The best things we ate in India

India can be hit and miss when it comes to food.

When it’s good, it’s exceedingly so. One of the highlights of our India trip was sharing in a pot luck dinner in Jaisalmer. Ashraf, the owner of our hotel, was nice enough to open the kitchen to us. We showed his cooks how to make Trini fried chicken and fried rice. In turn, we enjoyed a great biryani and learned how to make apple strudel and two types of potato salad (one with vinegar and another with pumpkin oil) from Austrian sisters, Karin and Uli.

However, when the food’s bad, you could find yourself on the toilet for several days. We had a bad case of Bengaluru belly because we were desperately hungry and thus made a very bad food choice. To avoid traveler’s diarrhea and other terrible food experiences in India, here are our tried and tested travel tips.

  1. Wash your hands frequently. If there’s no running water, use hand sanitizer or wet wipes.
  2. Only drink bottled water. To be even safer, brush your teeth with it!
  3. Avoid raw fruits and vegetables/fruit juices/fruit smoothies.
  4. Eat hot/just cooked food.
  5. Be wary of the meat. If it smells off, don’t eat it, no matter how hungry you are!
  6. Be careful when it comes to street food.
  7. If you get ill, rest, drink lots of water (with oral rehydration salts), take charcoal tablets, and eat plain crackers or bland food (no dairy and nothing that is too rich, sweet, fried, fatty, or heavily spiced) until you feel better. We were lucky enough to get fresh coconut water (straight from the nut) from a vendor on the street close to our accommodation.
  8. Do gentle yoga poses to get rid of stomach gas.
  9. If you’re still ill after a couple of days, go to the nearest pharmacy and ask for Norflox TZ tablets (unless you’re allergic). Locals in Bengaluru recommended it and it worked really well! If that doesn’t work, head to the nearest doctor or hospital.

Once we got over the food poisoning, we were much more mindful about what we ate and really started to enjoy eating in the country. Here are 7 of the best things we ate in India.


1. Millet chapati, yogurt curry, and curried potato

Believe it or not, but this delicious meal came from a basic mud-floor kitchen with a wood chulha (open-air stove) in one corner. The chapati (a type of flatbread) was made with real ground millet and cooked over an open fire. Also, the potato curry and yogurt curry were so light and subtle, unlike the heavy-handed flavors of Indo-Trini curries. #bestmealever


2. Aloo paratha

This was my favorite breakfast ever in India. No one could mess it up! It was so simple: a paratha (another type of flatbread) stuffed with aloo (potato) and fried on a tawa (griddle). It’s usually served with fresh and cool dahee (curd/yogurt) and a tangy tomato or mango pickle.


3. Paneer mushroom burger

When it comes to burgers, we usually like our meat rare/medium-rare. Of course, beef is hardly served in India because cows are considered sacred to the largely Hindu population. However, there are other kinds of burgers served in India. The best we had was a paneer (a type of fresh cheese) mushroom burger at a rooftop restaurant in Jodhpur. It paired well with an ice-cold Kingfisher beer.

4. Mutton biryani

You cannot go to India and not try this complex rice dish. The amalgam of rice, spices, and meat (usually chicken or mutton) is the perfect one-pot lunch or dinner. The best mutton biryani we had was in Kolkata. So moreish!


5. Guava

I know I said not to eat the fruit but I had to share this story. While on the train from Bengaluru to Mysore, my stomach still felt queasy. Then, this woman came on board with a huge basket of guavas. I couldn’t resist. We bought four. She deftly cut the fruit into slices and smothered each with a chili-salt concoction. It reminded me of Trini chow (savory fruit salad) and instantly, I felt much better!


6. Chai

Chai is everywhere in India. It literally means “tea.” When you go into any shop, you are likely to be offered a cup of masala chai. It’s usually piping hot, milky, and very sweet. The strong black tea is also fragrant with spices, particularly cardamom, cinnamon, clove, and ginger. I think it’s the best way to start the day and beat the heat in India!

7. Dal

We eat so much yellow-split peas dal in Trinidad but we had the best dal in India. In fact, Jesse and I lived off tarka dal and dal tadka (with rice or naan) for most of our six weeks there. The lentil soup was so smooth and delicately spiced with cumin and other flavors not typically found in Indo-Trinidadian cuisine. Bonus: the dal was cheap, hot, filling, nutritious (high protein content), and always made from scratch.

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37 thoughts on “The best things we ate in India

  1. Great to see such a post about Indian food from an outsider’s perspective.
    Next time do try out more of south Indian food for a different flavor. Actually, every region will have different things to offer but you need to right person to guide your because most normal hotels serve the same generic stuff.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks. I didn’t get a chance to try much South Indian food because I was still feeling sick. However, Jesse attended a conference held by locals and was able to try idli and all the other lovely stuff in Bengaluru.


