These are Virginia Woolf’s ‘oh so true’ words and one thing to add form our side would be that one neither can travel well if one has not dined well! Food and traveling are inseparable. You learn about a place and its people through what they eat, you show them your respect through trying what they cook and you obviously enjoy new tastes, surprising combinations and unknown ingredients. Nomaday Travel loves food and loves cooking. We believe in the idea that when you live or travel somewhere you eat what locals eat. It’s simple and it’s fun. Over here in India your senses are constantly tickled with sounds, colors, smells and tastes. The food culture is important and complex where ingredients and rituals have specific meanings. Meals are very often prepared following ayurvedic wisdom and with love and then shared between family and friends. Sitting at the same table with bunch of Indians skillfully eating with their hands, rolling pieces of different breads, dipping them in rich sauces, curries and chutneys is how you taste India at its best. Forget about knife and fork and use your right hand to eat. Food tastes better this way! This country is extremely rich when it comes to cuisine and depending on region food varies a lot. The most evident differences are between the North and South.
-> Due to historical and religious background people in the North eat more meat than in the South. -> Dishes are less spicy, they are similar to the cuisine of Near East and Central Asia with rich aromas of ground spices, gravy sauces and huge variety of breads. -> North Indian food is very rich, extremely flavorful and very satisfying. That’s thanks to breads like tandoori roti, chapatis, naan, and other fried breads come with incredible tandoori cooked chicken, paneer cheese cooked in a variety of different curries, long cooked meat curries and all sorts of different legumes like lentils, beans, and peas. -> In the lighter cuisine of South you will feel chili being added more often so be aware if you are not used to very spicy food. -> Another omnipresent ingredient is coconut. Starting from coconut water sipped from freshly cut shell, coconut pulp grated in uttapam (rice based South Indian pancake) or coconut milk added to delicious curries. -> In the South you will also see more people being vegetarian and eating more rice than in the North. Rice that is a staple of southern region comes not only in vast variety of types but you will be also amazed how differently it can be processed. From simply boiled, fried or steamed it goes also through fermentation process forming a typical, spongy idli (specific type of soft bread) that you dip in spicy sambar.
You won’t get to know REAL India without its food. Don’t be afraid to ask locals and other travelers for advices, explanation of dish names and ingredients. India is blessed with some of the most intoxicating aromas and addictive tastes that will definitely spice up your journey.