Posts for Food Category

10 Amazing Facts about Everest Base Camp trek

Blog, Food, Things To Do - GoroadTrip - September 27, 2018

Do you want to pick a sight of the beautiful spectacle of the Himalayas with the accompaniment of Buddhist Monasteries and Sherpa Culture? If Yes, Everest Base Camp is just the right place of venture for you.

Everest Base Camp is one of the most visited regions in the Himalaya. The trek starts and finishes at Lukla, an airstrip to the south of the region better known as the ‘Gateway to Everest’.

The trek takes off from Lukla. You will get started from a morning flight from Kathmandu to Lukla. The trek follows the Dudh Kosi valley route to the Sherpa capital of Namche Bazar. From Namche, you trek along a high path from where you have the first good view of Everest.

After that, you will visit several monasteries to reach the Khumbu Glacier. At the foot of the Khumbu ice falls, you reach your destination Everest Base Camp.

10 Amazing Facts about Everest Base Camp trek

1. The BBC has named Everest Base Camp one of the “50 places you should see before you die”

Everest Base Camp lies at the base of the roof of the world- Mt. Everest. Travelers want to embark on this trek because they want to feel majestic being close to the world’s tallest mountain.

Everest Base Camp is a playground of the tumbling glaciers and 8000 meters giants. Hence, it is a wonderful destination for trekkers willing to take up the high altitude challenge.

With this spectacular blend of Himalayan adventure and experience of varied culture on the way, Everest Base Camp Trek is ample for trekkers and adventurers.
On your way, you will encounter the diverse culture and hospitality. Along with the sceneries and beautiful spectacle of the Himalayas, monasteries, and historical museums.

The region is a beautiful assortment of scenic, geographic, and historical significance. This is why BBC has named Everest Base Camp trek as one of the “50 places you should visit before you die”.

If you are one of those who wants to take lessons from lifestyle and diversity, Everest Base Camp is the right place for you.

2. You get all of these refinements of beautiful Sherpa culture

Starting off from Lukla, the Base Camp trek extends from the side of Dudh Koshi River which is terrifyingly beautiful. Walking up the hill, there is Namche Bazaar, the biggest town of all Sherpa settlement.

Namche Bazaar is often known as the “gateway to the Himalaya”. The town itself has a lot of cafes, lodges, and restaurants. On Saturdays, a weekly market beautifies of the village. You will love to see the centerfold of Tibetan market and Chinese articles put in the sales in there.

As you head towards the Base Camp, you constantly come across monasteries, pleasant Sherpa villages, and museums. Sherpa people are best known for their extraordinary mountaineering skills. They are also incredibly welcoming and friendly people that will make your journey a total bliss.

You will get to encounter Sherpas willing to carry your heavy gear. You will find them scarily fit and feel amazed about how they can get everything set up for you before you arrive.

Sherpas are also most hospitable, easy, and forthgoing people. They will be a very good company for you as well.

If you get the chance, make sure you chat with your guide and porters as their stories and culture are nothing short of fascination.

3. You should not be the fittest person

Everest Base Camp marks itself as a moderate trek. For instance, the good news is you do not require any prior trek experience to embark on this trail. People of all demographics can come from this venture.

Your biggest concern is acclimating to a higher altitude and this is not proved to have any links to how fit you are. Hence, it is not a prerequisite that you have to walk fast. The slower you go, the more comfortable you are to enjoy the bits you see on the way.

Therefore, it is not essential whether or not you’ve ever hit the gym or have that utmost stamina. If you can manage 3-6 hours a day, up and down the hill carrying a light pack you can definitely smash it there.

4. You will get to catch a sight of ancient Rongbuk and Tengboche Monastery

Rongbuk Monastery, the highest Tibetan Buddhist monastery in the world lies near the base of the north face of Mount Everest.

It is a sacred place for pilgrims. Everest looks like a giant pyramid standing majestically among the tower when you observe it from Rongbuk.

Of the several monasteries you come across, Tengboche is probably the most impressive. Located in the village of Tengboche, the monastery has giant peak views including Lhotse, Everest, and Nuptse in the backdrop.

