Tuesday, January 29, 2008

REFLECTIONS OF INDIA - AGREEING WITH INDIAN FOOD
January 29, 2007 - north of Lahknadon

LOCAL FOOD. During our 2,000-mile bicycle ride up through the middle of India at this time last year, we ate local food for all meals. From south to north, we ate whatever was available at the dhabas and restaurants. Without exception, it agreed with us and we agreed with it. We had to get used to the spices and chilies, sometimes asking that the food preparer go light on the chilies. Aside from that, Indian food set well with us all.

WHAT WE ATE. At the roadside dhabas that we stopped at each day, we'd have (and please pardon some of my spelling) edly, dall, roti, dosa, samosas, toasted bread, and/or an omelet for breakfast. Sometimes, Sanju and other members of our group helped cook at the dhabas (as in the photo below). After 60 kilometers of pedaling, we stop at a dirt-floor, tin-roof, open-air restaurant for a modest lunch of rice, chapatis, vegetable, chicken or mutton curry, and fruit. Each evening we reload our depleted energy with the same, or some soup and fried rice, at a local eatery.

AQUAFINA, GATORADE & BANANAS. Our essential nutrition mix focused on carbs and protein, with simple sugars for immediate energy. On the road during the daily ride, we ate bananas and whatever fresh fruit Sanju selected from roadside markets. As we were riding in 85-100 degree Fahrenheit temps, each of us took in about 6 liters of bottled water or Gatorade during the course of a day.

MANGO TREATS. One occasional indulgence (okay, constant obsession) was to comb a village or town in an evening for mango jam or mango ice cream. It was almost as good as Indian chai. Almost.

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