Tanu Bhargava is an Assistant Professor of Mass Communication by profession teaching at both the undergraduate and postgraduate level at Amity School of Communication Noida, but what keeps her going is good food. It is the ‘foodie’ in her that defines her truly.
This is her personal food journal —
A story of hungry woman trying to explore every possibility of relishing a wonder that is magically cocooned by man and nature in an utmost bliss
People who love to eat are always the best people- Julia Child
My passion for food started because of my mother. The green finger lady never hesitated in making any vegetarian dish. And I always supported her by eating every bit of food on my platter. Cooking in my house is something done with lot of pleasure. Being brought up in Hindu Brahmin family, at every family get-together there is a constant effort to improvise existing dish or cook a new variety. My maternal grandmother always used to stress upon one point- A woman is judged by the way she prepares and cook her food. That encouraged me to learn and explore new cuisines. And from that time I Live to Eat.
With time I started developing interest in travelling and thereby exploring local cuisine. Every Indian state or city has its own specialty in food items. So, whenever I travel to any location, I make sure to eat the local food. A sweet tooth person, I always eat my desserts first. This give me a fair amount of idea about the way a particular kitchen will serve me other food dishes. So, if a simple pastries or sweets are made appropriately then I order my dish. Quite a peculiar way but trust me it is worth it!
I’m also a fruitarian. Except Passion fruit, I love every fruit so offered by Mother Nature. I believe in eating fruits in their original form. Therefore, juices are a big no for me.
Now, let me take you all to my food journey. Though I have travelled much but in my food journal I have only mentioned my favorite food experiences. As far as I remember the first time I really loved any food dish was made by my maternal grandmother. She lived near Maharashtra so most of her dishes were made in the regional style. My favorite being Pooranpoli, bread made from wheat flour and black gram filled with loads of ghee and served with a sweet and tangy Ambti. Eating this Maharashtrian delicacy was like heaven on my plate.
So, my next favorite location is Dehradun where you get the most amazing desserts. From apple pie to simple homemade biscuits everything there is just the best. It is a foodie delight. When you enter the Sunrise bakery, you’ll realize what I’m talking about. Delicious chocolate cakes and biscuits are there specialty. Also, a newly renovated Orchard Restaurant offers Thai, Chinese and Tibetan dishes with an amazing cheese cake.
Exploring the more options in North India, I went to Mcleodganj. The serene beauty and the weather are beyond words to express. What made my trip exciting is the Tibetan and Italian food. At a reasonable price they offered blissful stomach filled food rich with cheese and mayo. People use yak milk for most of dairy food items which makes all their desserts worth a try. At Jimmy’s café one can actually have a variety of cuisine at cheap price with Live music in the background.
In Shimla, I tasted the best of Cheese Omelete. A small shop selling variety of omelets for a decade on Mall road made me realized the uniqueness of that simple food.
Jaipur has also given me some of the favorite food experiences. Choki Dhaani, Bapu bazaar and Sodhni sweets can any day make people went ga-ga over the variety of dishes they serve. A small burger vendor in bapu bazaar can make you forget Mcdonald’s in fraction of seconds. Sodhni has some of the best kesar feeni and ghewar.
Down south of India, Seafood with best served with mustard. In Kerala, one must try variety of sea food available near the beaches and local houses. Cooked mostly in coconut oil and curry leaves, the spicy and tangy sea food is delightful for taste buds. Snacks like Murukku and Banana chips are my favorite.
And yes of course, Saddi Delhi. I love living in Delhi/NCR. The best part about this place is street food and availability of every possible cuisine. Delhi has it all. For street food its Bengali market, you want Mughlai then for sure its Karol bagh and Nizzamuddin and for Dessert- Big Chill and Theos.
Street food of Delhi
But in the end, the best food is still cooked by my mother. Be it Rajasthani , Gujrati , South Indian or any other International vegetarian dish, she knows how to make it the best.