Also, each year, the monastery hosts the delightful Mani Rimdu Festival on the tenth lunar month of Tibetan calendar. This corresponds to the months of October-November, coincidentally during the best trekking season in Nepal.

This is a festival of religious rites, songs, dances, and enactments of legends. Plus, characterizes vibrant colors and noise that takes the center stage in the monastery. You won’t regret watching this exotic festive even though you’re not much of a culture lover.

You can also catch a view of Sir Edmund Hillary School, and Thami monastery nearby.

5. Food and Accommodation on the way will never fail to impress you

Tea houses around Everest Base Camp are ecstatic and assuring. They are extremely social and friendly affairs that bring everyone together after a glorious day of hiking.

The fatigue and stress of the entire day will fade away quickly soo as you stop long enough in the tea shops. The tea has a distinct organic taste which will soothe your mind and helps relax your bones.

The food is very authentic- staple Nepali food- Dal Bhat with seasonal vegetables. And the families that run the teahouses are always welcoming and hospitable.
Food is often cooked in the same room you eat. And most trekkers will stay in the dining room in the evening drinking, carving the stories of the delight set forth by the trek.

Also, the way these tea vendors treat their customers and get along with them so well is legendary.

People are friendly and forthcoming to talk to you. They are also happy to share their personal stories. They feel proud to dispense things you would want to know about their culture.

Note: It is always a good idea to carry sleeping bag to beat the chilling cold in the night in the mountainside.

6. Sagarmatha National Park

Most of the part of Everest trekking is within the boundary of Sagarmatha National Park. It is a world heritage site that is home to a variety of Himalayan flora and fauna. The glamorous landscape of the park adds more texture to your journey.

Sagarmatha National Park is an exceptional area with dramatic mountains, glaciers and deep valleys. And, dominated by Mount Everest, the highest peak in the world (8,848 m). The presence of the Sherpas with their unique culture adds further interest to this site.

It habitats birch, juniper, blue pines, firs, bamboo, and rhododendron. While at least 118 species of birds home this place. There are also musk deer, snow leopard, Himalayan black bear, and red panda.

The area represents a major stage of the Earth’s evolutionary history. Plus, it is one of the most geologically interesting regions in the world. So, it is a big place of study and research for many academicians and anthropologists.

You will get to catch the sight of these geologically young mountains and glaciers in the region. This is bound to create awe inspiring landscapes and scenery dominated by the high peaks and corresponding valleys.

This park contains the world’s highest ecologically characteristic flora and fauna. Additionally with a perfect blend of rich Sherpa culture. The Sherpa culture and ecosystem are, therefore, the major highlights of Sagarmatha National park.

You will love it for sure!

7. There is Wi-Fi on Sale

Most people nowadays expect to have Wi-Fi everywhere they go. And that includes the highest mountain range in the world too. Telecom companies in Nepal have spotted an expanding market and are cashing in big time on the luxury of internet connections high in the mountains.

You will find passwords to connect to a wifi network sold on a “scratchy” in every teahouse along the way. The 250 Mb of data gets more and more expensive the higher you go. This will mostly be enough for a couple of emails and to update your Facebook status, but nothing more.

When paying around $5-10 for data, make sure your phone doesn’t start downloading updates in the background, thus using it all.

8. The pleasant sight of Kalapathar

The ascent of Kala Patthar begins at Gorak Shep (5,164 m / 16,942 ft), the vantage point for Everest views. A five- to ten-minute over boulders takes one to the top from this place which is marked with Prayer flags.

Kalapathar is the most accessible point to view Mount Everest. Hence, it is most popular to get a dramatic close-up view of Mount Everest.

Not only can you see the peak, but you also get great views of the Khumbu Icefall far below. This is also what it makes Kalapathar a significant place for travel.

It is more often popular and trending because it is one of the highest points easily reached without mountaineering expertise. You don’t have to worry much about not having prior experiences of mountaineering and fitness.

A much better time to go to Kala Pathar is in the afternoon. If you can (and the weather allows), wait for the sunset there: the light on the mountains is simply amazing. You can check: Weather and Climate to have an idea of EBC weather.

Sometimes, the clouds often come up from the valley in the afternoon and mask the view so it is not always an option. If you only have one day to go up to Kala Patthar then go in the late morning. It won’t be too cold, the light will be OK, and the clouds won’t have come up from the valley yet.

The Sunrise and Sunset are more often the pleasant sights to watch from Kalapathar.

9. There are plenty more Mountains and wonderful spectacles on the way

Throughout the trek, you’ll get to catch glances of some the giant peaks of our earth. It includes Lhotse, Cho Oyu, Ama Dablam and, of course, Everest. The glorious panorama of the Himalayas is something you would yearn to see over and over again throughout your life.

Do not miss this one. On your way to Nagarjuna hill, you will catch marvelous panorama of Lobuche East (6119m), Lobuche West (6145m), Kangtega (6685m), Taboche Peak (6367m), and Thamserku.

If you are lucky, you can also spot stunning sights of Mount Makalu, the world’s fifth tallest peak on a clear day. The view of the Pheriche Valley from here is also majestic. Returning back to Dingboche is much beautiful.

After all, there are all of these excitable ranges of Himalayan sites you can observe. Some of the mountain expeditions are optional and you can take them if you wish to.

10. The destination Everest Base Camp itself and the triumphant feeling that comes with it

After trekking for over a week, reaching your destination is an incredibly gratifying experience. Your experiences and hardships accumulated throughout the journey will make you feel more triumphant. You feel like you have accomplished something.

After all, that is the usual feeling that sears around after reaching the place one is destined to reach.

Although you can’t see the peak of Everest, the feeling of awe is no less as you stand at the base of the world’s tallest mountain. Its sheer size and majestic will hold you entirely captivated.

If you trek in the springtime you might even meet some of the mountaineers attempting to climb the mountain itself. Also, who knows you might as well want to embark for being a mountaineer yourself.

If, in case, you feel weak and don’t have enough courage to complete your trek, helicopter rescue service is also available.

Conclusion

Everest Base Camp comes with all these excitable ranges of traveling with so many potential destinations. If you are thinking about embarking into one of these expeditions why not go for it.

Do you wish to witness the best views of Mount Everest very closely from its base camp and Kala Patthar but do not have enough time to trek there? You can opt for the Everest Base Camp Heli Tour. In this heli tour, you will explore the Everest region easily in less time.

You will find it more exciting than you thought it would be.

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On the Food Trail

Blog, Food - GoroadTrip - December 16, 2016

Food is customarily an integral part of every travel plan. But for those foodies who unapologetically dine, gobble and stuff their way through all travels, their trips should be planned around food and more food. And our country does indulge you with so many signature dishes of different states.

Idli and Dosa, Karnataka:

Idlis are a south Indian’s staple diet. Karnataka especially Udupi, serves this famous preparation in different avatars; kadubu, moode or gunda, using banana or jackfruit leaves for moulds. Dosa also takes on interesting appearances with the most favoured one being the commanding Masala dosa. Stuffed with potato masala and served with sambhar and chutney, this dosa roasted to an attractive brown and glinting with ghee/oil is definitely a head turner.

Pongal, Tamil Nadu:

Pongal or VenPongal, is Tamil Nadu’s baby and also a favourite south Indian breakfast item. It has both a spicy and sweet version.The spicy version is best eaten with sambhar and chutney while the sweet version is offered as ‘naivediyam’ for most festivals.

Aviyal, Kerala:

Fresh and ‘coconutty’, the Aviyal is prepared with a variety of fresh vegetables, curd and coconut flavoured with coconut oil. Aviyal is omnipresent in the Kerala menu for all festivals and occasions.

Hyderabad Biriyani, Andhra Pradesh:

Cooked in a ‘dum’ the world famous Hyderabad biriyani retains all its spices, aroma and flavour that escapes to tease the senses when served. With a side serving of mirchkasalan, raitha and gongura pickle, it is an entire meal in itself.

