So sometime in September I went to India. It was my very first time and I was super excited. Why you may ask. Well I love Indian food. Like LOOOOOOVEEEEEEE so much so that if there is reincarnation I would like to be born as an Indian so that I can know how to make authentic curry, it would be inborn. Sort of the way I make nyama fry (meat cooked with little oil in onions and sometimes tomatoes, recipe here ) or Kuku Kienyeji (Road runner chicken, Recipe here). I would just be whipping up butter chicken and chicken tikka in my sleep. OOh what joy that would be.
So the week before I went I contacted a couple of food bloggers in Delhi to see where they would suggest for me to visit and most importantly eat. I got two responses one from Sharmista of sharmi on the trot blog who gave me a whole list of sites to visit and where to go to eat what. And Neeru of Eatstory, how cool is that blog name though? Neeru gave me a list of places to visit then took me on a food tour at night, that was just the highlight of my trip. Will tell you more about it next week.
Now India is a special place. I say India because I heard that Delhi is a toned down version of what other towns are like. There are things I just was not ready for. The noise. Ohhh the NOISE! from all the hooting. Turns out it is actually a culture and the only way for them to ‘survive’ . There are times I got soooooo upset like I would literally flip and start shouting for it to stop. LOL mum really did have a ball laughing at me.
Other than the traffic and the spitting whenever, which was also quite disgusting hehehe but other than that. India was quite nice.
There is so much to tell you so I will just try and Summarize.
IBIS AIRPORT HOTEL
We stayed here for about 7 nights. It was quite nice and affordable too. It was very close to the airport about 10 minutes or less. About 20 or so minutes to Delhi town by cab with no traffic.
We stayed in a double room. The beds were a TAD bit tiny but its normal for double rooms to have 3×6 bed. They had this pillow. Dear Lord, it was like a pillow made in heaven. perfect. I love to sleep with many pillows but I just needed one and guess what I did……. I borrowed it. I’ll return it when I go back. Promise. *runs and hides* hehehehhe another thing I wish I could carry was their shower. again it might just have been the best I have had. The pressure was just too amazing.
The food was good as well. I did not enjoy the breakfast much as I enjoy more of a continental menu for breakfast. It was quite an interesting thing to try out the different dishes on offer. I always did have the mango lassi though, as I said in this recipe post for the lassi I love lassi.
We were Busy most days and rarely had lunch. Such a bore I know! But evenings were great. The chef at the hotel was amazing. He would come out and listen to us especially mum who doesn’t have very spicy food then go and make us a special meal that wasn’t on the menu. His butter chicken and chicken tikka masala was just out of this world. The restaurant also had a dosh called honey chilli chips that I later found was quite common in India. Here are some of the amazing dishes he made us.
I went to a Temple in Delhi (I forget the name) after I was told about it by the two bloggers as well as hotel staff. I took an uber there. As usual language was a bit of a challenge so trying to explain where I was going was quite a challenge. I had to call the agent we were using for travel to explain to him. When we got there I was informed that the cab guy would take me round then take me to my next destination. I tried to shake him off but due to language barrier he didn’t badge. I am glad he did not.
He took me up to the temple. I would have been quite lost if it wasn’t for him. This visit really opened me up to how much religions are similar. We went down to a “cloak room” where we left our shoes. We then went up the stairs where we washed our faces and arms, then dipped our feet in water. As I was walking in, an elderly man called me back and gave me a small head scarf to tie over my head. Inside the temple, women and men were in the same area and they would bow and kneel as they prayed. It was a lot like a Mosque in so many aspects.
The temple was beautiful. It was full of flickering lights and gold. There was a molding in the middle with flowers where the faithful bowed to. The outside was extensive. Faithful would sit in groups talking within themselves. The sitting areas and corridor was surrounding a large pool. They had quite a number of rituals that I wish I could understand but due to language barrier no one could explain to me. For instance, from the pool, the faithful would dip their feet, take the water and place it on their forehead , some would even drink it. Later I was told that It was believed to be holy water that helps with medical issues, and other issues as well.
On the way out I was given some sweet smelling halwa. It smelled so good but I couldn’t get my self to eat it because it was served from someones hands :-/ so it really grossed me out. As I was holding it, a man around the age of my father told me to eat it I smiled. He went. He came back three times. i just had to eat it. I felt like he would have taken offence if I didn’t. Neeru (of eatstory) later told me that he would have. Unfortunately I spit it out. Again I was too grossed out by the hands serving it. It was quite a good experience especially because I have never been to a temple despite having so many around.
For some reason each time we asked about where to go shop in a local market we always ended up disappointed. We ended being directed to mall after mall. I think mostly because we are tourist no one thought we would like to go to where the locals shop. Because of that, there is nothing much to report on the shopping scene. I bought jewelry, just normal things necklaces, earings etc the cheap kind you know like the ones in town or from accessorize with style. The price was friendly but they haven’t lasted me two wears. I was not too excited by the clothes or shoes. Nothing special really I did get a few at H&M but that is about it.
I was told about INA market my last few days there. It is a food market and I bought a couple of spices and chevda kind of things there. It is a food bazaar so it had all kinds of food, dried foods, spices, nuts, seafood veg etc. If you are ever in Delhi for a long period I think it would be a good place to shop for groceries. I also got a dress there for half the price I had gotten it elsewhere and from the same shop I bought my friends gifts.
Right across the road there is Dilli Haat.
Dilli Haat is a government run market. It has different crafts, from Indian looking bags, to home crafts and even locally made jewelry. I bought a clutch bag and this amazing necklace. I also got some linen shirt for the men in my life.
The best part about Dilli haat is the food court. They have a number of restaurants each showcasing food from different regions in India. I had this amazing curry nade with cashew. The serving was too huge so I was not able to eat from any other areas. I think it is one of those places you need to go as a crowd in order to completely enjoy the food.
There is a lot to tell you but I think this post is long enough. Next week I will tell you about my food tour with Neeru (eastory.in) it was too amazing.