Thursday, January 24, 2013

Like White on Rice

If you're keeping track, I'm winding up day 4 in India, and loving it. I've decided Indian food tastes immensely better in India and I actually like it.

Yesterday I needed to go to the company's other building in Noida-Sector 62, the building I am based out of is in Sector 16. While I was there I met with the boss's boss, and the team members of the other team I am working with. The work I do with the 62 team is mostly letting them pick my brain for Western design aesthetics and making suggestions as to which items in a book could be made interactive.

After meeting, we went out to dinner at a restaurant called Binge. I let my coworkers do the ordering, so I am not really sure what our dinner items were named. We had a tomato and basil soup that was yummy, spinach kabob (I believe it is pureed spinach, dal, garlic, chilies, and spices, formed into patties and then roasted, palak kabab?) also delicious, along with butter naan, and pineapple raita.

Today, I continued my training at Sector 16 and 2 of the women on the team took me out to lunch at Punjabi by Nature restaurant. These are the 2 people I have been, and will continue, working most closely with, so I was glad to get some time outside of the office together. The restaurant seems very close to the office on the map, but it took us hours to take our lunch because of traffic. It took over a half an hour to find parking once we got there. But it was very worth it. Again, I let my coworkers order, but this time I paid attention to what we were getting. (I should have taken my camera.) We had paneer tikka, butter chicken, dal makhani, butter naan (again), and something sweet that sounded a lot like jelly beans but was nothing like jelly beans.

Every time I eat out with a coworker they always seem very concerned that I eat some meat, even though most of them are vegetarians. I've tried explaining that we usually eat vegetarian several nights a week at home and I like vegetarian food, but they are constantly sneaking a lamb or chicken dish onto the order. My boss ordered me a lamb Big Mac yesterday at McDonald's (even though I'd already ordered Filet-o-Fish) and today they sneaked the butter chicken onto the order.

Today I surprised a coworker, and myself. She was asking the coworker driving to turn on the air conditioning in the car, so I reached over and did it thinking I did not want the driver distracted while driving in traffic here. The only thing is, she asked in Hindi. This happened several times today where people around me were speaking Hindi but I was sort of following along or would anticipate what they would ask for. (I've noticed I am also starting to use the head wobble-bobble. It probably helps that I practiced the motion before I got here :)  )

I ended up working late tonight and ordered dinner in from Swagath once I got back to the hotel. I decided to chance it and call in the order myself. By the end of the call, I wasn't sure if I would actually get what I ordered or not. The the restaurateur was apparently as confused as I was because he called the front desk and had someone come to my room to verify the order.

Dinner from Swagath

What we have here is vegetable kebabs, what should have been tandoori khumb, and plain basmati rice accompanied by the ubiquitous spicy green sauce, small round onions, and thinly shaved onions. Food here is very heavy on butter and oils (no wonder I am liking it so much!) and I desperately needed a break from all the buttered naan. The person at the restaurant was very insistent that I wanted naan and it took some convincing to get him to believe otherwise. He was also very concerned that my order was too dry. The tandoori khumb was also a dry dish, so when the hotel clerk came up to confirm he suggested the dish that ended up coming instead--khumb (mushrooms) and mutter (peas) in curry gravy. It was very yummy and I have leftovers for tomorrow!

It's hard to believe it is already Thursday and half of my time here is nearly gone by. I have confirmed I am going to Agra on Saturday and a few of my coworkers are coming along. I've learned that my coworkers usually work on Saturdays (6-day work week), but since this Saturday is Republic Day they get the day off. Sort of wishing it were a work day so they could get to play tourist on a work day instead of their holiday day off. I'm hoping my boss hasn't forced them to come on their day off, although he is coming too.

1 comment:

  1. Yay! Taj Mahal! You have to take pictures!!!!!! And I am so glad you found out your really do like Indian food, after all. It would be really hard to spend two weeks in a country if you didn't like the food.

    I am really surprised that they keep trying to make sure you eat meat at meals. I wonder if it's just that they think Americans are accustomed to meat at most/all meals, or if there's something else that is not being said.