Now home in Canada, after a thirty hour trip door to door, my head still feels like it’s sealed in a big tin can hurtling through the sky and my feet won’t warm up. Seriously Salt Spring Island, snow again? Alas now safely ensconced in a duvet having a long overdue cuddle with our cat Shane, I’m finally able to report (without jinxing myself) that I actually made it through an entire month in India without at single episode of violent puking. First time in six trips. Whoot, whoot!
I’ve tried bringing pro-biotics, anti viral this and vitamin that, grapefruit seed extract, homeopathic remedies, anti bacterial gel, you name it. Last trip my ‘medical’ kit took up more room than my clothes. This trip I brought nothing but some Holy Crap cereal with a plan to eat it with curd (yogurt) for breakfast every morning and to drink a Coke a day. Joe’s a Coke addict and he never gets sick, plus a friend who travelled with us to India last year (and got sick along with me) visited her doctor when she got home and was scolded for her use of antibiotics in favour of drinking Coke to kill the bad bacteria. All pop makes my eyes water and Coke is way too sweet for me, so this was actually no easy feat – but certainly easier than the alternative of puking (out of both ends) for 12 hours straight in a less than comfortable Indian hotel room.
So when Joe suggested we try a hole in the wall street food eatery for some kebab on our last night in New Delhi, I hesitantly agreed. Food poisoning and long plane rides home don’t mix well and ironic things happen to me all the time. Turns out the hole in the wall in question, Nazim’s Kathi Kabab, is a New Delhi institution and serves up a mean kathi roll. We ordered up two chicken tikka kathi rolls and two Pepsis and took a seat in a booth while locals streamed in and out. The atmosphere was delightfully old school Indian charming (as opposed to the florescent lit, neon painted not so charming interiors of newer Indian ‘faster’ food restaurants – faster because nothing is actually ‘fast’ in India). When our rolls arrived I loaded up mine with the delicious minty-spicy green sauce often served with tandoori and took a tentative first bite.
Turns out, this particular kathi roll was one of the best things I’ve ever eaten (up there with Shawn W’s birthday tenderloin, my sister’s last thanksgiving feast, the stuffed lemongrass at Tamarind in Luang Prabang, Laos and the Thai fish served up at the Chiang Mai home of friends Don & Deanna – all steep competition indeed). It was definitely the best thing I’ve ever eaten in India, a tall order in and of itself. So basic – chicken tikka, a little bit of onion and some special spices wrapped in a buttery fried paratha (Indian flat bread) – yet so unbelievably tasty. It was also filling, (unfortunately as, as soon as I finished I immediately wanted another one). I actually felt sad to be leaving New Delhi as that meant I’d not be able to savour this tasty treat for at least another eight months.
Who knew the constant honking and dreadful air of New Delhi would be redeemed by a kathi roll. Certainly not I or I would have sought one out much sooner. Now if only we could find a decent hotel room there.