delicious.

On the train up to the mountains we had spicy tomato soup from a small stall and some spicy potato in a bread bun… all washed down by the obligatory cup of chai… spicy milky and sugary tea…. If you don’t take sugar in your drinks… you are going to struggle in India!

Street Food Seller in Tamil Nadu

The best meals are usually from grotty street stalls that we spontaneously visit. Amritsar offered Channa Masala and fresh baked Pui, Jaipur gave us Chola Bhatura and fresh saffron lassi and in Mumbai, a guy chopped up tomatoes, onions, coriander and peas and served it to us in a roll of newspaper on the street. We’ve had rice dumplings served on palm leaf and samosas freshly fried up in front of us…

So that’s the good… but how about the bad and the ugly??? Breakfast is the hardest meal in this country… who can face stuffed paratha and pickle every morning…. and I remember the rejoicing when we found porridge for the first time…One breakfast looked like one colour… including the colour of the plate and we didn’t even touch it. We had a curry in a homestay in Jaipur which was just pure water and on a train a fellow traveller was disturbed by his non-veg meal which appeared to be an egg…. I say appeared as no-one dared to eat it! And if you don’t fancy curry then there is always the tourist food…. usually double the price and nothing you would recognise! But there are exceptions to that rule… Indians seem to get Israeli food…. there are alot of travellers here from that part of the world… and Laffa, Falafel and Hummus are plentiful… we even found an italian restaurant to rival Pizza Express whilst we were in Goa!

Sometimes decoding the menus is hard… not the Indian ingredients… we quickly picked up aloo, gobi, saag, paneer, muttar…. we were more concerned with Babeens on Tost, Pogh Egg and Wine-sized soup!

Lassi and Chola in Jaipur

So now in Pondycherry in Tamil Nadu… we are off out this evening to sample something not often available … the sacred steak! probably washed down with some beer!

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1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. tonton
    Nov 14, 2010 @ 16:15:31

    Yummy;you have been sampling some very spicey grub these last 2 months;
    lots of shocks for the taste-buds.Did you stop over at Mysore(arse)? I heard
    they make an “explosive”curry there;powerful enough to send you into orbit!Crap joke,nespa?Bon appétit…

    Reply

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