Tasty Tracks of India
Who doesn't enjoy rich and bold flavours that fill our bellies and soothe our souls, right?
Two words. Indian cuisine.
That and the fact that every bite inevitably transports us back in time, where we are the Maharajas luxuriating in our golden chariot or palaces on wheels journeying on an epic odyssey around the country to meet and greet the people... and of course, feast on the local mouth-watering delicacies.
Yes, that's what Indian cuisine does to us, folks! And more than anything, we'd like you to experience all of that for yourselves!
Yumminess aside, there's the rich and interesting history involving a plethora of religious and cultural traditions along with a combination of historical Middle Eastern and Central Asian influences that make Indian cuisine so incredibly extraordinary.
Every region has its story. Every region has its own identity. And every region has its own unique flavours. We know there is a lot to take in. Centuries worth of information. But fret not, we've narrowed it all down for you so not only can you enjoy the best highlights of India without the information overload, but also satisfy your taste buds in much comfort and style.
Here's what you need to know:
We have four Great Indian Train Journeys that will expose you to some of the country's most interesting, historically rich and colourful
places, where you will see palaces, interesting architecture, sample local cultures and traditions and enjoy their art and crats (and there's a lot of it!). And of course, there are the local delights with which to spoil your palates. Don't worry, not everything is spicy, just full of spice!
These handpicked journeys will take you through the country's North, Central and West regions. Note, keep your cameras fully charged, your appetites up and forget the calorie counting!
- Palace on Wheels travels through the northern and central regions of India;
- Mahajara's Express travels around the north and central part of India before heading down to Mumbai via the western side of the country;
- The Golden Chariot explores the central west region of India; and
- The Deccan Odyssey is all about the lower west region of India.
Now, what can you expect food-wise:
Popular in the north is Kashmiri cuisine, where the cardinal ingredient is mutton or lamb. You'll find more than 30 prominent dishes with this protein. Another notable item on the menu is the traditional tea of Noon Chai or pink tea. It is common in Kashmiri culture to consume this tea 2-3 times per day, typically accompanied by some Kashmiri breads & pastries or with a trail of fruit and nuts. Punjabi cuisine is also common in the north of India. Favorites include a range of parathas (bread) and dairy products such as paneer (Indian cottage cheese), lentils and spiced mustard leaves. Punjabi food is often described as an assortment of rich, buttery flavours that boast an extensive array of both vegetarian and meat options. Putting this cuisine on the culinary map is the tandoori cooking methods.
Moving through the north-eastern state of Assam, you can expect to discover a trail that is rich with the flavours of fish, bamboo and rice. One very popular dish in the region is boiled rice served with Tengamach (sour fish), a quintessential meal served up in the Khar convention of cooking. Boiled rice cakes wrapped in leaves is a popular snack in Arunachal Pradesh, as is thukpa, a Tibetan-style noodle soup and favourite of the local Monpa tribe.
Central India is known for its assortment of meat and fish dishes including rogan josh, kormat biryani pilaf and kababs such as shami. A must-try dish in this region is the wheat cake, known as bäflä. These wheat cakes are usually dipped in rich ghee and consumed with a lentil broth. In the Malwa region, flattened rice, referred to locally as poha, is a ubiquitous breakfast meal.
If you like seafood and coconut flavours, the coastal city of Goa is where you need to make a stop. Goan cuisine has seafood at the forefront of most of its dishes and is known for incorporating several Portuguese influences. The sweet and sour tasting Kokum fruit is also a distinctive feature in many of the region's delicacies, but the signature dish of Goa is its pork vindaloo.
So now that you're salivating over this new-found knowledge of Indian cuisine, let's convert that into an actual experience.
If you're not sure what to pick, have no fear, our team of Great Train Journey experts is here at your service. They'll give you all the info you need to decide the best itinerary according to your time, budget and foodie desires.
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