Friday, 19 August 2011

A Taste of India

I've not posted for a while, the reason is that I have been on a holiday to India and I just got back. India really is a 'colourful' place; bustling, lively and tropical. Whilst on the other side of the world I made sure that I enjoyed all the exotic treats on offer and boy was there a lot of it! Grandma's cooking is the best, and she made sure that she stuffed me with a years worth of food in the space of a week. Of course there was a lot of curry; not 'chicken tikka', 'rogan josh' or 'vindaloo' but instead the authentic and real thing. They use spices in everything, and even Western things like crisps, sandwiches are altered to satisfy the spice craving Indian taste buds. I didn't take any pictures of curries as they taste better than they look and there were just too many to keep a log of.

Indians also have a very sweet tooth, and I emphasise the 'very', most of the sweets are loaded with sugar, gee (clarified butter) and milk. There were piles and even bucketfuls of sweets, so I had more than my fair share. There were so many sweets that I ate that I can't name them all, but some of my favourites being basundi, jalebi, rasmalai and pala kova. I would like to attempt to make my own versions at some point, but I do know that it is more difficult than making cake.

Another delicacy in abundance were mangoes of all shapes and sizes. I just missed the mango season when I went so they were a bit rarer to come across, however my relatives managed to get hold of a few sackfuls straight from the fields; mangoes galore. These mangoes were the real thing- sweet, juicy and filled with flavour not the tasteless, 'fake' ones we get here in the supermarkets. I wish that we could get mangoes as readily and cheaply here as we get other fruit like apples, but I guess that it will have to be an exotic treat rather than an everyday indulgence of this golden fruit.

There are may exotic fruits which the Western world doesn't even know about, each flavour quite unique and hard to describe but if anyone does go to India I would recommend that they try them as you won't be able to taste these flavours elsewhere. Streets are filled with fruit stalls which vary on a seasonal basis and most of these fruits come straight from the fields, and it is only in the supermarkets you would find the imported stuff. Something which I absolutely love is fresh coconut water. I think that there is something special about the act of having the coconut cut open in front of you, drinking the refresing and sweet water straight out of the seed and finally spooning out the tender white flesh which is inside. Fresh coconuts are easily found in India from being grown in peoples' houses to being sold on the roadsides and the beaches. If I could I would probably replace coconut water for normal H2O, but I guess I can only do this on a tropical holiday.

I managed to smuggle back some of my favourite snacks, however I don't know why but food never tastes the same back at home, none the less these are 3 staples which I go on the hunt for every time I go to India since I was young: masala flavoured crisps, a chocolate bar called '5 Star' and badam (almond) milk. 

As well as being fed, fed and fed some more, I spent the rest of my time just relaxing with family. It was nice to be able to lay on a hammock or to go to the beach. One thing which was a lot of fun tough was having a fish pedicure done with my cousin; I have seen these in shopping malls in the UK however I have never actually tried it out. It was very ticklish at first that it took around 20 minutes to actually get used to the sensation and be able to place both feet in the tank. By that time most of the time we bought was over and we only had our feet in for another 10 minutes. I didn't really see any difference in my feet but the experience was worth it. I'm not in a rush to do it again tough, but I would recommend it to people who are less ticklish than me.

I also came across the Indian version of Barbie and Ken which made me smile. It made me realise how everything in India has that added 'Indian touch' to it.

All in all I had a lovely time in India and shall miss the atmosphere. However in the meanwhile I have been inspired to make some Indian themed recipes which I will try out and put op on the blog so keep your eyes peeled.

A post from Fullest of Life

1 comment: