Monday, February 21, 2011

Classic Components of Eating Out in India

{even though I've been home for a couple of weeks, I still have lots to share with you from my trip to India... so here goes!}

There are a few things that were always on the table when we ate out in India...
First: the pickles! Green Mango pickle, or maybe lemon pickle... but always yummy. And always served with raw onions (which I don't really groove on), and slices of fresh lime (which I totally groove on). Yeah! A little squeeze of lime and a little pickle is a great addition to lunch or dinner!

Then, the lime soda. I know I've mentioned this before, but I really love the lime sodas. Now that I'm back home, I'm happy to see that my lime tree is packed full with limes... so I can make myself as many lime sodas as I want. A glass with about 3/4 inch of fresh lime juice, a little pitcher of sugar syrup, and a cold bottle of club soda - so you can mix the drink to your own personal standards of perfection. Warning: pour in the sugar before the club soda or the whole thing will fizz over like a crazy high school science project! (I learned this the hard way)

Yummy food! (Please excuse the clearly non-vegan element, which I was served but did not eat). This is a thali lunch from the Asha Dining Hall in Pune. All you can eat (and they are seriously back at the table every two minutes offering you more) for less than $2! Amazing! In India, you eat with your right hand, which is fun for me... but was a little more challenging for my left-handed travel partner.

After your meal they always bring you a little bowl of warm water with slice of fresh lime to rinse & clean your hands.

It's very elegant and it's such a nice way to finish the meal!

Also, when they bring your bill, they always bring a little bowl of fennel &/or anise seeds. There are all different kinds of mixes - some are straight up seeds, but usually there's a little sugar or some sugar coated fennel seeds in the mix too. I love this stuff! It's such a nice little topper to end with. I bought a few different mixes to bring home.

This one is my favorite. One of the restaurants we frequented had this mix: Fresh fennel seeds, Dhana Dal, and little cubic sugar crystals. The dal bits are a tiny bit salty, the fennels are licorice-y, and of course the sugars are sweet. It's a wonderful combo! I bought all the separate ingredients and mixed it up once I got home. Yum!

3 comments:

  1. I think I could happily eat every meal with those acoutrements, what a bright way to personalize the meal! And that homemade lime soda sounds heavenly. Oh, to be somewhere warm...

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  2. I love both the pickles and the fennel seed mixes! Over here, some vegan restaurants have both, some don't. It's always a little surprise.

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  3. pune is a fancy place! we didn't see much of this stuff on our trip. fun!

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