a taste of india before we go to new zealand

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India. India. India. You are a country that we really want to visit but just haven’t got around to yet.

And one of the reasons we want to go , other than culture, landscape, architecture and UNESCO sites is the food. We absolutely love Indian food.

So what’s the next best thing to being in India right now, the day before we fly to New Zealand?  

You may have read about our last experience doing the Global Explorer, this time we were invited to join a tour of Little India, right here in Harris Park, Sydney. This tour had a different flavour (excuse the bad pun) but we enjoyed it all the same and got to try PLENTY of Indian dishes that we haven’t tried before.

Fear not the spice or heat of the food because the food we tried bordered more towards medium heat. Filled with spices, practically everything we ate or drank was bursting with flavour, even the mango lassi which is usually a super sweet drink.

IMG_0020Dhokla – made from chickpea flour and served with a sweet and savoury chutney. Treated more as a breakfast snack, it was a great start to the feast, we were about to have.IMG_0003Cheese paratha – flat-bread like pieces that were stuffed with cheese, served with yoghurt and Indian pickles – this one had a bit of kick to it! IMG_0004Pani Puri – small puff balls, which you crack the top of, fill it with boiled potato and chickpeas that have been mixed with a tamarind chutney, topped with spicy mint water. Then put all in the mouth in one go. This is literally a mouthful of flavour and texture. What an experience!IMG_0009 IMG_0010Raj Kachori – almost like an oversized pani puri. It was delicious and really too beautiful to break up and eat. But we did, and the mix of texture and flavours again was like nothing we have eaten before: sweet, spicy, crispy and soft!IMG_0012Utta Pam – first impression is that it looks like a pizza but it doesn’t taste a thing like pizza. A dough base, with vegetables scattered over the top and cooked – the texture reminded us a lot like okonomiyaki (Japanese pancake-like dish).  Eaten with the spicy sambal, the capsicum chutney and coconut chutney, once again FULL of flavour. IMG_0017Masala Dosa – much like a crepe but with a super crunchy exterior, it is stuffed with mashed potatoes that are infused with tonnes and tonnes of spices. This one we have tried before and LOVE having it whenever we can.IMG_0018And all of this was pre-lunch. We were certain that after this restaurant, we had completed the eating but it turned out that we had more in store.

Seekh Kebab – lamb minced cooked in tandoori. The spices in this provide a bit of heat to the taste buds but when doused in cucumber mint yoghurt, it wasn’t too bad! IMG_0021Malai Kofta – imagine butter chicken BUT not with the chicken, cottage cheese dumplings instead. Wow! This was absolutely delicious. Our taste buds were very pleased with this one.IMG_0023Baigan Achari – roasted eggplants cooked with pickle sauce. Now this was something we enjoyed a lot! Eggplant is a great vegetable to throw in with a lot of flavours and cooked slowly because the results never seem to go wrong. IMG_0025Goat Curry – don’t think we really need to describe this, let’s just say, curry at it’s best.
IMG_0026And if all that savoury wasn’t enough, we also got dessert. So when it wasn’t flavoursome-ly spicy, it was super sweet.

If you have ever tried Indian sweets, you will know what we mean.

IMG_0001
Jalebi
IMG_0027
Gulab Jamun
IMG_0028
Kulfi

So with approximately 7 stops in all, although we didn’t eat at each one, we were definitely filled with Indian food by the end of it. Accompanied by 2 very competent and entertaining guides, Gunjan and Yamman, we were given plenty of information about the area and the Indian culture.

Indian cuisine varies so much, thanks to the many different regions in India. Some Indian food can be quite heavy, while others are quite light, refreshing and fluffy. We usually order what we know, unless we go with our friends from Indian backgrounds. So a food tour, we have found is a great way to be exposed to flavours by getting a “taster” rather than ordering a full dish of something we are unfamiliar with.

For more information about Taste Food Tours and the tours offered, see their website.

Disclaimer: Wise Monkeys Abroad were guests of Taste Food Tours, however there was no obligation or arrangement for us to write or promote Taste Food Tours. The opinions expressed throughout this piece is entirely that of Wise Monkeys Abroad.

Do you like Indian food? What’s your favourite dish?

Tell us what it is here.

