Chai and nashta (breakfast) with “The Travelling Belly,” written by Kalyan Karmakar of finely chopped blog. His was the first blog that I religiously followed for many years because I connected to his writing style and single-minded passion for food. So the book was much anticipated.
The book starts with the author telling us “What the book is not” and I thought that was really good because it set the tone of what I could expect from the book. You won’t find any recipes in this book. It is a book on where to find good food in India and the author’s stories that are associated with traveling to find food in the cities of India.
I salivated throughout the book reading about the ‘idlis’ he ate in Bangalore,‘Dal Baati’ he ate in Jaipur and the symphony of the decadent ‘Prawns Bafat’ he and his wife ate in Goa. The two chapter that I loved the most were of my favorite cities Delhi and Mumbai. His food escapades in Delhi got to me so badly that a few weeks ago when I visited Delhi, I ended up visiting almost all the places he had recommended. And I was glad that I took his word as the food was definitely to die for. It also helped that I could show off in front of my family who lived in Delhi that I knew the city better than they did.
The other city was Mumbai as I had spent many of my teenage and dating years lingering in the same places that author visited when dating his wife. Especially the quaint little “Cafe Churchill” where the husband and I shared many a chilled glasses of Lemon Iced tea and the most decadent Cheesecakes I have ever eaten while fluttering my eyelashes at the only man who knew the way through my heart was through my stomach.
The book brought back many beautiful memories, and funnily all those memories were about food. Kalyan’s belly knows good food and the man is willing to travel to find it. I will definitely be carrying this book when I visit Kolkata and Rajasthan on my next trip to the motherland.