Incredible India… Breakfasts

12 Nov

Be careful what you wish for… because you might actually get it.

I decided at the beginning of the year that I wanted my official job description to read – PROFESSIONAL JET-SETTER. Because travel is one of my true, deep passions… well, this last October I got to visit India for the second time.  In the last 2 months, this is my 4th trip.  My friend Annie Mariel asked me to accompany her run some errands in Delhi and I immediately said yes.  How could I really say NO to that invitation?!?!?!

My first trip, exactly 5 years ago, had a spiritual purpose – visiting various religious temples in the Himalayas – but this one was much touristy.  We visited Delhi, Varanasi and Agra, to see the Taj Mahal. 

nataraja    varanasi 2

Taj Mahal

Breakfasts are really important to me… especially when traveling.  I do not know why, but my appetite is HUGE during breakfast when I travel.  Delhi has a lot of smog and is much dustier than what we’re accustomed on our side of the world.  So I made it a point to always eat lots of fruit and yogurt to maintain my body’s defenses.  Here are a few examples of typical breakfasts I had at our hotels:

The first was in Delhi – papaya pieces, plain yogurt, porridge or oatmeal made with milk.   Just the way I like it.  I always complemented breakfast with some freshly squeezed juice and apparently something very popular is watermelon juice.  I found watermelon juice in Delhi and in Varanasi.  They would even prepare it to order… super sweet and delicious.

    Breakfast Delhi

watermelon juice - KFC

This second was in Agra – papaya pieces with pomegranate seeds, plain yogurt, corn or wheat flakes.  Here breakfast was complimented by salted lassi and pineapple juice.  I much more prefer sweet lassi, but we’ll talk about that a little later on in a future post…

Agra Breakfast

But these are very typical breakfasts… you might be thinking.   But this was not all I ate each morning… this was just the starter complimented also by one of two Indian versions of breakfast too.  Indians do not limit their curry and savory food intake from lunch on.  They have their savory and spicy foods right after they open their eyes.  Even though we stayed in Northern India, we got to taste the breakfast preferences of both North and South India.


When we were in Delhi, I was intrigued by what my table neighbor was eating.  I saw this puffed up bread and I immediately was curious.  It is called chole bhature and it is fried bread made from either maida flour (very-fine wheat flour) or rice flour.  I had them both and you can barely notice a difference.  You eat this fried, puffy bread with curried chickpeas and spicy/sweet mango chutney.  The yogurt on my regular breakfast plate helped to cool my mouth because of the spices for the chickpeas and chutney. 

North India Breakfast

Our servers at the hotel restaurant were so impressed with our interest in their local food, after I ordered just out of curiosity, that they would bring a service of this chole bhature without us having to order it.

Not what I normally crave for breakfast, but certainly interesting enough to enjoy it while in India…  and I am all to have the most out of my travel experiences.


After an overnight train experience that left a lot to be desired, we arrived in Agra at 9:30AM and we were HUNGRY for breakfast.  The buffet spread was exactly what we needed.  That’s where we learned about Dosas.

Dosas are the typical South India version of breakfast… it’s a rice flour crepe filled with a curried-potato mixture.  They’re made to order and you enjoy them with a coconut or tomato chutneys.  And you know me, I am a crepe fanatic.

Dosa 4

The potato mixture is spicy, but the chutneys were way spicier for my taste.  So after tasting them initially, I kept on eating without the accompaniments.  Salted lassi helped ease the spice level on the tongue.  They were so good, we had dosas every morning we had breakfast in Agra.

 Dosa 1     Dosa 3

Dosa 2

I hope this encourages you to try out these Indian favorites the next time you travel to India or visit an Indian restaurant in your neighborhood.  Tasting the local flavors is an integral part of getting to know a new country/culture.  It’s what separates the travelers from the tourists… don’t you think?


31 Responses to “Incredible India… Breakfasts”

  1. lovebug35 November 12, 2009 at 11:02 am #

    love your photos..

    I visited India last year too.. such a nice place..