Vada Pav, Maharastra:

This snack can be had any time of the day. VadaPav is presented with a dumpling of potatoes in gram flour sandwiched between two buns. The taste of VadaPav is accented with chutneys and deep fried green chillies.

Doi Machh, West Bengal:

For Bengalis fish curries and milk sweets go hand in hand. Any place you visit in Bengal, you are sure to get the local delicacy Doimachh which is a fish curry with rice and the hamper of sweet milk delicacies of Sandesh, Rasgulla and Mishtidoi.

Dhokla, Gujarat:

Every Gujarati dish maintains a balance of sweetness and spice. Several Gujarati dishes like Thepla, Khandhvi and Dhokla find a place in stores all over the world. For its delicate taste and easier cooking style, Dhokla is the show stopper here.

Daal-baati, Rajasthan:

Rajasthani food is as colourful as its people and culture. Many pulses are used in the dishes. Daal-baati is one of the kind. The Daal-baati is served with churma, a sweet dish. Rice or chapatis eaten with this will disappear in no time!

Makkai-ki-roti, Punjab:

Rich with corn fields, Punjab produces the most delectable corn breads or Makkai-ki-roti. This is served with a gravy prepared with locally grown mustard leaves, sarson-ka-saag which is a delicious accompaniment. Include other Punjab delicacies like Rajma-chawal, Chole-batura or Amritsarikulchas and Malailassi in your platter and you will do a round of bhalle-bhalle when you are finished with this sumptuous meal.

Paranthas, Delhi:

Delhi has many ‘parantha wale gallis’. The paranthas of Delhi are a huge attraction along with its chaat. Non-vegetarians will also love the Makhani chicken and Tandoori Chicken which are Delhi’s own production.

Kalaadi cheese, Jammu and Kashmir:

Made from cow’s milk, the Kalaadi cheese is a native dish of the state. The other local favourites made from produce from the state’s hills are Rogan josh, Yakhni, Haaksaag and Gustaba.

Tungtap and Jadoh, Meghalaya:

Another state that is partial to fish dishes is Meghalaya. Tungtap is the accompaniment served with Jadoh which is the flavoured rice. Individually the two dishes do not taste great but eaten together, they are a delicious treat.

Lucknowi Dal and Kebabs, Uttar Pradesh:

From this biggest state of India, we get many royal or ‘Nawabi’ dishes. Lucknow is in the forefront with its exotic Lucknowi dhal which has a texture than none other owing to milk being one of the ingredients. The famous kebabs that are the saviour of any tapas bar and dhabas are a heritage of Lucknow.

Khechadi, Orissa:

With one of the largest kitchens in the world in the temple of Puri, Orissa serves around 10,000 devotees with Prasad every day. One popular dish prepared as Prasad is the Khechadi which is Orissa’s version of the typical Khichdi. The dish is prepared steaming soaked rice and lenthils that is garnished with spices fried in ghee, making the Khechadi a filling and aromatic dish.

Travellers who think with their tongues and act with their taste buds can set out on many food trails in our country; any choice will be delicious.

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Meals Ready

Blog, Food - GoroadTrip - June 13, 2016

‘Saapadu tayaar’ or ‘Meals Ready’ is a common board found all over Chennai and Tamil Nadu from 7a.m. till late at night. These boards, very often a small blackboard with chalk writing and the day’s menu scribbled on it, informs the consumer what he can eat that day in that eatery. This custom of eating a full-blown meal early at the beginning of the workday is uniquely a Madras..okay…Chennai… habit and its inhabitants carry it with them where ever they go.

South Indian Meals

The lady selling idli or aapam (rice savoury cakes and crepes) on the pavement was an early morning occurrence. Many families boast of their hotel businesses beginning that way. It was always more economical to buy a couple of idlis with coconut chutney or an aapam with coconut milk or paaya kari (mutton curry) and begin the day, than for a household to cook the dish at home. The physical and strenuous process of grinding the dough, letting it ferment and then making the idlis on firewood was a time consuming affair for the common woman. She had to be at work early in the morning to decorate the front yards of houses where they worked for a living.