  2. Thankfully my boyfriend has an Indian background, so I’m familiar with a lot of these foods. It’s crazy to know all the precautions you have to take one going to a new country, like brushing your teeth with bottled water. A lot of people probably wouldn’t think to do this. I remember going to Bali and people would Tell me all these horror stories of how they got sick from the food, in the water etc. anyways, all the food looked very amazing especially the biryani!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Very true, Tatum. Initially, when we arrived in India (in Kolkata), we didn’t take so many precautions because we were okay. It’s when we got to Bengaluru that the sh** hit the fan, so to speak, and we had to ramp up on food safety!


  3. Aloo parantha is the favorite breakfast of most of people in India 🙂 Loved your list and glad to know that you enjoyed Indian food. I agree with street food, being from Delhi I also don’t from just anywhere as I’m also conscious about the water being used, better to be safe than sorry. Anyways loved your post 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I love aloo paratha with the mint raita! I used to have it in Delhi all the time for breakfast and never get bored of it. The best curry I have ever had though was in Jaisalmer, and it was some sort of potato stuffed with paneer, in a medium spicy tomato sauce. It was so delicious! I got sick during one of my trips to India as well but it was because I ate on the train.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Great List of Indian food which you liked also during your trip. Being an Indian all listed food are in our daily diet and hopefully you liked them. Chai, Aloo Paratha, Dal is my favorite. As Indian food have lots of variety, next time when you visit India try something new. In India after every 100 km flavor and delicacies changes. Food depends on region to region.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I like the look of the paneer burger, as I love cheese! I’m not a huge fan of Indian food to be honest, only because I’ve had some unfortunate experiences. That said, I’d be keen to give it a go again, and I like lentils, so will definitely give the dal a go. You can never go wrong with tea, so I’ll take a cup of some fragrant chai!


  7. I am so in love with Indian food and your chapati looks oh so good! Ohhh and how I love a good cup of freshly made Chai – yum! Great tips on how not to get sick while eating in India – to be honest this is one of the things I really do worry about visiting India, but I think you have offered sound advise. The yoga poses to aid your stomach sounds interesting.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. This post is making me hungry at late night! I love Indian cuisine and think it is one of the best cuisines in the world. I am craving for a mutton biryani right now!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Haha! Unfortunately, I’m not Indian but a born and bred Trinidadian (from Trinidad and Tobago)! However, a lot of Trinidadians have Indian ancestors so I can understand why you thought I was Indian! 🙂


  9. “The best mutton biryani we had was in Kolkata” — now that’s my hometown and that’s what I keep telling everyone. You must have noticed how the taste of Biryani differs in each city. Mumbai, Hyderabad, Kolkata all tastes different. But Kolkata is the best! I am so sorry you had an upset belly in Bangalore. Norflox is indeed a very useful medicine. Me and my family use it to cure upset belly! I can make chapati (not on a chulha though), alu parantha, daal, chai and everything save biryani. The next time you come to India ping me up! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  10. I struggled with food in India, I had a bad stomach about 80% of the time I was there. I lost so much weight, especially when I was in the states that don’t eat meat! I wish I had read your list of 9 things to avoid getting a bad stomach before traveling there!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh no! I feel very bad for you, James. Nothing ruins a trip more than illness. We lost a lot of weight too because we got sick and started to eat VERY carefully afterwards to avoid a repeat infection!


  11. Loved reading your post. Heard a lot about outsiders falling sick or getting a bad stomach 😦 . Indian food are spicy. I think the tips you’ve shared will help a lot of people planning to visit India in future. Mutton Biryani and guava are my favorites too 🙂

    Norflox is a good medicine I usually carry to on my travels too.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hey Swati, I think many travelers get sick in India because it’s a different environment but thank God for Norflox! P.S. Jesse and I can definitely handle the spiciness because we eat a lot of Indian food and hot chilies in Trinidad and Tobago too! 🙂


  12. Great post! I am sure travelers will find it very useful since you “do” need to exercise some caution in India, especially when it comes to street food. The list is great too! Every Indian would be able to relate to this!
    In fact these photos are making me hungry! 😋


  13. I am glad you ate Aloo parantha, Mutton biryani and enjoyed the Chai. I am sorry about the food indigestion. However, I would say you did miss on a lot of interesting things. Do come again. You can’t miss our state delicacies, specially South Indian food and North Indian curries.

    Liked by 1 person

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