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Old 11-24-2006, 11:54 AM   #1
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INDIA - Trip Report

Hello folks, I just came back after a month long business trip to India. I went back after 13 years and tried to savor as much as I could of the local food there.

I started my trip in Mumbai and the hotel served delicious Indian fare for breakfast along with juices such as sweet lime, tangerine and pomogrenate (this one is to die for). I savored dosas (a crispy pancake made out of beans and filled with potatoes) and parathas made with gobi (cauliflower) and mooli (radishes). I also went to local chaat joints (chaat's are snacks that tantalize your taste buds with sweet, spicy and sour tastes). The taste of chaat's in India just cannot be imitated in the west.

The seafood in India is amazing. I went to special seafood joints where the fish was super fresh, light and flaky. The curries were amazing. The taste in the west and east are truly different.

I also ate a Thali. It was nostalgia all over again. If you are ever in India I highly recommend that you try a Thali. The word Thali literally means a plate. It's an ultimate feast for a vegetarian. It's amazing to experience this. You get a steel plate with several little steel bowls. Then a line of servers walk to your table and place various different vegetables and beans cooked to perfection in each of the little bowls. They give you choices of several different breads, rice, salads, savory tid bits and pickles. It is amazing. I thoroughly enjoyed myself.

My trip to Bangalore was equally fun. Bangalore is literally the Silicone valley of India. I was amazed at the number of expats that live there and the company's that have presence there. I ate at a Vietnemese restaurant at the Taj West End in Bangalore called Blue Ginger. The food (lobsters and lamb) was out of this world. It was spiced to perfection and very authentic.

I also got to try several local fruits including chickoo, custard apple (which I ate after 18 years) and fresh guavas. I also tried fresh sugar cane juice which is another one of those experiences that just cannot be described. It has to be tasted to be appreciated.

If you ever decide to go to India, get out, mingle with the locals and try some local delicacies. I would highly recommend carrying your own bottled water because that is what makes most people sick not the food itself.

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Old 11-24-2006, 12:29 PM   #2
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I spent my gap-year travelling. It was a long time ago now, but I remember the foods in India with great nostalgia. I particularly loved the food in Kerala.

I bet you saw a lot of changes since you were last there!
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Old 11-24-2006, 12:40 PM   #3
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I'm jealous about the food ... when we go to the "big city" (Quad Cities, Chicago, or Madison), Indian is one of the cuisines we go for. Indian food takes well to buffets, so we get to taste everything and take home ideas for cooking. Luckily I have a Pakistani friend and every once in awhile one of his friends from "home" will cook us dinner. Yummmyummm
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Old 11-24-2006, 12:44 PM   #4
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What a wonderful description! I can almost taste the tastes and smell the aromas.
We get by with a little help from our friends
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Old 11-24-2006, 12:51 PM   #5
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Sounds like a blast!

I am a BIG fan of Indian Cuisine, in particular, southern indian cuisine.
We are planing a trip to Nepal for next year and I would love to see northern india while I am that close.

Thanks for all the great discriptions, got me ready for some lunch!

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Old 11-26-2006, 06:36 AM   #6
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All of that sounds divine, Yakuta. As an Indian food devotee, I'd just love the opportunity to visit.
Wonderful description! Thanks!
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Old 11-26-2006, 03:48 PM   #7
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I have friends who have visited India in the past few years and always drank bottled water. They enjoyed the Indian Cuisine very much and I also like it too.

I am glad that you had such a great trip.

Jill and Jolie
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Old 11-27-2006, 10:07 AM   #8
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Sniff--boo hoo----we left India a year ago--the food was to die for--glad that you got to taste the real cuisine and NOT get sick in the bargain--a real tight rope to maneuver as a tourista---El Buhara's with their grilled meat and wonderful chapis were to die for as well
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Old 11-27-2006, 10:17 AM   #9
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Wow Yakuta!! I am so happy for you that you had such a wonderful homecoming, you must have had the time of your life!!

India is one of the places I dream of, just the thought of an authentic local cuisine makes me drool!! I never have tried any seafood with an Indian style cooking. I was always afraid the strong curry flavour could drown the usually delicate flavour of fish, prawns etc. Do you have a suggestion for cooking a seafood curry, to blend the flavour of the spices and the fish just right?

If have some pictures to share from there, we would love to see it!!
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Old 11-27-2006, 11:00 AM   #10
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Yakuta, Sounds like you had a lovely time. Your description of the dishes are great I could almost taste them myself. I'd love to go to India some day. My daughter and her class are studying India this term. They had a day when they all had to go dressed in Indian outfits and they had some sort of curry for lunch. Actually my daughter loves(even before this project) Anything Indian related, I keep buying bindis and bangles every chance I get. She never seems to get enough of them.I had an Indian lady in in Bristol (UK) make her an indian outfit which she loves......I got myself a salwar kameez as well !!!
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Old 11-27-2006, 01:28 PM   #11
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Yakuta, you have my mouth watering with the descriptions of your meals in India. I'm glad you had a good trip!
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Old 11-27-2006, 05:46 PM   #12
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Thanks for the trip report Yakuta! Sounds wonderful! I might be going to India for the first time this mid-December (flights still wait-listed though). It will be a very short trip, just 3 days to New Delhi. Three things I will try to do when there: enjoy the food, visit the Taj Mahal, buy some rugs. Would appreciate any foodie suggestions in Delhi and where to find good bargains on rugs...
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Old 11-27-2006, 08:14 PM   #13
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Glad to know everyone enjoyed the trip report, I was too excited to share it on this forum since people appreciate ethnic foods.

Urmaniac, the seafood I had in India was not really curry at all. I had several types of fish - one was marinated in garlic and green chutney (made with cilantro, chilis and lemon juice) and grilled whole in the tandoor. A second one was marinated in spices such as ginger, garlic and white pepper and then coated in rice flour and deep fried. The other one was a pomfret (my favorite fish) that was pan fried with a dry Indian spice rub.

The other dish I had were shrimps which were sauteed with lots of chopped garlic and fresh red chilis and finished off with some sweet tamarind sauce. It was an appetizer and was surely good and very different.

Jikoni, I did get some jewelery and shalwar kameez for myself. Shopping and Eating are the best in India. Some of my American collagues who had been there before me kept raving about the shopping. I had forgotten how much neat stuff is available there. I however could not go bisirk since I had limited suitcase space. The best part are the street vendors, you can haggle and knowing the language it was fun to go through the process.

Chopsticks, I am sorry I cant share much about Delhi. I was primarily in Mumbai and Bangalore. I would say try old Delhi if you want traditional moghlai fare. I hear they have great kababs there. For rug shopping you need to be careful about ripoffs, as with any country do your due deligence and pick from bigger better stores that have a no haggle policy.

I will post some pictures as soon as I get an opportunity. I was staying at the Taj Palace hotel the same weekend as Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie were there. I did not see them at the hotel but the security and traffic was maddening
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