My Tryst with Travel & Food

Breakfast

Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Food along with Man has evolved over time. If modern day Man has traveled the road of time and transformed himself from the pre-historic primitive caveman by adding on the trappings of civilization, food too has evolved from a basic necessity for survival to a fine art.

Probably food is something that one comes in contact with; right from when you are in your mother’s womb and as you grow up, you are also exposed to the kitchen and the fascinating art of cooking.

Apart from food, it is travel which has fascinated Man. The urge to seek out new frontiers evolved from a basic need to go in search of food to a higher plane of traveling for something more intrinsic, something more spiritual.

Long train journeys across the length of India and food from all corners of the country ensured that a passion for food and travel was ingrained in me from a tender age.

Today I travel, I cook and I eat!

I consider myself privileged to be born in an Indian Vegetarian family which gave me access to the wonderfully magical culinary culture of the country. I remember looking on curiously as my Grandmother and Mother ground exotic spices to concoct powders that would bring alive the various dishes that graced our dining table at breakfast, lunch and dinner. I watched in fascination as my Mother took out hot Jalebis from the frying pan and dropped them into hot sugar syrup. In fact, I am told that once I burnt my fingers by putting them into the hot syrup, though I have no memory of that.

Surmise it to say that I had a very early exposure to food, cooking and travel that transformed into passions in later years.

 I have traveled across the length and breadth of India and each place I visit has something unique and special to offer. Travel has transformed me in many ways and one of the side effects has been my evolution as a Connoisseur of Vegetarian food. Travel has opened a door that leads to the wide range of local Indian cuisine that thrives across the length and breadth of the country.

I will now take you with me on a whirlwind trip across India where I had the unique opportunity to taste local cuisine across different regions encompassing breakfast, lunch and dinner and all in the course (no pun intended) of a single day.

So fasten your seat belts, here we go!

Breakfast at Bangalore

Bangalore is the capital of Karnataka, a southern state of India and is known for its pleasant weather all round the year. It is situated at a height of about 3,000 Feet above sea level and is also known as “The Garden City”. Bangalore also has now emerged as the IT capital of the country and is a bustling metropolis.

Breakfast Idly

 

Breakfast Filter coffee

I had a typical South Indian breakfast which consisted of a plate of hot and steaming Idlis accompanied by piping hot Sambhar. This was washed down with a steaming hot cup of typically south Indian Filter coffee. For the uninitiated, Idlis are small steamed cakes made of rice and lentils batter which has been fermented. Sambhar is a stew or chowder made of lentils, vegetables, tamarind and spices.

Lunch in Vadodara

Vadodara is a major city of Gujarat, the western state of India. The city is a cultural and educational hub of the state and is known for its gardens and palaces.

For lunch, I enjoyed the famous Gujarati Thali, which consisted of more than 40 different dishes ranging from starters to the main course and dessert.

Breakfast Lunch Gujarati Thali

The starters included Methi Gota which are dumplings of Gram flour mixed with Fenugreek leaves and other spices and deep fried. The bitterness of the Fenugreek leaves combine with the other spices to lend the dumplings a unique flavor, that leaves a pleasant taste in your mouth. For the main course I had half a dozen wafer thin Phulka Rotis, which are circular and flattened wheat bread, with a hot and spicy Eggplant Curry. After this, I helped myself to a generous helping of the famous Gujarati Khichdi which is a preparation made using rice and lentils. I added a few large spoons of hot Kadi, a liquid curry made from Yogurt to the Khichdi and the taste was heavenly. At this stage, my stomach was literally bursting but I could not resist the temptation of finishing off the meal with my favorite dessert, Basundi made from milk. I really felt that I had tasted heaven!

Dinner In Delhi

After the heavy lunch in Vadodara, one would have imagined that I would not really be hungry when it was time for dinner. But, a hectic day of flights and meetings had taken its toll and I looked forward to a nice Punjabi dinner in Delhi. I opted for a Dhaba, because that is where you will find authentic local cuisine as opposed to more upmarket restaurants. I skipped the starters and helped myself to a couple of fresh from the oven Tandoori Rotis. These are circular flattened bread that are cooked on huge mud ovens. Along with the Tandoori Rotis, I had some authentic Punjabi curry which consisted of Potatoes and Cauliflower, well cooked and with a generous dose of spice which gave my palates a sensory high and saw the hint of tears in my eyes. I washed it all down with a huge glass of the famous Punjabi Lassi, a sweet yogurt based drink.

Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner Punjabi food

Breakfast dinner Lassi

 

Satiated from the dinner, I caught a cab to take me to the airport to catch my flight back home.

Epilogue

I reached home in the wee hours of the morning and my sleepy eyed wife, admonished me saying, “I am sure you did not have a proper meal the whole day, let me quickly fix you something”!

I gave her a wry smile as I thought about the breakfast in Bangalore, Lunch in Vadodara and Dinner in Delhi! 🙂

 

Breakfast

Breakfast

 

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41 thoughts on “My Tryst with Travel & Food

  1. Gemma Reply

    Spices for breakfast is very uncommon for me, unless I am hungover and eating last night’s dinner! Looks tasty.

  2. Emily Luxton Reply

    I fell in love with Thali when I visited India earlier this year. Such a great concept. The Gujarat Thali sounds amazing – 40 dishes?!?! I’d pop! Sounds like a pretty epic day though 🙂

  3. Chris Reply

    I love how you so easily take us around the country in but a few paragraphs!

