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Indian tea -Chai: Indian tea -Chai
Chai is the word for tea in many parts of the world. It is a centuries-old beverage which has played an important role in many cultures. Chai from India is a spiced milk tea that has become increasingly popular throughout the world. It is generally made up of:
• rich black tea
• heavy milk
• a combination of various spices
• a sweetener
The spices used vary from region to region and among households in India. The most common are cardamom, cinnamon, ginger, cloves, and pepper. Indian chai produces a warming, soothing effect, acts as a natural digestive aid and gives one a wonderful sense of well being. It's difficult to resist a second cup.
Drinking chai is part of life in India and most Indian's are amazed at all the current fuss in the West. Many who have traveled in India come away with fond chai drinking experiences. We have included many of these in our Chai Experiences section.
A cup on the street costs about Rs.3 (Jun 09).
Local Restaurant: Omelette with Toasts - South Indian Style
Got tired of Indian food? This is a western dish. Yes, omelette with toasts. There is nothing special with the omelette but do take note of the sauce. You will be served two types of sauce. Tomato and chilli. Tomato sauce is red and the chilli, green. The green chilli sauce looks cool to me. Perhaps they use green chillis instead of the red ones for the sauce.
Chowpatty Beach: Kulfi - Indian Ice Cream
Kulfi is Indian home-made ice-cream. I first tasted them at Chowpatty Beach too. There is a long list of different flavours you can pick from and the one I ate as shown in the first picture is the plain original kulfi topped with a sauce which tasted a liitle like condensed milk. It is known as malai kulfi. What is so special about kulfi is that it is very creamy and it is "spicy", meaning, cardomon, a type of spice is one of the ingredients.
I read that the kulfi went to India from Persia.
Absolutely yummy. Must try.
Chowpatty Beach: Bhelpuri - Type 1
Bhelpuri is a snack you must try when you are in Mumbai. Get to Chowpatty Beach and try the variety of bhelpuris there and it goes well with the beach.
Found some description of bhelpuri from the net and here goes :
"Puffed rice forms the base of the bhel. To this finely cut tomatoes, onions and chillies are added. To this some chutneys are added to give it a sweet or spicy flavour. Sev, a chick-pea based topping is sprinkled and garnished with coriander leaves. It is then served with toasted puris, (a wheat based bread, deep fried). The result is a sour/pungent/sweet taste. It is customary to wash down the bhelpuri with a serving of panipuri, a chaat."
Favorite Dish: I will be describing the 3 types of bhelpuri I tried at Chowpatty Beach. It a must-eat at Chowpatty.
The one you see in this picture is my favourite. I think this is known as panipuri. This chaat didn't come in with "complete" round shells. In fact, each of the shell wss chipped off at the top and they are filled with some fillings of chickpeas. And to complete the dish, yogurt was poured onto the "stuffed" shells. Well, I am feeling really hungry will I recall how it tasted like.
Majestic: Masala Dosa
One of my favourite foods during my trip. Although I do eat dosa (known as "toh-say" in my country) here in Malaysia / Singapore, I still find that it cannot be compared to the original masala dosa I get in India. Very crispy. Masala dosa is basically a South Indian "tiffin". I did not have the chance to peep into the kitchen but I guess the flat non-stick pan which the restaurant used must be huge as the masala dosa is indeed humongous.
Masala dosa is usually eaten with onion and coconut chutney. Again, I like it plain.
Common Food: Onion Uttapam
Onion Uttapam is made of the same batter as the plain dosa. Add the onions and other stuffs like carrot bits, tomatoes, green chillis into the batter. The uttapam is thicker than the dosa and it tastes good. Probably due to the fragance of the onion when it's cooked/fried. Most eat it with coconut chutney and sambar. I like it plain though.
It was yummy and easily found everywhere.
Common Food: Paan
Bee asked Umashanker, "How does the Paan taste like?"
Umashankar replied, "Paan in your pic is 'sweet paan' with perumed bettle nuts,sweet dates,gulukand etc, like by ladies,children and sober people.Yes i eat paan with tobbacco. It's not sweet but intoxicating and addictive too."
Favorite Dish: Anyway, you will see Paan stalls everywhere in India, not just Mumbai. Most Indians have tasted Paan, I guess, as there are so many people selling them. I dare not try it as the bloody red of the bettle nuts kinda puts me off.
Common Food: Idli
Idli is a "tiffin". As in, Idli is eaten any time of the day but normally in the morning as breakfast. It is made of rice and lentils. Sold in every corner of South India. It is eaten with sauce (chutney or the sambar) on it. You can eat it plain as well. Sometimes, you can see them making idlis at the street stalls. And well, of course you can have the piping hot steamed idlis after that.
Anywhere with Butter Chicken.: Anywhere with Butter Chicken.
Favorite Dish: If you go to Bombay or Delhi, you have to try Butter Chicken with either a Garlic or Butter Naan. I don't know why they call it Butter Chicken because I couldn't see any butter in it- try it, though. It's very good.
Chowpatty Beach: Bhelpuri - Type 2
This is another type of "puri" which I do not know the exact dish name. It is similar to the bhelpuri, just that it contains more of the yellow crispy wheat bits.
Common Food: Upma
Upma is another dessert. Seems to be like a slight variation to the sheera. The only difference is that it hs toppings on it. The topping is mainly coconut flakes. Eaten with chutney.
Common Food: Sheera
The Sheera is a nice Indian dessert served in most places in South India. It looks like little sago and it is made of wheat flour. Cooked in ghee and spices, Sheera is a must-try too. Try it!
Chowpatty Beach: Bhelpuri - Type 3
The real mccoy. This is the Bhelpuri. Mainly puffed rice and sev with nice sauce and lime. Can be found everywhere as it is a popular snack.
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