***Swadisht (स्वादिष्ट) is the Hindi word for “delicious.”
India is a gastronomic paradise! I haven’t been to many places but no doubt that India tops my palate list. It has the best I’ve tasted so far and, whether my friends believe me or not, it’s so easy to be vegetarian as long as you are eating Indian cuisine.
From Bangkok (Thai street food is also awesome) I was already eager to get into the plane going to India and have my hands on roti. It’s been a while so I was really looking forward to having it again. Shashank told me that the plane food s*cks (which is a known and reliable information) but I know that this one would be different. I got acquainted with roti when I was in Japan and saw some Indian friends having it as a staple in any of their meals. It might be weird for them, but I liked mine with plain butter, that’s it. And mind you, I don’t mind having it with nothing. :) I didn’t sleep on the plane, not wanting my reunion with Indian food served cold, which is unusual since I easily fall asleep aboard any moving vehicle. I tore my roti with my bare hands, put the first piece into my mouth careful not to drop anything despite the frantic turbulence, and watched my reflection against the window while chewing away the anticipations, the frustrations, and all the negative feelings before this moment.
I was in the clouds, literally and figuratively.
Here are some photos of Indian food I took during my 2-week vacation there. I could have captured more; but I often rushed into putting the first spoonful into my mouth that I forget to take a picture before my gluttonous tendencies exploit it.
I was able to try several variants of Puri (prepared with wheat flour). Typology of Indian food is too long, I perceive and what more if I stayed longer, that I get confused with the names, the kinds and the ingredients. But it was sooo good that I just forget everything. Hence, I testify to the myth that good food makes you forget your name and…and…uhm.
I stayed in an ashram* in Mathura for a couple of days and I drank the freshest-tasting milk I had in my life. I was told that ashrams are sustainable communities wherein they cultivate their own produce: milk from their own dairy, vegetables from their farms, etc. (*An ashram is a community of Hindu followers led by a guru.)
I wanted to try Indian street food so much but didn’t get a chance. *sigh* The appetizing smell of Indian food seduces me every time I walk along the pavements of Mumbai. I even wanted to try the chai sold by ambulant vendors in Agra served in tiny plastic cups. Ambulant vending is a thriving “industry,” in itself, in India.
Dhanyawaad India, not only for filling my stomach with healthy food, not only for filling my eyes with the best architectures, but most importantly, for filling my soul with goodness, simplicity and love.