India is a feast for the senses; where colour is vivid and the air is heavy with the scent of jasmine. Our Flightie Mark Phan recently visited this beautiful country on a G Adventures Golden Triangle Tour and shares with us what to eat, even if you’re not a fan of spicy food:
There may be some of you, like myself, who never desired to go to India due to certain misconceptions. Recently I had a chance to go with a group of Flighties on a G Adventures trip and although I was hesitant at first, I’m really glad I did it. I had the time of my life and wanted to clear up a few misconceptions that might prevent you from exploring and experiencing one of the most beautiful and wonderful countries in the world.
When researching India, I came across a few things that was deterring me:
1) Its dirty and dangerous.
2) All Indians are vegetarians, and all Indian food is hot and spicy.
1) I’m not going to lie, India was dirty, but this is expected in most developing countries. It could of done with a few more garbage bins but it wasn’t that bad. As for dangerous, I didn’t see any signs of danger. You just need to be vigilant and use your common sense like in any country around the world, even Canada. Besides all this, India does have vast beauty and treasures. We all know about the Taj Mahal, but the beauty truly is indescribable. There are many other wonders that would be a shame to miss out on.
2) As for the food aspect, I don’t eat spicy food and I don’t like to eat vegetables. So as you can see, this worried me the most and I almost turned down the trip. I even went as far as to bring instant noodles as a back-up. Fortunately, my very helpful guide Abhi Chhetri from G Adventures was able to find me numerous dishes not only that I could eat, but was delicious and opened my eyes to a whole new world of cuisine that I never would have experienced!
We dined in numerous restaurants and tried both Northern and Southern Indian cuisine. By far the best dish I had was the Navratan (Nine Gems) Korma. Which was a blend of nine vegetables, nuts, fruits, paneer in a creamy sauce and white gravy. This had no spice at all and was nice and creamy. Perfectly accompanied by white rice and naan (plain, cheese or garlic).
Other great dishes I had included, Butter Chicken (can be made mild), Chicken Saagwala (spinach dish), Dosa (Indian Pancake), and Gobhi Aloo (sauteed potatoes with vegetables). There are so many dishes to name but my advice is just be open and be willing to try new things. If it is too spicy, you can always add Raita (Indian yogurt) to cool it down. There are many side dishes that help too like Naan, Roti and rice. For desserts and drinks, there is plenty of options. The Mango Lassi’s (other flavours available) are a tasty drink. For dessert, Gulab Jamun are like a deep fried sugar ball of dough which is really sweet but delicious.
Besides Indian cuisine, they actually do have other foods when travelling through the Golden Triangle. For example, there is McDonald’s, Pizza Hut, Dominoes Pizza and most places do Chinese and American based foods like sandwiches and fries. Although their menus are different, they do have cheeseburgers or Big Macs, (mainly made from chicken). No matter what your requirements or how picky you are (like me), there is bound to be a dish for you. You never know, you may just become an avid fan of Indian food!
To sum things up, be open and try new things. Worse case scenario – it will cost you on average about $2 to $5 CAD for a main meal. So even if you can’t eat it, it doesn’t cost too much. It will be a shame to miss out on such an amazing country because of the fear of food. You will not regret it and you too will have the time of your life!
Delhi, India is highlighted on the Flight Centre Map.