    We actually have those very same serving dishes (from your first photo) in our cupboard, a fond reminder of Sarah’s own Indian adventures 🙂

  4. Jordan @ Inspired By Maps Reply

    I loved India and have fond memories of Chai (especially in Jaipur) and spices. One of the best cuisines in the world easily and just a shame that (like Chinese food) many Western restaurants only serve a small selection!

    I’ll have to remember these next time I am there 🙂

  5. Katie Reply

    This was a great read! Well written with amazing details of the food you ate and the places you visited. While everything seems incredible, your dinner in Delhi of hot tandoori roti and punjabi curry is making my mouth water! I can’t wait to eat my way across India one day!

  6. marie Reply

    I love the food in India, perfect for a vegetarian like me! I have made a note of some new dishes to try next trip, thank you very much!

  7. Joella (RovingJo) Reply

    I look at all this Indian food and my mouth starts watering. How lucky you were to grow up with this and what a wonderful Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner you had. Wish I was having even one of those right now. Happy Roving!!!

  8. Cori Reply

    Looks delicious! I’m fascinated by the cultural history of food, but I confess I don’t know much about the different Indian dishes I eat. Thanks for the tour.

  9. Rob Taylor Reply

    Gujarati Thali will for sure be my favorite lunch experience when I finally get to explore India. Sounds so wonderful!

  10. Christina Reply

    India food is one of my favourite cuisines. I love Thali and could easily be vegetarian while travelling through India. The food photos are making me hungry.

  11. Mar Pages Reply

    I recently had a North Indian dinner and I was amazed at the variety- the menu felt like a book! The little moments you add between your wife and yourself are very cute 🙂

  12. Elizabeth O. Reply

    That’s really amazing! Indian food is one of the cuisines I enjoy because everything’s just packed with flavor and you can really taste the spices used in each dish! It’s an experience that you should never miss!

  13. Natasha Reply

    Really all of these foods look AMAZING!! While I’m not vegetarian, I do like to eat mostly vegetarian while on my travels. Sooo many great spices in Indian food!!!

  14. JM Reply

    I love that feeling when the wife prepares you something when she thought you did not have anything but you actually had more than enough. Great meals you had there. I love Indian food.

  15. Kevin Wagar Reply

    These dishes look incredible! While we don’t travel for food, we certainly love a great dish when find one. All the dips and flavours in these meals look incredible.

  16. Wendy Reply

    Love all of these pictures. Everything certainly looks amazing. Thanks for sharing your adventures.

  17. Paige Wunder Reply

    I love the way you tell a story behind all of your posts! I think the lunch looked the most delicious! I love Indian food, even if it tries my low tolerance for spice. Haha. Thanks for sharing!

  18. Robson V Cadore Reply

    What a delicious journey 😉
    Back in Brazil is very hard to find Indian food. After spending some time in Singapore and venturing ourselves in Little India we became HUGE fans of Indian food!

  19. Rosemary Reply

    Love the food adventure you undertook in just one day. What amazingly different flavors. Have not been to India, though Indian food is one of my favorite cuisines. I’m very intrigued by the Idlis. Great pictures!!

  20. Cathy Reply

    That is a busy day of eating! I haven’t heard of many of the dishes but I’m curious to try them one day!

  21. Rashmi and Chalukya Reply

    Nothing can beat Indian food and the Indian Spices. Every Indian state has its own specialities from sweets to snacks and assortment of meals. Looks like you missed your evening snacks of delicious chaats in Mumbai.

  22. Ami Reply

    You are so right about savoring the local flavor… The gujju Thalis are so filling and added to that.. The punjabi meals. Breakfast in South and chaat in East? Nice one

  23. Lisa Rios Reply

    Such an amazing post and I am someone who loves traveling a lot & trying out different foods. The Gujarati Thali looks yum and those Idlis looks great as well along with those filter coffee!

  24. Valerie Perry Reply

    I’m ashamed at what a poor job I did of sampling local dishes when I was traveling internationally. I guess it’s time to pack my appetite and get back out there again! Thanks for sharing!

  25. Arni Reply

    Omg, I am salivating while reading your blog post. Ah, Thali! My husband and I love Indian cuisine. So much that I started learning preparing it when we still had a home. This is something we both miss from the Middle East and India. The spices. No restaurant where we are now has captured the tastes and flavors that we were used to.

  26. Marta Reply

    What a wonderful food journey! I loved all the food I had in India and it’s still a treat to get it here in Europe although it’s never the same sadly.

  27. Maria Reply

    Idly and Sambhar is my favorite food. I can eat it for breakfast, lunch and dinner, a whole week in a row! A friend of mine is even bringing me an idly pot back from India, so I can make Idlys at home! Can’t wait!!!

  28. Lisa (Klipdrifters Travel) Reply

    Sambhar, Gujarati Thali, Basundi these names are all new to me. The flavours sounds amazing! Would love to experience India and taste all these wonderful dishes. A visit to India is long over due.

  29. The Travel Ninjas Reply

    Indian food has to be one of our favorite cuisines especially since we can’t live without spice. After reading your post we are really craving some Indian food right now! 🙂 We desperately need to visit India soon.

  30. neha Reply

    I share your view where you say food has evolved with man. And now in the age of fast food, it’s so important to retain the recipes that we inherited from our grandparents. Time may constraint us. But I love to visit the restaurants that are keeping that authenticity alive.

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