Street food has a lure of its own kind, and Indian street food comes with a charm that even the most sophisticated people can’t ignore. You might be afraid of what it might do to your digestive system the next morning, but it still doesn’t succeed in stopping you from gathering in a queue to have one of those delicious yet highly unhealthy gol-gappas. Every time after you’ve had street food, you’d promise yourself to never have it again. So you might wonder, is there a way to give your tongue the tangy and tasty delights and at the same time not ending up with a stomach-ache? The answer is, quite surprisingly, YES. You can use some techniques to make sure that you don’t regret your decision of enjoying street food. Safety comes first, and nobody wants a visit to the doctor every once in a while, just because of another one of those street dishes.
There are a few pointers you can keep in mind when you’re standing out in the blazing sun, holding a cone of Bhel in your hands, the next time you travel to India. Take a look.
1. Water Is Your Best Friend
We are 50% water. Hydration is important. Carry bottled water with you at all times in India (its hot and humid). Sometimes even the local mineral water you get at street vendors isn’t very healthy, so only buy branded mineral water that you already know of (always check for expiry date in India). Though, it is best to carry your own bottle of water and take a sip every once in a while to keep yourself hydrated. Most travelers don’t have the immune system to handle Indian weather conditions, and if you’re visiting in the summer, dehydration is a common occurrence. Water will not only hydrate you, but it will also lower the risk of indigestion and fatigue.
2. Digest It Up
If you know that your digestion will take a toll the moment you touch street food, carry digestive pills along. It’s always beneficial, and they usually don’t taste as bad so be rest assured and have one. That way you won’t have to be very confused as to what a certain food will do to your tummy. However, in case you’re not able to find a solution to your stomach-aches, you can always find a cure with Ayurvedic medicine and 15-minute Yoga session. But if you are still constantly unleashing hell on your toilet then avoid spicy foods for a day. Give your belly some time to get friendly with Indian food. Make sure you eat healthy foods that keeps you healthy.
3. Make Friends
Locals always know what’s best. They’ll help you choose the right kind of food based on your ability to handle it. Not every street food is made for you. That’s true, not even for Indians. You cannot trust every street vendor in India and that’s fact. Choosing the right kind of street vendors and the right food is important to make sure you aren’t eating in a completely unhygienic environment. If you already have friends in India, consult them before going out on your own and exploring the delicacies. Locals lead you to the right places where you might find the food that suits you best. Also, if you don’t speak any Indian languages, you might not be able to get the food that you really want. So get acquainted and treat your palette!
4. Eat Responsibly
Once you start eating street food, you might not want to stop. It does happen when there’s delicious food. But be responsible when filling your plate over and over again. You might enjoy it at first, but you’ll regret it later. Make your street food experience one that you don’t cringe about the next day.
- Take walks around after having had enough food for the day so your body digests it all.
- Divide your days of eating.
- Don’t eat all of the things in one day or at once.
- Give yourself a chance to enjoy everything comfortably instead of letting your taste buds win.
5. Sanitize Away
Keep a sanitizer and tissues handy. You might not get a chance to clean your hands everywhere, and street food is quite messy at times. It can get your fingers sticky and you won’t be able to get it out unless you have a tap anywhere around. In case of not finding a source of water for cleaning your hands, carry a sanitizer. It is good to keep your hands clean so you can enjoy at the next stall that sells fruit juices. Also, sanitizers always prove helpful in an event of mosquitoes and other bugs flying around. As a tourist, that is a matter of concern too.
Safety while exploring any new place should be any traveler’s first priority. If you aren’t exposed to these surroundings, it is best to keep the above things in mind before venturing into the territory of street food. But aside from all the safety measures, it is important to enjoy your time and have a memorable experience!