Chris' Original Blogbeque

A fresh, vinegar-based examination of life

Food

Posted by Chris on October 28, 2007

The long-awaited post on food… I will break this down into two parts: IITD food and everything else.

IITD: as time has gone by, I have eaten less and less. There are 2 reasons: I found more places to get other food (and discovered it is not more expensive and in some cases cheaper) and also I like variety. Plus, after I got sick the second week it was one of those things where I decided from then on to skip IITD dinners—same food as lunch, food I had seen come back up, I do not want to eat twice a day. Plus, dinner time is very late here. Typically 9-10 pm. Indian days start early and end late, but many sleep/rest/close their shops in the afternoon.

So since then, food has gone like this. I always eat breakfast here, b/w 8-9 unless I’m going somewhere and I just let them know I need earlier. It is usually a small omelet, a banana, and about 7 pieces of toast (bread slices are a bit smaller) with butter and jelly. Surprisingly, I am not tired of this yet. It’s my one link to food that tastes American to me. tea is always served with breakfast and sometimes a mithai (Bengali sweet). There are a couple of other things served occasionally, different kinds of breads called puri in Bengali and I don’t really know how to describe, which comes with a chickpeas sauce or sliced potatoes with certain spices.

Most people here and the Bengali dish is something like rice krispies called Mouri. It’s dried rice. I’ve seen it put in water, like cereal, or mixed with potato stuff. It’s quite cheap—one day I bought 2 bowls of it for some kids and was shocked that together that was only 10 rupees (not only the equivalent of 25 cents, but that makes each one about 1/8 the cost of a fast food Chinese or Indian meal).

Lunch is 1-2ish. The lunch and dinners here are always rice and daal based. Daal is lentil soup type thing that you mix with the rice. There is always at least one potato dish, some kind of mash type thing that has turmeric (yellow-colored spice) with other vegetables. Today there were also potato strips, sort of like chewy French fries, which I like because it’s one of only things not spicy. Besides the potatoes, daal, and rice, there may or may not be some kind of meat dish (curried of course), curried boiled eggs, other kinds of vegetables. I usually eat lunch here, if I’m not gone or going anywhere. Increasingly, if I will be out, I get the food when I am gone.

Dinner—for awhile, I skipped. I would eat fruit or nothing. The rice lunches really filled me up and still do so to a certain extent, or perhaps, they limit my appetite. Then I was shown one place, a sweets shop that sells some fried things that are okay but was a nice change of place. Slowly, I’ve found other places around here can go. What is important is that there is a menu in English and fixed prices. Lately, I’ve been having Chinese, Bengali-indian, and muslim-indian dishes for dinner.

I’ve put below a couple pictures, of breakfast and the rice meals at IITD.

I miss pizza so much. Oh my gosh. I already have it planned that I will go to Giordano’s in Chicago the day I get back, because I should have a lot of time b/w flight and train. I literally lost sleep one night thinking about all the different kinds of pizza I want to eat.

Bengalis eat heaping-big amazing amounts of the rice and daal twice a day. They are usually small people but consume these huge piles of food. Also, virtually every Bengali I’ve seen eats with their hands—that is, their right hand only.

typical breakfast, except a hard-boiled egg instead of omelet
the remnants of a fish lunch.  that yellow color… that is how everything looked, it’s the turmeric.

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