India is known to be a country of wide variety of cuisines and cooking patterns. Each area or region has its own specialty and cuisine. There is a lot to choose from. If you are a food lover, then you are in a paradise. There is a vast variety to choose from like very rich, oily, light, healthy, green, snacks, spicy and so on. The Indian food generally is spicy and we would suggest to always make sure that it is prepared according to your taste before ordering it.
In India it is very easy to find vegetarian food as most of the population is vegetarian. This again is a matter of choice and cannot be generalized. For Hindus beef is a strict no-no and for Muslims pork is a strict no-no. So please make sure that you respect their beliefs and don’t offer them these food items.
One should always avoid the street food as sometimes it is not hygienically prepared or stored and you tend to get stomach or health problems. Specially with the oily, fried and spicy food like Samosa, Tikki, Pakoras etc. If you really want to try the street food then please make sure that it is prepared hygienically, it is stored in proper conditions and is fresh. But our personal advice is to avoid the street food. When you travel in trains, busses etc. then you will find many vendors selling open food, cut fruits etc. Avoid it. You can always carry with you or buy packed food and fruits like a bag of chips, cake, food packed from good restaurants, bananas etc. Where you are not able to find the right food, you are always safe with food items like bread, butter, eggs, biscuits (cookies), etc.
The food in nice restaurants, big hotels and big food joints is safe to eat. But you have to make sure that the spices are according to your taste. Before ordering your food you can have a taste or ask for less spicy food or the food to be prepared with fewer spices. For example the south Indian food is generally spicy as the curry used (Sambhar) is always spicy. So if you want to have south Indian food then you can try food like Idli, Vada Upma etc. with coconut paste as these are generally without spices and tastes good too. The north Indian dishes (like Dal (lentils), Subzi (vegetables) etc.) can be made as per your taste and is generally not a problem. For specialized cuisines like Chinese, European, Continental, Italian etc. there are specialized restaurants and generally all 5* hotels have a multi cuisine restaurant. For the list of specialized restaurants you can always search internet or ask your travel agent. The usual sweet dishes found in India are Rasgulla (a sweet cheese ball), Burfi, Jalebi etc. If you want you can try them as they taste really good and different but again the safest option is an ice cream.
DRINKS – India is famous for the vast variety of tea. There are many flavors to choose from like Mint, Tulsi, Ginger, Jasmine, Rose, Lemon, Peach and the list is endless. The readymade Indian tea is called Chai and comes with milk & tea, all in one, properly boiled and the sugar can be added to the taste. This Chai is easily available at street corner shops, restaurants, hotels and everywhere. The flavored tea is generally available in good restaurants and hotels.
With water you have to be very careful. Make sure that you drink only the bottled water when on the move and you open the bottle seal yourself. In good hotels there is a water purifier system installed and you can drink the distilled/ purified water from there if you want, as it is generally safe. But we advice that prevention is better than cure hence have the bottled water only. Most of the diseases are water borne. There are famous brands which are trusted and found all over India like Bisleri, Kinley and Catch.