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