A Reader Writes - About India

It is quite impossible to learn everything about a new place, especially if we just spend a week trying to take in as much as we can. Most of the time, we leave a new place, with our impressions, not all of them correct.

I'd like to thank a reader (Indian by birth but now based in the US) who took time to write me about my Indian series. The reader stumbled upon my website, was curious to see what I had to say and was happy to note that I did enjoy my visit to India. Anyway, through e-mail that the reader sent, following are a few more bits and pieces (now more accurate) on Indian food, etc.

-Indian food is basically served with rice and roti (made of wheat flour). The roti, when stuffed with other ingredients like mashed potatoes or cauliflower, becomes what is called paranthas (mentioned in a previous Angelhouser entry).

-Sambar is indeed a southindian dish. It is not a type of soup though. It is usually taken with rice, vadas, and idlis (ground rice and lentil paste made into small cupsize cakes and then steamed). Idli served with coconut chutney is seen as a nutritious breakfast.

-As for shopping, only Connaught Place is closed on Sundays. Main shopping centers like sarojini nagar, lajpath nagar are open. Sarojini, though, is closed on Mondays.

-The reader says its perfectly safe to stand near the snake charmers. Before, there were more snake charmers around but now they seem to be restricted to certain areas.

-Try the following snacks when in India: golgappas and tikki. Golgappas are made of wheat flour. The wheat flour is made into small flat circles (same size as a cookie) and deep fried. When fried, it pops into something like a ball. A golgappa is served one at a time with boiled chickpeas, a small piece of boiled potato, and something known as sount (a mix with a sweetish-sour taste, partly made from tamarind). There is also a little golgappa water (made of water, mint leaves, and spice). With all of this on your plate, you put the stuffed wheat flour in your mouth and eat it. Usually a group of friends share a serving of 8 to 10 golgappas and this dish is spicy.

So there - details on Indian food from someone from New Delhi. Once I get the information on tikki, I'll share it with other readers and web visitors too. Thanks!

[By Angelica Viloria | Friday, May 30, 2003]


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