Elite society would patronise the Connemara Hotel or the tearooms of the Gymkhana, Madras Club or Cosmopolitan Club. That old lady in Luz, the Mylapore Club (their dosai and badam halwa is still ranked number one in the city) was the hang out for the law fraternity. The common man went to the ‘messes’ and even today the Karpagambal Mess in Mylapore, retains its old world atmosphere with banana-leaf meals and no-frills tiffin.

The two kinds of small eateries that came into being were the suddha saivam or vegetarian hotels and the Muniandi hotels that served non-vegetarian food. The latter began to be called military hotels because men from the Armed Services used to eating non-vegetarian food, patronised these establishments when they visited home for vacations.

Muniyandi Vilas

On arriving at a restaurant, the server would serve water and the customer’s first question usually was and still is, “Sooda ennappa irukku?” (What items are available hot?) The server’s talent at reciting the menu — some twenty to thirty items all in one breath could set the epicures saliva flowing and take your breath away at the same time. He used to be dressed in white or beige with a cap on his head. Today the server quietly places a menu card and whispers, “Mineral water, Sir?” Many restaurants boast of having well-dressed stewards or hostesses to seat you, take the orders and finally give you the bill. Theme restaurants with the employees in matching clothes, the cutlery and plates fitting the décor and ambience, has become a common phenomenon.

Korean, French, Continental, North West Frontier pakhwan, Calcutta meals, Punjabi dabhas are all in the business of catering to the eclectic tastes of the city. Home delivery meals, catering for parties and special offers like price per gram of cooked food are innovative offers by restaurants to catch the hungry tongue.

Like any other city in India Chennai caters to every pocket, taste and preference. You can eat the kalavai saapadu or mixed rice that the ladies with a basket on their heads take to the offices, bus terminus, auto stands etc. You can stand in front of the corner tea shop and have a porai biscuit with your hot tea or kapi. You can eat at fast food outlets with a plate of food in your hand. You can sit at laminated tables and plastic chairs in shops, on pavements, under tin roofs, in poky rooms. You can be seated in upholstered sofas in AC comfort and order gourmet food.

The number of eating places, the choices, the tastes catered to and the ambience of the Chennai restaurants are multifarious offering a mind boggling choice to its regulars. The Amma canteens spread all over Chennai serves a mixed clientele at very reasonable prices. You will see the rag picker and autorickshaw driver eating a plate full of sambhar rice next to a ID badge garlanded IT geek…both relishing the simple but yet healthy food.

With all this food around….Burp! I think I have indigestion.

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South Indian Breakfast

Blog, Food - GoroadTrip - April 6, 2016

Breakfast is the most important meal, since you break the night long fast.

Nutritionists all over the world believe that it is important to eat like a King at breakfast. It kick-starts your metabolism, and gives you energy to cope with the hard days work ahead.

Traditionally, in south India, previous day’s left over rice used to be soaked in water overnight. Next morning, the water drained, a little salt added and the rice mixed with buttermilk is eaten as a breakfast. This was known as ‘pazhayadu’ and considered to be very nutritious. This practice is still prevalent in some homes today.

With education people started going out to cities to look for work. To make life easy, people started eating full fledged meals by 9 a.m. in the morning, before catching a bus or train to work. This meal normally consists of rice with sambar, rice with rasam, and rice with curd accompanied by a side vegetable poriyal and a curd pachadi. Even today some families have meals resembling lunch in the morning in place of breakfast.

Masala Dosa

With westernization and modernization some of us have taken to eating a proper breakfast. Our breakfast tiffins are popular not only in south India but all over India. Most popular tiffin is the idly sambar with vadai, which is not only nutritious, but also easy on the stomach. Today this tiffin is served on board an aircraft, on trains and it is available in most restaurants all over India. Other popular breakfast tiffin is the dosa, masala dosa, oothappam, pongal, uppuma, appams and idiappam. There are innumerable ways of making these breakfast items to prevent boredom.

Visit restaurants in Chennai to taste the popular breakfast tiffins.

A heavy, tasty and a nutritious breakfast like a south Indian one will definitely see anyone through the day! From south India comes a hearty breakfast that is favoured across the country.

