Indian Food Drama
What a trip. Arriving in Bangalore, transferring to Pune, then to Jaipur, Udaipur, Delhi and then home via KL. The whole breadth and width of experience from cultural delight to extreme entertainment. The five hour delay on the final flight home from Delhi via KL combined with adjusting to the home time zone has gone the foggy head.
I love Indian food. All of the business partners in India have laughed at me one time or another as I sweat my way through another home-cooked delight. I know what I can manage, I can jump straight in. But it wasn’t quite the same for the family. Managing a seven-year-old who doesn’t like spicy food through to a 68-year-old whose guts had him on edge certainly presented some challenges.
There are two main dangers of Indian food. The first is the comparatively funny mouth burn compared to the debilitating effects of a tummy bug. 15 trips later he is my top five tips on feeding the family in India and staying healthy.
- Sort your gut flora
Technically it is not eating, but it makes everything else work better. Buy some of the probiotics that don’t need refrigeration, have morning and night, eat yoghurt whenever you can and if they have Yakult bang a couple down. You can’t overdose on probiotics.
- Find a few things you love and order medium spicy
“Spicy” is a relevant term. Requesting medium spicy in most parts of India is similar to hot in Australia. Going spicy is probably a bit nuts unless you are a seasoned veteran of the chilli. Fresh ingredients makes things more potent. But find something you love that works for you and stick with it. Adventurous is great, but ordering five share plates of which you can’t digest any is bad.
- Stock up at breakfast
You can do this two ways – by eating a good size, Western fair of eggs and cereal and if you’ve got kids, take in Ziploc bags and make the most of the muffins and cakes on offer. Lunch can be random. We are pretty boring on feeding our daughter, but I don’t mind if it is muffins and croissants for lunch if we can’t find anything else. Snacks are hard to get when you are travelling and kids eat all day so having stuff on hand can make the trip a lot more pleasant.
- Careful on the salad
Salad is a relatively new thing in India, really only making an appearance in the past four or five years. It’s very tempting to go something clean, low carbohydrate and cleansing. But how was the salad washed? If it was done under a running tap you can be sure is shit you are shortly about to shit. A lot of hotels now are advertising they wash salad with filtered water but seriously… One step wrong and it’s all bad.
- Go Western when you can
It can be knackering visiting a country like India. Just absolutely exhausting and even though you might feel like it’s missing out, it’s good to pace yourself and have a night in the hotel room watching Bollywood.
Food of choice? Club sandwich with chips. Every time. Bacon, chicken, bread, potato washed down with a beer.
A Kingfisher of course.