Indian Simmer: You Can Live on Bread Alone

India 040 (450 x 300)

As some of you already know, your humble ES editor has temporarily relocated, and I’ll be spending the next month eating and drinking my way through India. Hope you’re all fans of the food there, because I’ll be checking in frequently to report on my fav finds, brag about eating for $3 a day, and hopefully never complaining about Delhi belly.

First thoughts: OMFG this place is scary. Why do they think it’s OK to drive the wrong way on the highway? Or shove 13 people into one rickshaw? Or bring your baby on a motorcycle without a helmet? Somehow, this crazy “system” all seems to work out for them, but I have to admit it’s pretty freaking overwhelming.

Second thoughts: OMFG this place is a bread-lover’s paradise. If you have ever eaten at an Indian-American restaurant that offers just one simple kind of naan, let me tell you, you are being shortchanged. Every establishment here, big or small, has countless kinds of bread on offer. Garlic naan, butter naan, naan laced in layers of ghee and nann stuffed with potato curry. Paper-thin dosas rolled out to five-feet wide. Crunchy dosas smashed up and mixed in with every ingredient in the kitchen. Crispy papadum ready for dipping. I could go on. And on.

But my favorite (so far) is the batura. It’s a giant, puffy bread usually served with channa (spicy chickpea curry), as in the channa batura above at Kwality Restaurant in Delhi. It’s hollow inside, super-thin, and slightly greasy. It’s served hot and you break a piece off to pop it all open. Then you just go at it Ethiopian-style, tearing off pieces of the bread and using them to scoop up the chickpeas. So fun. They usually only offer batura with channa, but I think I may ask for every meal in India to be served this way.

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  • gansie April 1, 2010  

    wow. had no idea that was hollow by the picture. this sounds freaking ridiculous. and delicious.

  • Kim O'Donnel April 1, 2010  

    Way to go, BS! Can’t wait to hear more of your adventures. Let me know if you want to file something over in my True/Slant space. Yers, KOD

  • edouble April 1, 2010  

    Yum! I am not a bread eater, but that sounds amazing.

    I can’t believe you’re in India for a month!!

  • tvff April 1, 2010  

    Unbelievable! I really can’t even imagine how fantastic authentic Indian food must be like. I want full reports!

  • dad gansie April 2, 2010  

    BS…Double wow. Enjoy your time there. Sounds amazing
    let’s hear some more. Am I right about India where cows walk around like gods. It must be interesting seeing that
    good luck. Be well and safe

  • LeNore Briggs April 2, 2010  

    My local Indian restaurant had a dish named fried shrimp poori. Little tiny shrimp in a curry, served wth the puffy bread, they called poori. The shrimp wasn’t fried, but the bread was. As you say, hollow, light and a little greasy. Perfect.

  • dad gansie April 2, 2010  

    Just read an article anyone anyone ever eat purlpe black or red chickpeas, supposed to be more healthy too???

  • gansie April 2, 2010  

    @dad gansie – red and black chickpeas? im unfamiliar. can you post the link to the article?

  • dad gansie April 2, 2010
    it’s their 4/2/10 post
    good luck. An intersting site

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