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32 thoughts on “a taste of india before we go to new zealand

    AndysWorldJourneys said:
    September 24, 2015 at 8:59 pm

    i like the flavours, but not the spices. I know it doesnt make a lot of sense but if i find something thats mild, like rogan josh, i think its awesome

      wisemonkeysabroad responded:
      September 25, 2015 at 5:24 pm

      You got to work up the taste buds… we were ONLY butter chicken people and now have worked our ways up to a bunch of different things but not quite at the vindaloo stage yet!

    quirkywanderer said:
    September 22, 2015 at 9:32 pm

    Being an Indian, reading this article was super fun! Glad to know that you enjoyed the food! Do come over to India, we can be really good food hosts 😛 Loved the descriptions and the analogies (Uttapam and pizza, Dosa and crepe ) 😛

      wisemonkeysabroad responded:
      September 25, 2015 at 5:23 pm

      Oh we would LOVE to go to India! One of these days we will get there. Hmmmm….to try authentic Indian food in India!

    thegrownupgapyear said:
    September 22, 2015 at 12:18 am

    Oh my goodness, this looks like *a lot* of food! Hope it satisfied your India travel-lust 😉

      wisemonkeysabroad responded:
      September 25, 2015 at 5:21 pm

      YEP – there was a LOT. We couldn’t believe it when they told us that we still had lunch to come…. we were stuffed by then!
      India travel-lust temporarily satisfied!

    unfinishedtravel said:
    September 21, 2015 at 12:53 pm

    Masala dosa is always the first thing I order when I step off the plane in India! This looks like an awesome food tour with a variety of regional cuisines. I’ve actually never seen uttapam look like that before – it does look a lot like a pizza! The way my family makes it is so it looks kind of like a thick dosa with vegetables and spices mixed into the batter. I wonder if it’s a regional variation?

      wisemonkeysabroad responded:
      September 25, 2015 at 5:20 pm

      Love love love masala dosa!
      We imagine the uttapam could be regional variation, but not sure 🙂 We will have to go to India and try them all out 😉

    Kat said:
    September 20, 2015 at 6:36 pm

    Wow that’s a lot of dishes! And there are a lot more to try if you do get to India. I’m not a big fan of Indian desserts as there are too sweet. But do try barfi, a milk dessert, which is quite yummy (have to watch the waistline though if eating too much 🙂

      wisemonkeysabroad responded:
      October 7, 2015 at 12:00 pm

      Hmmmm….. totally agree! Indian sweets can be too sweet but some days we do need “too sweet”. And yes, can’t have too many, otherwise the waistline HATES it 😉

    badfish said:
    September 20, 2015 at 2:07 pm

    my mouth is watering, creeps…I love India and Indian food, but once went to a restaurant outside Pune where the soup was so hot, couldn’t eat it, and I LOVE hot chilis in everything

      wisemonkeysabroad responded:
      October 7, 2015 at 11:58 am

      Hahah – glad to be able to make a fish’s mouth water… Never seen that happen before 😉 Any food where it is too hot.. is a NO from us. We need to at least be able to enjoy the flavours beyond the heat.

        badfish said:
        October 8, 2015 at 8:23 pm

        Agreed…mouth watering is one thing, eyes watering is another

    Ayla said:
    September 20, 2015 at 6:27 am

    Oh my, this all looks so delicious! I’m sure you know how much I love Indian food and yes you definitely need to go there to eat it all! We had an Indian takeaway last night (and leftovers for lunch today!) but I could still eat all of this again right now. Major drools 🙂

      wisemonkeysabroad responded:
      October 7, 2015 at 11:57 am

      Yum yum yum and more yum! We definitely know how much you love Indian. We were thinking of you as we composed this post actually… how lucky you are to have been to India and try the authentic stuff from the source itself. How have you been and where is the next trip?

        Ayla said:
        October 7, 2015 at 6:39 pm

        You really need to take a trip to India to try the real stuff for yourself. You will not regret it!

        Heading to Marrakech at the end of the month which I’m super excited about. Wanted to visit Morocco for years! And have a big trip planned next year but it’s a surprise for Mr Ayla’s 30th 🙂

        What about you guys? How is NZ?

          wisemonkeysabroad responded:
          October 8, 2015 at 8:48 am

          Wow! We’ve always wanted to go to Morocco too… How long will you be away? Soooo excited for you 🙂
          Big trip next year?? How exciting! Can’t wait to find out where it is.
          We are back now from New Zealand… it was amazing! Loved it – want to go back again. Nothing else planned, just small local trips at the moment especially with a business getting kicked off – our focus is slightly elsewhere.

