By Liz Cornwell, Semester at Sea, Spring 2017
Prior to my week in India, Indian food was not my favorite. I’ve always wanted to like Indian food because it is so popular, and I know it is often healthy. After spending some time in different parts of India, I can’t say that I love it all of the sudden, but I have definitely come around to more foods that I like.
On my first day in Kochi, my friends and I took a local recommendation for a restaurant in Fort Kochi called Kashi Art Café. We got this tip from a few students in the area. We seemed similar in age and interest, so I was excited for this restaurant, and I was not disappointed. When you walked into the host’s area, there was art plastered across the walls and sculptures in the corners; it made a unique first impression. That area was indoors, but the dining area was outdoors. The space was small, but there was no roof which made it feel quite open. The greenery on the walls and fresh air gave the whole place an earthy atmosphere.
The menu was a mix of Indian and Western food. They did not serve any sodas or brand name drinks. They made all their own juices, coffees, and teas. I ordered lamb kheema along with a pineapple/spinach juice. My food was amazing. The lamb consisted of ground lamb with large pieces of garlic toast. The lamb had that southern Indian spice, but it could be balanced with the garlic toast. The juice was tasty and fresh. My friends really enjoyed their food as well. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to go back into Kochi, but I know that those friends returned to this restaurant later that week.
I spent most of my week in Delhi and Agra. In Delhi, I spent a couple days in a village working with students in a government school. On our last day there, we had played with the kids in the yard for an hour or so, and the faculty went out and bought them samosas. The kids were completely silent when they passed out the food because they immediately started eating. We were told that the free lunch is a large reason why parents choose to send their kids to school. While I didn’t eat a samosa, I thought this was an interesting food experience because it plays such a big role in their education system.