Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Balls of Glory

By: Molly

My serious blog has been posted. Now I want to talk food. The trip has almost come to an end and between the twelve of us we have been blocked up, flushed out, and up-chucked. Despite all of this, I’d say we universally agree that the food in India is supreme. It’s spicy, sweet, saucy, savory and with 4 cups of sugar-soaked tea a day to settle it all in, it’s strangely worth the midnight visits to the toilet. After all, squatting over an ominous pit in the ground is one of the only exercises I’ve done in India. What would a night be without a good squat?

Here’s the In-N-Out (I would pay big rupees for animal style fries right now) on the food that makes every squat count. I saved the best for last.

1. Chapathi and Honey: not exactly Indian, but it makes the list. This recent gem of a discovery was made in Jamkhed. Take a warm chapathi (imagine a fluffy wheat tortilla) and cover it in honey. Instant satisfaction.

2. Mutton: Time to get serious. The lamb in India is unreal-so tender and juicy that no sauce is necessary. Although a good creamy masala smothered on top is never a bad choice. It comes in little bite sized cubes so they even cut out all the work that American steak eaters must endure.

3. Aloo Gobi: Aloo, meaning potato and Gobi, meaning cauliflower, makes a delicious combo when mixed with a curry or masala. It’s a veggie dish that I am happy to sacrifice my primal meat cravings for. Cauliflower is used in just about everything here, and I seriously hope to reinstate it into my veggie-lacking diet back home.

4. Paneer: Squares of mozzarella-like cheese in creamy sauce. Need I say more?

5. Biryani: Just another name for a long grained white rice, but it comes in all sorts of varieties. If Forest Gump lived in India he would have said Biryani was like a box of chocolates rather than life. You may never know what you’re gonna get, but it’s always good. Ranking on the top are mutton, egg, and veg. It may seem like a simple rice and veggie mix, but the blend of spices they cook it in is magical.

6. Butter Naan: Butter smeared on anything warm tastes like grandma’s kitchen, but the Naan is so soft and doughy that I always eat to the point of explosion. Surprisingly I haven’t found garlic Naan in India, I’m wondering if it is a special invention of Indian restaurants in the US. Nevertheless Naan never fails to make my day complete.

7. Dosa: put an egg in it, put chicken in it, put masala in it. Doesn’t really matter, it all tastes good. It’s pretty much a crepe that can be molded into something that looks like a dunce hat. Completely inappropriate to eat this with silverware. For breakfast, the masala dosa takes the cake.

8. Mango Lassi: If you haven’t tried one at home, do it. Yogurtland move aside, the mango lassi is creamier and can be consumed through a straw. Plus it is considered a legitimate item to pair with any meal. You get one dessert with dinner and don’t have to feel guilty about ordering a second at the end.

9. Hurry Hurry, Chicken Curry: There are probably over 50 different curries in India. All good and all worth trying. Put it on rice and eat it with your right hand. Shoveling curry rice in your mouth is liberating.

10. Balls of Glory (Gulab Jamoon): The name says it all. Ball shaped little donut like morsels, fried and covered in something like maple syrup and honey combined. Put it over vanilla ice cream and your arteries will sing. I will find these in the states, or will soon move to India and start my own gulab jamoon stand. I’m sure someone will microfinance this venture.


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