A Week of Indian Food: Day 4 – Indian breakfasts

I was a little remiss in my breakfast duties, and didn’t properly document the range of Indian options. However, I think I have enough to give you an idea of the available options. Everywhere you go (in tourist areas, at least), there is the inevitable toast and omelette option.

T-bone eating: it’s inevitable

The standard version is a two-egg masala (in this case, a mixture of tomato, onion, cilantro, and chilli) omelette accompanied by four slices of white toast, butter, tea, and fake jam. I’m not sure what it is about India, but for a country that does so many culinary things right, they really do jam wrong. Unless you get the real (ie: expensive stuff), it tastes like rotten jello.

Anyway, on to more interesting foods. A typical northern Indian option is aloo puri. Aloo refers to a potato curry, and puri is a deep-fried flat bread. The combo is delicious, but man, is it a load of fat first thing in the morning. I only ordered this once. Ok, maybe twice.

Accompanied by no fewer than three drinks – chai, lassi, and juice

A typical southern Indian option is dosa, a rice-flour pancake. Other south Indian favourites include idli, uttapam, and vada, and they are all based on the same idea – fermented rice dough, formed into various shapes. It sounds weird, but it’s delicious. In the photo below, I am eating a paper masala dosa. The dosa is the crispy pancake, while (as far as I can tell) “paper” means that it is 5 times the size of a usual dosa, and masala refers to a potato curry in the middle of the dosa. The dosa is accompanied by coconut chutney, and sambar (spicy lentil soup).

Oops. It’s half devoured already. That’s awkward.


Eating so fast you can’t even see my hand.

Nothing like getting your day started right!

A Week of Indian Food: Day 2 – the Thali

Like chai, the thali is a long-standing Indian tradition. Thali means “plate” in Hindi, and what a plate it is. Essentially, it’s comprised of a mound of rice on a steel plate surrounded by a variety of dishes. Depending on the region and the price, it could include any number of things. A cheap northern thali might include a few chappati (flat bread), some dhal (lentil stew), and a cooked vegetable. Southern thalis are more likely to include rice, sambar (spicy lentil/tomato soup), and coconut-based curries.

We ate several thalis in India, but unfortunately I only took photos of one. Todd ordered this in a Jaipur restaurant, and it is on the fancier end of the thali spectrum.



It includes rice, naan, roti (flat bread), dhal, malai kofta (potato-cheese dumpling), a paneer (soft-cheese) curry, pappadum (a lentil crisp), raita (yogurt and cucumber), a vat of salty, spicy pickle, and gulab jamun (deep-fried milk ball soaked in syrup). Oh, and intriguingly enough, an entire bowl of purple onions.


Some restaurants will continue re-filling your dishes until you beg them to stop, but at this particular joint, Todd had to make do with the original portions. Poor boy. He really didn’t get enough food.