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Food on the go!

Wednesday, August 10, 2011 - 0 Comments

Food was never a problem when travelling in India. Mainly because we always get the kind of food our palates are used to. We would rather prefer to eat at a below-average hotel whining about the quality rather than pack food in India. Packing food for travel is nothing but a vague memory of childhood. It was not a 'cool' thing to do. :-)

Not anymore. Being in Europe, i mean, being a vegetarian in Europe & travelling is quite challenging especially if you are not an ardent lover of varied cuisine. Pizzas, pastas, toasts, sandwiches, french fries, doughnuts, bagels... I admit i like them but can't LIVE on them all the time given the amount of roaming around we do in a tightly packed itinerary. I thought we would get the best pizzas at Italy but was shocked with what we had in the Roman Forum. May be we ate at a wrong place (another friend felt Italy was the best trip he ever had in terms of food), but our itinerary is so packed in terms of time and money that we can't afford to look out for specialties of the region and go out of the way finding the best place. Most of the time, we end up filling ourselves at a tourist spot with pizza slices, chips, chocolates and ice cream. Paris was a great exception with the well connected metro, metro pass and the Indian settlement. :-)

So there are two things we do, when planning a trip. First, pack food for the first meal time of the trip. Second, check for Indian restaurants in the destination. Of course its not so difficult these days to find an Indian restaurant in Europe given the number of Indians living in Europe and also the love for Indian cuisine by non-Indian population.

Though i don't experiment with packed food, there are few that are easy, less messy and good to eat even after few hours of preparation.
  • Of course, the humble Idli is on the top of the list. Its the natural choice for breakfast. The more carefully you smear it with Idli powder and Gingelly oil, the nicer its to eat. Pack in separate disposable cups for each one of you with disposable forks.
  • My next favorite is the roti rolls or wraps or frankie. Typical of a frankie, I wrap these in aluminium foils and its a all-in-one meal that's so easy to carry and again, no mess at all. Few points from my experience
    • Mix maida and aata for a softer dough. Roll it as thin as possible so its easy to eat and you don't feel choked up.
    • Prepare one main filling of your choice - could be aloo, chana, veg or paneer, but make it a thick gravy. 
    • Prepare a topping with cabbage,capsicum,carrot & onions cut as julienne and toss it on high flame for a couple of minutes. This topping will add a crunch to the roll. Also this way the onions doesn't smell raw.
    • Arrange the filling on a roti and spread a generous topping, garnish with finely cut coriander and roll the rotis. 
    • The rotis should be dry, dont let them get soggy.
    • I feel spreads like tomato sauce, green chutney might make the roll soggy, so avoid them.
  • Next on the list is the South India's quintessential puliyodharai & curd rice. I personally found this recipe of puliyodharai very good. Again, packed in disposable cups of one serving each along with a disposable spoon, you don't have to worry about containers and plates. And it goes well with a pack of chips.
Am sure i haven't covered anything that you might not know - just putting them together for a reference. Few other travel food i came across but haven't tried include Aloo sandwiches, Dosa rolls, poha, theplas and parathas. 
I hope to add more to the list and a few snaps too :-)


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