  2. azizmoummou November 12, 2009 at 12:56 pm #

    So impressive.
    I would be pleased if my students could get the essence of your thoughts.
    I’m an English teacher,happy to start blogging and discover a wonderful space of exchange and creativity.
    keep going.
    My blog is :


  3. Sputink November 12, 2009 at 1:28 pm #

    Yeah me too Visited India i guess 2 years ago
    it was cool
    I like Kashmir the Best

  4. Phryne November 12, 2009 at 2:02 pm #

    Do you like Sari’s? Check out my blog in the next couple of days if so – i might have a story you like!

    KFC – Thanks Phryne… I do have several saris, but it was during this trip a few weeks ago that I actually learned how to put one on… in Varanasi. I had to take a video of it so I do not forget. I will most definitely check out your story soon. Keep visiting…

  5. krishnachandran November 12, 2009 at 2:07 pm #

    Nice to hear from you that you enjoyed staying in my country. And I’m just happy to see that you tried both North and south dishes. Just like dishes South India has got exotic tourist locations and whole different culture compared to North. I’m hailing from a South Indian province, may be you have heard of “Kerala” state, popularly known as “God’s Own Country”. Next time you visit India, try to visit south also, for which i could help you in planing an itinerary.


    KFC – KC, thanks for the invite. I may possibly return to India next year to attend Kumbha Mela. I hope the group I will be traveling with also explores Southern India, which I have not visited yet. If we do visit Kerala, I will most definitely be in contact… Namaste.

    • krishnachandran November 13, 2009 at 1:21 pm #

      Wonderful. You have learned Indian culture also ( proof – saying Namaste). Its my pleasure to help you out if you are visiting Kerala. post me for any help. Take care and Namaste

  6. فندق كوم November 12, 2009 at 3:08 pm #

    nice Indian pictures 😉

  7. {The Mrs.} November 12, 2009 at 3:21 pm #

    Um, YUM!!!

    I am so on the prowl for Watermelon Juice now!

    And as my husband and I apply for teaching positions abroad, I find myself so excited at the prospect of trying the food of another country.

  8. spainter November 12, 2009 at 4:05 pm #

    I’ve felt hungry at once 🙂
    Very beautiful and interesting report, thanks.
    Well.. I’ll run to the kitchen to have a snack… 🙂

  9. ashleythinks November 12, 2009 at 4:51 pm #

    I dream of going to India one day.

    KFC – I hope your dream comes true… and the way to do that is to DECREET IT!!! Say it outloud, with purpose, with meaning. Say outloud: “I will travel to India by X date.” Give an order to the Universe and believe it. And you’ll see how the Universe will conspire to make that dream come true…

  10. astitchintime November 12, 2009 at 5:09 pm #

    All those look so good. I would love to visit India someday. I have a relative with a business branch there so it’s a matter of one day having the flight funds. Oddly enough, I was able to try a lot of Indian food when I stayed in Colorado for a week. My cousins were my food orderers thankfully. You’ve intrigued me though. I wonder where I can find an Indian place with breakfast. There is a place within walking distance but it’s a bit overpriced. Oh and I’m pretty much obsessed with naan. 🙂

  11. David Hennessey November 12, 2009 at 6:04 pm #

    Hi Madelyn,
    Thank you for sharing about your voyage in India. I have yet to make it there in my travels. The closest I have been is to the Himalaya region in Northern Pakistan.
    You can see a picture of me drinking water from the Hunza River on the right side of the paged linked to here. The water was sweet to taste.

    I also read your ‘About me’ on your blog and it is great to hear about your deeper appreciation for the foods you now eat. It is so true that our appreciation for what we eat and where it came from can make a difference. I am always working on having a deeper appreciate for what I receive as sustenance.

    Happy traveling,

  12. susu (: November 13, 2009 at 12:02 am #

    :0 so cool you got to go to india (:
    i’m of an indian background (via parents) myself (:
    to be specific, south indian (kerala) so yeah dosa is kinda part of my life.. my favorite type are mysore masala dosas .. oh man those are too good =D with sambar on the side.. yeah now im hungry xD
    well im glad you enjoyed the indian cuisine (: i think the cool, part of indian cuisine is the fact it varies from region to region :0

  13. Madhu | November 13, 2009 at 12:47 am #

    Amazing narrative and pictures of my country. Meandered in from , you are on the homepage if you had not noticed already 🙂

    KFC – Thanks… I have been very lucky to be selected to be on the home page… i’ve gotten to know many of you. Thanks for visiting and stay tuned for more entries on my India travels.

