Maybe you’re already a foodie. If you’re not, let’s pretend for a minute that you have an insatiable curiosity about the world’s most extraordinary and delectable foods. Let’s say that you’re willing to travel anywhere no matter how far away it is or how many trains or bumpy roads you need to take to get there as long as you get to taste the most scrumptious, mouth-watering dishes on the planet. Great! For the sake of this article, you’re a foodie. Now what?
OK, let’s go to India. With over 1.38 billion people living across a land the size of Texas, you’re bound to encounter a myriad of cooking styles and local delicacies. How do you even begin to search out the very best cuisine? A great idea would be to trust food and travel experts to design a trip for you like Eat, Pray and Love in India, a foodie’s northern India odyssey. (And this is a 5-star adventure, so no long train rides or traveling dirt roads in pickup trucks will be required.)
This trip begins in Delhi, known to many as “the food capital of India.” The street food offered in Delhi is plentiful and sublime. Dishes like paranthas, chaat, butter chicken, kebabs, chole bhature (spicy chickpea curry), biryani, golgappa (a hollow, crispy fried puff ball with filling), and samosas pop up around every corner. This trip includes a visit to Chandni Chowk in Old Delhi, known as the “street food capital of Delhi” as well as a visit to the spice market, both with a highly credentialed food expert.
Next head to Amritsar and enjoy an authentic Punjabi thali dinner that includes the famous ‘kulcha’ – a light and fluffy Indian bread that is well known to this region. Amritsar is also known for its amritsari chicken (with a rich, creamy gravy that includes tomato puree), amritsari fish (with carom seeds and chickpea flour), and paneer bhurji (like cottage cheese). You also can’t leave Amritsar without trying the lasse, a sweet buttermilk drink this “Golden City” is known for. (Hungry yet?)
In Amritsar, visit a community kitchen at the Golden Temple, where it is considered a privilege to assist in cooking the food and serving a simple meal to pilgrims and visitors.
And at last, come to Agra, as a trip to India wouldn’t be complete without a visit to the Taj Mahal. Yet if the Taj Mahal’s love story doesn’t make you swoon, Agra’s culinary scene will. Agra’s locals love bedai and jaleb, two breakfast foods that are world famous for their sweet and spicy combination. Bedai includes a spicy, round puffy bread with a potato and curd side dish, and jaleb are a deep-fried batter made into pretzel or circular shapes which are then soaked in sugar syrup. Put them together and you might cry a few tears of joy.
Agra’s parathas, stuffed with paneer, cauliflower, potato or carrot and topped with a yogurt sauce and spicy pickles, rival Delhi’s in their deliciousness. And petha, the most famous food from Agra, is a sweet made from white pumpkin or ash gourd. They come plain with nuts and saffron or flavored with coconut, mango or pineapple. Locals say they even have special health benefits.
This extraordinary Eat, Pray and Love in India itinerary includes many more culinary adventures than I’ve listed here like a lunch made personally by a Michelin-starred chef and a visit to a Punjabiyat farm where you can visit the dairy and enjoy a farm to table feast. If you’re hoping to see some of the most fascinating sights in northern India like the Taj Mahal and the Golden Temple yet want to bring out your foodie side too, Eat, Pray and Love in India will be an extraordinary experience for you.
This is just the kind of immersive adventure chock full of visits with locals that we at Wild Nectar love. It's offered by a world-class luxury operator and you can plan it for custom dates to fit your schedule. Contact us to plan a foodie adventure you’ll remember for a lifetime.