So I just returned from India last week, I was there visiting family. When traveling I get really excited about the food. I figured since travel and food are both passions of mine; why not write about my food experience while I travel?
I was in India for 2 weeks… during this time I visited the capital, New Delhi, and Sultanpur, a remote city in the state of Uttar Pradesh. One thing that gets me each time I visit India is the poverty. It is inevitable, staring you in the face; it is disturbing seeing little kids begging for money. I am humbled by the people who are so content with whatever little they have. After each visit, I find myself appreciating my life even more, I become so grateful with what I have and try to have a different outlook on life; I find myself appreciating the little pleasures in life. We live in such a materialistic society in the United States, that can be good and bad, I think at times we fail to see the big picture, to make each day count and not take what we have for granted. Okay, I’ll stop being philosophical. 🙂
In India, I stayed with family so I wasn’t eating out as often as I would have hope to. The food in India is simply amazing! In the future, I hope to visit India as a tourist and truly enjoy the culinary experience by dining at more authentic restaurants.
If you ever have the opportunity to visit New Delhi, India, you should, however you need to go there with an open mind. India is another world that is so drastically different from the west. Culturally and spiritually speaking, India has a lot to offer. Each region of India is extremely different; the language, the food, the traditions. The people of India are extremely warm and hospitable. Guests are treated like God. People show their love with food, so when I visit my relatives, I am greeted a warm welcome with amazing authentic Indian food.
In my opinion, travel in groups or with someone local. Explore India and stay in a good hotel that has the basic US standards… I say this because you will be very disapointed staying at some random hotel, there is a basic difference between US and Indian standards. Drink bottled water. Eating street food is an experience if you are willing to face the consequences, so make sure you have Imodium on hand. As a tourist, if you are comfortable with your basic needs and living conditions, then visiting India can be an experience of a lifetime, one that is not to be missed.
Travel in groups
BEST TIME TO VISIT
November – February
For some reason the hotels in New Delhi are ridiculously expensive, I assume it is due to the number of business travelers that are pouring into the city. I recommend staying in US brand hotels, or some Indian brand hotels, such as Taj, Oberoi, Leela… you can’t go wrong with these choices:
Le Meridien New Delhi
Hyatt Regency Delhi
Oberoi New Delhi
The Taj Mahal Hotel New Delhi
The Leela Kempinski Gurgaon, New Delhi – (this is just outside Delhi)
Shangri-La’s – Eros Hotel New Delhi
Hilton Garden Inn New Delhi/Saket
The Lalit New Delhi – Connaught Place
Radisson New Delhi
RESTAURANT REVIEWS… my culinary experience
1. I went to Select City Skywalk Mall in Saket, New Delhi. Of course, I wanted to eat at the mall, so I ordered Indo-Chinese food… very greasy, it was okay. In general though, Indo-Chinese food in India is suppose to be amazing, I still have to experience that.
Here are some Hakka Noodles, Vegetable Manchurian, and Chilly Chicken – it was really chilly!
2. In Sultanpur, UP, we stayed in a budget hotel visiting family; just take a look at the menu… the prices were dirt cheap here, at the moment… $1 = 45 Rupees.
3. McDonalds has taken India by storm, I can’t believe they deliver… how awesome is that? I have to say I love the Indian McDonalds more than the USA McDonalds. Why? Because the sandwiches have some Indian flavorings. I absolutely love the McVeggie Burger… so so good! The fries taste exactly like the fries here in the US, which is great! 100 Rupees gets you a value meal, or about $2. Remember, cost is relative to where you live!
4. If you ever happen to be in New Delhi, you must try Khan Chacha, located in Khan Market. They have the BEST KABABS. For about Rs. 85 you will try amazing Chicken Tikka Kabab. What’s surprising is this place is also mentioned in the New York Times.
5. How does one go to India and not stop over at Haldiram’s? Haldiram’s is a chain that consists of all kinds of snacks, appetizers, and a variety of Indian sweets. This place should not be missed, it is greasy and delicious! The Indian sweets are mouthwatering, I promise you will eat with your eyes here!
I ordered Pau Bhaji here… mixed vegetables sauteed in tomatoes, onions, and spices, served up with a buttered bun… YUM!
6. My last stop was Cafe Coffee Day (aka CCD). CCD is the equivalent to our Starbucks. It is this hip place with young and trendy adults. Every time I go to CCD, I have their Cappuccino, it is so amazing… frothy, light, and milky, all for Rs. 52.
If you have any questions, feel free to email me at email@example.com