For the past week, I’ve been recovering from my jet lag from traveling on a couple of connecting international flights. While my body is coping with the time zone changes, my palate has been quite accustomed to zesty flavors I savored back in my motherland: India. I spent six weeks in the city of Bangalore and put my gustation skills to the test. I ventured through the city and found obscure, arcane locations of some of the best food I have ever had. Let’s take a look, shall we?
Perhaps the most basic of all places to start is on the street. No matter what road you decide to take a stroll on, there will be plenty of fruit vendors to satisfy your appetite. There was a guava vendor quite close to my residence in India. I was completely addicted and besotted by his fresh and verdant supply of tropical fruits. Here’s a picture of some of the guava I cut up:
Quite delicious, am I right? These are full of vitamins and goodness. The pink on green color blocking also adds to the fruit being irresistible. Just make sure you wash your fruit, though. Roadside fruit have had flies sit on top of them all day. Hygiene always comes first!
Let’s move on to another type of roadside fruit: coconut. You do not necessary eat the coconut, but you can get fresh coconut water from a street vendor. Your papillae will literally bathe in sweet ambrosia, if you will. The best part about this is that the vendor will cut open the coconut for you and give you a free straw. What better way is there to cool off on a humid day?
Well, now I’m going to wean off the healthy part of this article and get straight into some chocolaty goodness. Agarwal Bhavan in Mathikere (a district in Bangalore) offers some of the best cake in the world. Just take a look at this one:
There’s something different about Indian cakes…they do not taste like the cake I have had in America. I cannot pinpoint what that difference is, though. It may be the eggless batter used for the large vegetarian population in India or it could be a sensation from tasting food in my country. Either way, a discrepancy surely exists.
Let me tell you about a few other dishes I relished at the Agarwal Bhavan. They are called chaats, and they are spicy little snacks with vegetables and various toppings. Two of my favorite chaats are pani puri (pani meaning water in Hindi) and masala puri. You basically encounter puffed or hardened fried dough drenched in spicy mixture of ginger, garlic, chili powder, and mango powder. Frankly, I think these little side trips to heaven were my favorite part of Bangalore!
Now that we’ve gone over fruits, snacks, and desserts, I think it’s time to get into the main course of the meal. For the best vegetarian food at a reasonable price, head to the Priyadarshini Vegetarian Restaurant in Yeshwantpur (another district in Bangalore). I recommend to you the naan, a flatbread drizzled with light butter and cilantro, and the butter paneer. Truly, this was a match made in heaven…I mean, just look at the photo!
With all this food waiting for you in Bangalore, you really cannot go wrong visiting. Your taste buds will be titillated beyond belief. You’ll always have company, as these places tend to be crowded, but that’s only because they’re amazing eateries.
Do you have any favorite foods from places you’ve visited? Remember, tasting different cuisines is also a great way to get to know another culture. You can learn how different people live just by seeing and experiencing what their diet consists of. I encourage you, like I do in every article, to learn about different cultures. Food is just one way to get started!