There’s one country that has been on my radar for years; India. Anyone that loves food will tell you that India is the land of flavors and spices. But, it’s also the home of “Delhi belly” making people cautious of where and what they eat – and for good reason. Many people do become sick when traveling in India. Even with months to spend it would be impossible to visit everywhere in the country. If you want to start planning a foodie break consider starting with these destinations to get your feet wet.
You’ll likely arrive to Mumbai or New Delhi. The food here is shaped by a global palate thanks to its location throughout history. Book a great hotel hotel in Mumbai and then venture to the street; that’s where the best food is. Try the pav bhaji a vegetarian stew served with hot soft rolls or pop a few pani puri to wake up your stomach. Vada pav is another Mumbai favorite, a mix of mashed potatoes and spices inside bread and fried – quite like a samosa. If you want something a bit more, believe it or not crab is readily available and delicious in Mumbai.
If your arrival puts you in New Delhi instead of Mumbai hit the pavement before leaving this gigantic city to taste some local specialties. Old Delhi has the market on authentic street food so make your way here first. Try the chai at Haji Tea Point called dood-ki-patti (milk leaf tea). Lamb curry is also a favorite in this city, though you’ll find it in many other regions of India as well. Of course parathas are a must and here you’ll find aloo and lime parathas, a unique treat. Finally a stop at Giani’s for rabdi falooda. It’s an Indian ice cream that’s partially melted with rice noodles on the bottom. A bit like a Thai tea with tapioca pearls or a milkshake with tapioca.
You might know this city better as Bengalore but the name was changed in in late 2014 to Bengaluru. When you’re here you must eat the masala dosa with red chili chutney and potato curry. Idli are another popular dish typically served at breakfast. The round discs are made with ground rice and ground lentils as well as seasoning. It’s fermented then steamed making for complex but delicious flavors. You’ll most often find it on a breakfast table.
It’s the third largest city in India but you might not have it on your itinerary. Chennai has a little bit of everything – beaches, historical monuments, and great food! It also has Tamil roots that is certainly seen in the food culture. For breakfast try puttu. These steamed cylinders of rice layered with coconuts and served with side dishes like chickpea curry. Pullyogare rice is made with tamarind and a mixture of other spicy and savory flavors. If you’re after something a bit more substantial, chicken chettinad is a curry packed with flavor.
There’s no shortage of delicious food to eat in India. The question is what will you eat first?
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