contains a rich and diverse number of culinary traditions drawing upon local and introduced ingredients and a wide variety of regional specialties. On offer are an extraordinary number of ways to satisfy the appetite and excite the palate. For those who are travelling there, however, this fact seems largely academic. In travelling through India one is confronted with a standard menu of watery alloo matter
, greasy pooris
, overcooked ommelettes, gritty paneer
and occosianally an idli
that would make Rajneesh from the Indian take-away at home fire his cook. And on every menu in the places tourists get directed to when they say they want food, whether at one of those strange diner
places in the Punjab
, a roadside stop in Rajasthan
or a train station in Uttar Pradesh
, there is a strange item known to one and all as the Vegetable Cutlet.
The only thing really consistent about the VC aside from the name is the chilli
factor. The VC tastes bland after even a few days of subcontinental cuisine. Mostly. Every so often you will bite into a whole chilli that was kindly left there for you. You will then flush, cry, kick your friend/partner, look vainly for a raita
, swear, sweat and then quietly continue your meal as life fades into the more general background insanity more generally familiar to seasoned trippers
. Other than that there is no real consistency of manufacture. They are not a type of fake meat, despite the name, and can be crumbed and cooked in lots of ghee
They often contain potato but sometimes make do with onion and tomatoes.
They often contain dirt but sometimes make do with somebody's hair.
In the few instances it's possible to do so, it's best to drink plenty of beer
to make these bearable. Thankfully, Indian Restaurants in Australia
are more content serving Rogan Josh
was cool enough to mention that these are called "tikki" in common hindi
. No worries sunshine.