I am not a picky eater, unless you count being a vegetarian as picky. But I love to cook and like to eat! Food is a complete sensory experience for me, the beautifully coloured vegetables on the plate, the aroma of spices, the different tastes exploding in your mouth and the different textures belonging to the kind of food you are eating….it is a complete feast for your tongue, your eyes, and your olfactory receptors! It doesn’t always have to be fancy or exotic, it just has to hit the spot at the right moment. Sometimes a deliciously home cooked meal does the job and sometimes a fancy dish from an exotic cuisine is what you want, and sometimes a veggie loaded burger with curly fries is what you heart craves. Some of my favorite foods:
- Like any Indian worth his/her salt the best kind of food is”Maa ke haath ka ghar ka khana!” Translation: home cooked food made by your mother! Some of my favorite foods are what my mom makes and exactly the way my mom makes them.
–Veggie cutlets loaded with beets, potatoes, green beans, peas, spices, and coated in bread crumbs and shallow fried over stove.
-Onion uttappas which are an Indian version of pancakes but made savory with rice flour, onions, tomatoes and served with lentil soup!
-Dhokla (it is a traditional dish from western part of India) made with fermented rice flour and steamed like dumplings…and it is absolutely delicious!
2) I am a modest person, but not where my own cooking is concerned…and I love what I make! J Not always perfect and usually I like what I make. My cooking style is mainly adopted from my mother, but adapted into my current living style. I still make the traditional Indian food the way my mother taught me, but it is sometimes more garlicky and a bit more spicy. I also try to incorporate some the vegetables available here in US to replace the ones available in India and the results are quite fascinating for me.
– My veggie and cheese loaded nachos are my own absolute favorite.
– Roasted cauliflower curry is something that is partly my mom and partly me on the plate.
–Cabbage salad with peanut dressing, is a dish I wouldn’t have ever eaten back home, but is something that I have tried to make after expanding my palette and eating style.
3) Other foods which I really love are the roadside food vendors in India. They serve all sorts of food: spicy, sweet, hot on cool winter days and cold on hot and humid Mumbai days.
– Bhel Puri/Sev Puri: Bhel Puri is puffed rice served with puris (kind of thick chips made from flour) It is then drizzled with tamarind and date paste, onions, coriander chutney, garlic chutney, tomatoes, mixed and eaten with the puri! Absolutely delicious and should be tried if you ever go to Mumbai.
– Pani Puri : These are circular puris (thin, hollow and very small orbs) and different from the puris used in Bhel. These are then filled with spicy water made from coriander, chillies and ginger, boiled potatoes and tamarind paste and then eaten as a full orb. Another delicious delicacy, which always tastes better at the roadside vendor.
There are many more exotic, vegetarian dishes to try out, not just from the Indian sub-continent but from everywhere else! Mediterranean cuisine is my other favorite simply because it has so many delicious vegetarian options. People often ask me, so how do you get your protein if you are a vegetarian? Simple: there are so many choices out there, beautiful lentils, beans, amazing array of vegetables, how can one be starved of proteins??
Food is a treat for all your senses and anyone who tells me they don’t care about food, and what they eat is, just sad!