Written by Shifa
A short trip to India 75% of the time was taken up with my cousins wedding preparations, more wedding preparations, the actual wedding and then post wedding celebrations which all in all meant we really had three full days in India (which included going to Goa for a day) to shop, eat and extend my waistline further.
Unfortunately the ingestion of rich ghee, cream, chilli, increased salt and sugar cuisine consequently day after day (for about 14 days) did not agree with my stomach and I was inflicted with Delhi Belly – however this did not hinder or dent my appetite.
A brief snapshot of the best things I ate in India:
Indian filter coffee – the best thing, for me – undoubtedly was the Indian coffee – full bodied, small in size and sweet; (despite the fact I prefer my American latte size and no sugar in my coffee) it was… glorious. The best coffee I was given tasted was in a small, tucked away, third floor, antique shop with no air conditioning or fan! It was Blooming marvellous! I thought nothing could top the Italian coffee I had in Florence a number of years back but this time India triumphed!
Chaat – the bhel puri, dahi puri, pani puri (all of it basically) was great and so more’ish. The price was brilliant too, for a nice portion of dahi puri it worked out to be about 50p per bowl. Thumbs up!
Freshly fried jalebi – this was a dream; not as sweet as the ones you get here which I preferred actually. It was sticky, hot, crunchy and hit the sweet spot perfectly!
Fresh watermelon juice – I am not really a fan of juice so I turned my nose up when my family ordered this time and time again when we went out. I am a huge watermelon fan (fruit generally) and I was adamant that a juice would not be the same as eating the actual fruit pieces. Oh boy, how wrong I was. This was incredible; fresh, light, cold and thirst clenching. I only realised this at the end of the trip – the cruel irony!
Salty butter biscuits – great with coffee or tea I am pretty sure one of these will noticeably contribute to one’s cholesterol and blood pressure but ah well!
Fresh guava and mango – words can’t describe how fresh, sweet and tasty the fresh mangoes were. I could eat this all day, every day and night it was that good. I could die happily with a bowl of fresh mangoes in my hand and mouth! Guavas are one of my favourite fruits because you can eat them raw and/or ripe – the best way is to have them coated with sprinkling of salt and chilli which we had at a small fruit stall, whilst shopping; needless to say my stomach was not too happy but my taste buds thanked me repeatedly.
Fresh fish and shellfish – experienced this in Goa and Bangalore (wedding location). The fish in Goa was song worthy – so tasty, more’ish and perfectly cooked (flaky, correct amount of seasoning) we tried an array of crab, tiger prawns (massive!), lobster, squid, local specialities fried, grilled, in a curry, fresh with seasoning and all, were mouth watering. I am a huge fish and shellfish fan so I was in most definitely happy!
Kebabs – Any meat type, in wraps, on their own, spicy or not – were really good and worth mentioning; please note meat sweats are a possible side effect.
Biryani – as you can image this was a dish we met quite frequently, personally I am not the biggest fan of biryani but appreciated how good the biryani we tried was; the one that stood out for me was a homemade version we had at a family’s house after the wedding. Spicy, salty, full of flavour, meat coming off the bone because it was cooked perfectly I was suprisingly very, very satisfied.
Uzbeki Naan – not Indian in origin but ordered it in a restaurant one night and I loved it. It was slightly sweet, fluffy and bun like – it went perfectly with the tarkar dhaal and slow cooked leg of lamb we had ordered. But this was certainly a stand out for me – if you ever come across it, I would definitely try it!
Would I go again -most definitely however did I miss salad and fresh vegetables and the gym -100% (salad has not really taken off there yet…)
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Shifa has been interested in food for as long as she can remember. She enjoys finding new places to eat, either expensive and chic, homely or a hole in the wall that serves amazing grub. Nothing upsets her more than bad food and long nails.