FoodVarious delights and non-delights

A confession to start with: I'm not particularly foody. To be more precise, I am unfoody. I very definitely eat to live rather than vice versa. I don't even get particularly hungry; I eat lunch and dinner because I know it is time to eat lunch and dinner. Add to this a severe burning reaction to even mildly spicy food, and you have someone for whom the cuisine of the Subcontinent is not in the least a pleasure. Almost every meal was accompanied, perforce, with a side-serving of dahi, Indian yoghurt, one of three immediate remedies for a mouth burnt out by spicy food (the other two being fruit and alcohol, the latter no use to me, as I'm teetotal). A carful reader will note that many of the episodes in my travel book, and in these pages, kick off with a phrase such as 'After a late meal...'. Food is little more than a distraction, mentioned only in passing.

So, this section is rather short, though I hope colourful for all that. There were one or two things I enjoyed, the foil-wrapped sweets especially, and given the vast array of foodstuffs available across India, it would be remiss of me not to say something on the subject.

  » The Mamalla Bhavan

  » The Murali Cafe

Read on...

Read the first article in the series, the Mamalla Bhavan.

After taking a few minutes to freshen up I wander the streets of Mamallapuram in search of somewhere to eat. Choice is limited. The Mamalla Bhavan seems the most promising, doing a steady if not a roaring trade. There is only one thing on the menu, thali, a staple lunch throughout India although subtly different in the South from the few I tried in the North.

Available for purchase now

Sheldon's account of his overland travels around India, A River of Life, is available for purchase now. Buy the e-book from or, or the paperback from or (also available in other countries, search Amazon for more information).

The first instalment, A River of Life, Book 1: Travels in the North, is available separately (e-book format only) via or The second instalment, A River of Life, Book 2: A Tour of the South, is available via or


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