Make a visit to Chettinad if you are a die-hard non-vegetarian!!

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Sweeten the Tongue

Blog, Food - GoroadTrip - November 26, 2015

India has an amazing variety of sweets and all Indians love their meal with something to sweeten the tongue and the side effects of spicy food. Every state, town and village and even the villages have their own special court. Many are Pan Indians, while others are regional specialties. The quality of the candies depends on regional ingredients such as water, milk, flour, rice, sugar, gur or molasses, ghee and oil. While Kolkota can be famous for its milk-based sweets, Delhi and Punjab rest their laurels on the sheer quality of ghee and wheat. The south has many sweets made of rice and more than sugar, it is the natural gur that plays a predominant role.

Many places in South India are associated with a certain sweetness. Tirunelveli Halwa is known worldwide for its viscous elasticity and dripping ghee. The word Halwa comes from the Arabic word Hilwa, which means sweet. Halva are usually sweet, rich and full of nuts and nuts. This sweet can shut up! If you put a piece on it, you first fight with its pulling and stretching force and then you really have to chew it! Among the famous creators of Tirunelveli Halwa is the “Halwa Iruttu Kadai” .. literally the halva of the dark shop. This store opened in 1900 and sells the Halwa for a few hours after dark. People are waiting in the queues to buy this sweet and often the stocks of the store are over when you reach the counter. The recipe is a well-kept secret!

Another test that can literally break or break the reputation of a cook and the teeth of his family / guest is Mysore Pak. Made with just three ingredients: Besan or Gram flour, sugar and an infinite amount of pure ghee, you need great expertise to make this modest appearance look sweet. If it does not come out of the wok and fire at the right time, Mysore Pak can become the Rock of Gibraltar! A good confectionery manufacturer from Coimbatore-Krishna Sweets has reinvented and popularized this candy as “Mysorepa” – in fact it is none other than the Besan Ka bartender from northern India with a consistency softer and melting.

The Darward-Peda has risen because of the mass production of this lump of milky pleasure by the Dairy Cooperative of Karnataka. Sweetened milk is reduced to a brown consistency and rolled into balls and squeezed with the thumb. The shelf life of this treatment is longer than that of most dairy products.

Payasam – Sanskrit for milk – is a traditional sweet milk pudding and can vary depending on the terrain. It can be rice, milk and sugar or Chana / Moong Dal, Gur and coconut milk. For any occasion or family event, the banana leaf or plate is first served with a spoonful of Payasam. The Ambalapuzha payasam of the Lord Krishna Temple in Kerala is an incredible dish of sweetness and worship. Vermicelli and Whipped Rice are modern variants added to Payasam or Kheer. The cooks began adding fresh fruit to the milk preparation.

Poli comes from Thanjavur. Polished Pooran is a thin crepe filled with dal and sugar and pureed Gur and flavored with cardamom and nutmeg powder. This dish was introduced to the south by the Maratha invaders and became an integral part of South Indian cuisine. In the border areas of Tamil Nadu and Karnataka, near Kerala, there are pancakes filled with Ubbuttu or Coconut and Jiggery. Po-Pois-Poal-fried in a reduced milk-rich sauce is a variation of this polish.

The flat rice and jiggery paste flattened and fried into balls, the adirasam is also a dish shared with the marathas. It takes an important place in religious celebrations. The Somasi or Gujjia or Karjikkai Fried Crescent is filled with the sticky mix of dal, sugar, nuts and raisins – is another sweet Indian pan that is famous all the southern states.

Chettinad has a traditional and rich cuisine. Their paniyaarams have many avatars and small dumplings dipped in a sweet sauce, coconut milk and paal paniyaram milk is a pudding to dying. Padirpheni is a local paste of angel hair that is crisp until a mixture of almond milk is poured on it. Phathirpheni is especially popular in Karnataka. He is also called Chirotior Surul Poori. Pathiri is the version of Kerala.

Kozhukkattai in Tamil Nadu is immediately associated with Lord Ganesha. It is a momo or a sweet dumpling of rice flour and stuffed with a walnut

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