            Ayla said:
            October 8, 2015 at 8:11 pm

            Just 5 nights in Marrakech for a bit of relaxing and exploring 🙂 His birthday is still 5 months away so I’m going to struggle keeping it quiet for so long when I’m so excited already!

            New Zealand isn’t too far away for you so you can hop on a plane back any time. Good luck with the business!

            wisemonkeysabroad responded:
            October 9, 2015 at 7:48 am

            “Just 5 nights” 😉 That’s more than we have ever had in Marrakech!! Have a blast and look forward to your photos.

            And …. can you PM us on FB and let us know where you are going?! We are excited to find out AND it will also help you “keep” quiet if you can unbottle the news 😉

            Ayla said:
            October 13, 2015 at 6:39 pm

            Sent you a message on Twitter!

    Mani (A New Life Wandering) said:
    September 20, 2015 at 2:40 am

    Everything looks amazing! What a great Indian feast. It looks very authentic too which is great. I adore mango lassi.

      wisemonkeysabroad responded:
      September 20, 2015 at 5:05 am

      The food was incredible! We looooove mango lassie too. We’ve also recently started enjoying salted lassi too… But of an acquired taste but a good complement with the spices! 🙂

    CrazyChineseFamily said:
    September 20, 2015 at 1:36 am

    I actually don’t know if I like Indian food. Sure I have been to some Indian restaurants and loved some of the food but I can’t say if it was really authentic food and not just adjusted to the local preferences (Finland…)

      wisemonkeysabroad responded:
      September 20, 2015 at 5:03 am

      Ahhhh…. Well if you try enough Indian in different countries, we are sure you will get the gist of what it should taste like… Or
      Maybe just visit India? 😉

      How’s it going in China? Or are you back? We have been a little out of touch online!

        CrazyChineseFamily said:
        September 21, 2015 at 12:36 am

        Perhaps I should just visit India I guess :p
        I had some adventurous time lately, sadly not all connected to the holiday, but more I will write in some post when the time is right… (Can only say thus far that I could not enjoy the 3 1/2 weeks in China as my wife and son did…I could only stay for a very short time due to health issues and came only to China to do important matters for our financial situation)
        Anyways, health is improving slowly so we plan in spring time another trip to China and perhaps even in the end of 2016 a trip to Australia 🙂

          wisemonkeysabroad responded:
          October 7, 2015 at 11:56 am

          Oh dear! Health issues does not sound good – hope you are doing ok! We have just returned not long from NZ and so are now catching up on the blog. Are you back from China now? We must visit your blog to find out what is going on if you have shared anything on there. It was more than Crazy MIL??
          Well, hope all is sorting itself out and maybe if all works out – we look forward to seeing you guys in Australia some time then 😉

            CrazyChineseFamily said:
            October 8, 2015 at 3:28 am

            Yeah, ive been back in Germany already for a few weeks. I will write about it at some point, perhaps towards the end of the year 🙂

    Mabel Kwong said:
    September 19, 2015 at 10:44 pm

    I like Indian food, though it must not be too spicy…the lesser the spicy, the better for me! Cheese prata, that sounds so delicious. As a kid, I grew up eating prata with sugar – that was served to me during recess when I went to school in Malaysia. There was the choice of having a single slice of prata with spicy curry or a lump of sugar 😉

    If you didn’t say it, I really would have thought the Utta Pam was a pizza. It really does look like one and the base is made of dough. Maybe it’s the Indian version of pizza 😀

      wisemonkeysabroad responded:
      September 20, 2015 at 5:00 am

      Hi Mabel! We agree… Too spicy sometimes takes the enjoyment out of eating a delicious meal! But we think our heat tolerance has increased to what it once was.
      Hope you are well!

    Bec J. H. said:
    September 19, 2015 at 10:24 pm

    I love both food tours and Indian food, so this sounds like a good option for me 🙂

      wisemonkeysabroad responded:
      September 19, 2015 at 10:29 pm

      This was our second ever food tour and it won’t be our last! We are addicted now 🙂

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