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“Wictuals” July 1, 2011

Posted by sangitasharma in Travel Log.

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India is a foodie’s paradise. Meal times are an extremely important part of Indian daily life, and at any given time, restaurants and chaat shops are brimming with people standing around and eating or drinking a cup of chai. (Even at IISc, you are more likely to find people at the canteen or around the coffee cart as opposed to their actual offices.)

I don’t know if I’m being biased, because Indian cuisine is my comfort food and eating these dishes sends me straight back to childhood, but the food here seems better. It’s all certainly cheaper, but the food is fresher; the vegetables are greener. The soda is made with real sugar. Even the ice cream tastes like it has more flavor.

As a vegetarian in the carnivorous U.S., I’ve developed the ability to quickly find the single vegetarian item on any restaurant menu. But I don’t need that super-power here. McDonald’s menu is filled with Aloo Tikka Burgers and Grilled Paneer Wraps while Pizza Hut (or “Pijja” Hut, as I like to call it; Kannadiga’s use -J’s instead of -Z’s, and they mix up their -V’s and -W’s quite regularly)is known for its Cream of Mushroom Soup and Masala Tomato Pasta alike. The food carts that line the streets offer freshly roasted peanuts, spicy bhel puri, or ripe, juicy fruit, while the slighter cleaner stalls house trays of piping hot idlis and masala dosas.

Needless to say, I’ve tucked in with gusto. Every meal time is the chance to explore a new restaurant or try a new item. I’m eating fresh mangos and pomegranates every day, and I’ve already figured out which stalls serve the best Gobi Manchurian or Sev Puri and which shops have the cheapest ice cream.

My food experience has certainly been as rewarding as my work experience.

I’m not entirely sure how I’ll be able to go back to eating at Brittain or even the new NAA dining hall.

-June 30th



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