  14. Dany Darklight November 13, 2009 at 12:49 am #

    I’m glad you liked them, the yogurt to ease the spices is surely innovative 🙂 must remember that. Happy traveling…hope to see more reads from you.

  15. n d sharma November 13, 2009 at 1:36 am #

    Next you may try poha, made from puffed and slightly fried rice. It is the delicacy of the Malwa region in Madhya Pradesh — that is, in and around Indore.

  16. Asymmetrical Communication November 13, 2009 at 3:50 am #

    God bless you and your creativity!

  17. Tsar Al Kip November 13, 2009 at 3:54 am #

    hi, so you love traveling? i suggest you visit Bali Indonesia, you’ll find pieces of heaven there, you won’t disappointed, i guarantee!!.

    KFC – Indonesia has been on my TO TRAVEL list for a few years now… and after reading the book Eat, Pray, Love it’s definitely in my future, just don’t know how near or far away future… Thanks for visiting. And stay tunes for more entries on my trip to India…

  18. venkatesh November 13, 2009 at 4:42 am #

    India is such a nice and peaceful place. If you are in spiritual path, then you would really be enjoying staying here.

    India has such a rich culture and most auspicious places to visit.

    Welcome to India once again! 🙂

    With regards,

  19. mumbaikar November 13, 2009 at 4:57 am #

    Here’s a map of India and food specialty by region. You can find all of these in Mumbai. Delightful.

  20. yekangi November 13, 2009 at 6:09 am #

    neevu india dheshana na kanri…..
    namma bangalore ge banni enu chenagiruthe

    KFC – please translate… I do not speak hindi.

    I only know about 10 words in hindi, but I know most of them phonetically, so I apologize in advance if I mess them up – namaste, tdanewat (thanks), citiman (sir??), dal, lassi, sari, nahi, shukrya (i know this one is in urdu), calmalengue (this is supposed to be see you tomorrow, right?), aarti, puja, shivalingam… and a few in sanskrit – Aum, Hari, deva, shanti

    • Mike March 22, 2011 at 12:22 am #

      Its in some south indian language. probably kannada since it refers to bangalore.

      oh and dhanyawad = thanks, kal(pronunced as kul) milenge = cya tomorrow.

      • KarmaFree Cooking March 22, 2011 at 10:24 am #

        thanks MIKE… i was saying things phonetically. It’s nice to know how they’re written.

  21. Riddhi Patel November 13, 2009 at 7:07 am #

    Its really great that you enjoyed food of my incredible India. I’m very happy to see that you tried both North and south dishes. Well i am Gujarati belongs to Vadodara (you might have heard the name) If you plan next time for India do visit Gujarat, Rajasthan.

    Riddhi (Rids)

  22. Aathira November 13, 2009 at 9:03 am #

    Lovely that you liked Chole bathure and Dosa… I hope you come by in a few years and have more regional cuisines.. maybe an authentic Dosa from the south of India

    Came over from WP home page.

    Congrats on making it to the Homepage!

  23. Titi November 13, 2009 at 9:15 am #

    Your photo nice and nice India breakfast, too.

  24. Frank November 13, 2009 at 10:08 am #

    Hello, I visited india this year for yoga training in Rishikesh. Your lovely pics reminded me of the yummy food i had all through my trip!

    KFC – Loooved Rishikesh… I visited during my first trip. We got to bathe in the Ganges there and to visit the Night Aarti. A superb experience…

  25. The Alchemist November 13, 2009 at 10:28 am #

    Hey… Nice to see you visiting our country. I am from South India and let me tell you, I would trade dosas for nothing at all in the world 🙂

    • karmafreecooking November 13, 2009 at 10:42 am #

      They were really delicious… looking forward to eating them again but made right there in South India. I just hope I can find them in a spice-level-suitable-for-tourists version…

  26. Pretty Project November 13, 2009 at 11:13 am #

    YUM! Now I’m super-hungry! Ha! 🙂

  27. Silvia December 18, 2009 at 9:17 am #

    I hope you really enjoyed your Indian food. Pix are really good. There are so many different spices and the combination of these different spices is what makes Indian food unique. The flavors, colors and imagination that makes up a typical Indian dish means that the Food in India is some of the best in the world. India attracts a huge number of tourists around the globe, every year.

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