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A Tour of Multicuisine India

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July 2010
A Tour of Multicuisine India If you’re thinking of visiting Delhi—perhaps to attend the Commonwealth Games this year—there are different options for sampling India’s cuisines. You can, for instance, go to the posh hotels and ‘multicuisine’ restaurants of Chanakyapuri. It is known as India’s Diplomatic Enclave because of all the embassies located there. But be prepared to pay what one reviewer calls “five-star prices,” unless there is a local foodie to guide you.

An easier option for a quick tour of India’s cuisines would be to head directly to the State Bhavans or Houses in Chanakyapuri. As Amy Yee notes in the travel supplement of The New York Times, “most of the bhavans have a canteen that specializes in regional cuisine, whether it’s the coconut-infused dishes of the southwest state of Kerala, or the Chinese-style momos, or dumplings, of Sikkim in the northeast.”

Many of these canteens are open to casual visitors. Curious to know what people eat in Nagaland, whose cuisine you will be hard-pressed to find outside that distant, troubled region? Well, you can walk into Delhi’s Nagaland House without a reservation. Permits are needed to visit the State of Nagaland, but no permission is required to dine at this canteen, where you can check out their distinctive pork-based cuisine.

Some of the canteens have gotten raves for their food. They draw large crowds, though the ambiance can be basic in many cases. Not least of the attractions are the affordable prices. At the Andhra Pradesh Bhavan, for example, a sumptuous, all-you-can-eat meal costs just 80 rupees per person. “Situated in a squat, white plaster building near the triumphant India Gate, the bhavan is a minor attraction in its own right,” Yee points out.

Besides the bhavans of Andhra and Assam, the article lists the following: Jammu and Kashmir House, Kerala House, Nagaland House, Sikkim House and Tamil Nadu House.

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