Weekday lunch

by CSWSmovie

Clockwise, starting from the spoon: whole wheat roti, salad of cabbage, beets, carrots with mustard seeds, mung bean dal, sweet chutney, spicy pickled mango rind, cabbage sabzi

 

India assaults all five of your senses. When things are noisy they’re loud. When clothes are colorful, those colors are bright. When people speak, even casually, it’s always in an extremely expressive manner. And the food, of course, is almost always spicy and dramatic and complex.

This is all to say that I still feel very much out of my element here. Granted, its only been a week so far, but my lack of Hindi skills plays a big part in the I’m-such-a-foreigner feeling. (I’m starting to buckle down and learn the language, but I have a long way to go .) What keeps me grounded though, is lunch.

The one aspect that most strongly ties me to India is the food. The above picture represents what was a common dinner growing up: roti, rice, a salad, a vegetable side, a protein such as lentils, and plain yogurt.

Here in Mumbai, our cook prepares a meal like this each day by noon. When I’m feeling frustrated by the language, or getting lost doing simple errands, eating this familiar meal reminds me that maybe, maybe, I’m not so far from home.

The cook prepares mint and cilantro to make chutney

Mint, cilantro and Bollywood ads

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