Hey Namaste again from Bangalore! Firstly, I would like to thank you all for such positive feedbacks from the previous blog I have posted. I am so grateful as they meant so much for a beginner like myself.
So food! I mean who doesn’t love food? Come on! Well, if I am asking you the question ‘what is the first thing that pops up in your mind when you think of Indian cuisines’, what would that be? Personally I would probably say ‘Tikka Masala’ and this is unfortunate as that is all I know about before coming to this beautiful country and I am so ashamed!
What I have gathered since I have been here is the fact that the food in this country deserves so much more credits and should be more embraced and celebrated. I am a strong believer that food is part of a country’s culture and the fact that we know so little about the cuisines from such incredibly mysterious and charismatic country is just simply unfair!
I am so grateful to be in this country and one of the reasons why I am enjoying myself in India so much and would even refuse to leave is simply due to such wide variety of food options available. Earlier this week, it was rumoured that almost half of the restaurants here are vegetarian. Ranging from street food, to a proper meal in a restaurant, you will be surprised by how amazingly interesting and colourful they look considering how much spices and herbs each dish involves.
I literally cannot pick my favourite dish here, like it is not even possible. I would say what I had most throughout these two weeks I have been here though, is ‘Thaili’. Thaili is a dish a bit like a ‘food-medley’ containing basically everything, including ‘dal’ (chickpeas paste), rice, ‘chapatti’ (something like nan bread but made of wheat), vegetable curry, gravy, served alongside with a few freshly fried crackers and salad, finished with some coconut balls or some desserts very likely to be milk-based. There are various styles of Thaili as well, for example, North Indian, South Indian, Punjabi and so much more to choose from, determining the spices they use and hence the hotness of the dish. Oh how I would love to have a good Thaili right now with a glass of freshly squeezed pineapple or muskmelon juice! I wouldn’t mind some freshly-opened coconut water either! (A good Thaili and juice will be around 300 Indian Rupees excluding VAT, so approximately 3 pounds?) Still cheaper than a meal deal from Boots mate.
Well well well, if you are a meat lover, why not try a bit of delicious ‘chicken or mutton biryani’, served with some mango chutneys and homemade yoghurt on top of a massive banana leaf? SO MUCH FLAVOURS! Last time I had one for only 170 Rupees (1.7 pounds). And you can always ask for more chapatti or rice. DIG IN MAN! DIG IN!
Given the fact that I am on my own freshly starting out working and living in a completely foreign country, some comfort food is definitely necessary and I must say that some ‘Gulab Jamun’ could do no wrong! Oh almost forgot a nice and chilled ‘Indian coffee’, it is very much more than a typical cup of Costa coffee but of a classic dessert beverage here. It is addictive!
To be completely honest, it did happen now and then that I have been eating with the ‘wrong’ (left) hand (silly me)! Yet in the past, people here had been nothing but understanding, so I would consider that would not be a problem at all when you first arrived. Forks and spoons are always available when you ask for them. And by any chance that you may be a ‘leftie’ and that you are more comfortable dining with your left hand, simply express nicely to the diners around you that this is exactly the way you are, and they will certainly and understand and appreciate it. No problemo! And if you do feel like some pizzas when you are so homesick or something (like I did), Domino’s Pizza is just around the corner somewhere, accompanied by some KFCs and a good old McDonalds!
As the saying goes, ‘recipes have no soul and it is the chefs who bring soul to the recipes’. As cheesy as it sounds but it is definitely the case in India. What I love about the food here as well is the fact that they are always freshly prepared straight after ordering so a good 10 minutes’ wait is essential yet it will be worth it. Food here can always be customized in terms of hotness according to your likings and I am sure you will always find something you just fall in love with, once and for all.
I am so hungry writing this even though I have just been offered some chocolate cake by the company I work for as it is my birthday today haha! Allow me though, once again, to express how grateful I am being able to be here right now, indulging myself with the rich and vibrant Indian culture and food and the chance to be working here as well. Still cannot believe this indeed! Believe me when I say I do not take this opportunity or anything for granted and I do count my blessings everyday.
One day, an Indian old man approached me saying, ‘as I finished my meal and literally ‘cleaned’ the plate, I will marry a very beautiful wife’. I do hope so haha! But yes, after all, it is the people who leads to the genuine beauty of this place…
More blogs to follow! And thank you wholeheartedly for reading this. I la ya. Teehee.