A visitor and his guide in Delhi ignore the tourist's taboo against street food to snack on dosa, uttapam and KFC's

一位访客及他的向导在德里无视了游客对路边摊小吃卷饼、薄煎饼和肯德基的禁忌。

Finding good street food in Delhi, India

(编注:原文配图)

DELHI, INDIA — Delhi, India, is closed today.

德里,印度——德里,印度,今天关闭了。


Receiving this piece of early-morning information, I am all set for empty sidewalks. The occasional whining ambulance. Maybe a bus.

早上接到这个消息后,我为空旷的街道做好了准备。偶尔会有鸣叫的救护车。也许是公交车。

But when we leave my rented car near the Defence Colony, it is impossible to move. Trying to walk, I am blocked by the backs of shirts and jackets and saris. An undertow that I do not understand is keeping me in place.

但是当我们在国防区附近下车时,简直无法移动。试图行走的我被各种穿着衬衫夹克和纱丽的人堵在那里。一种我不明白的逆流将我留在了那儿。

My guide tugs me into a doorway. I am panting. Sweating. "What," I ask, "is going on?"

我的向导将我拖进了一个门廊。我在狂喘。大出汗。“什么情况?”我问。

"Crowded," explains Gupta.

“拥挤的人群,”Gupta解释道。

I can see that, I say. "But you said Delhi was closed."

我知道,我说。“但你说德里今天关闭了。”

Gupta compresses his face. His eyes are economized into coin slots. "It is closed," he says. "But people have errands. They are hungry. Come with me."

Gupta皱紧了他的脸。他的眼睛眯得跟投币口一样。“是关闭了,”他说。“但人们还有差事。他们会饿。跟我来。”


Our early lunch turns out not to be as filling as I'd thought. "Listen," I say. "I hate to admit this, but I'm still a little hungry."

结果我们的早午餐不是像我想的那样能填饱肚子。“听着,”我说。“虽然我不想承认,但是我还是有点饿。”

Gupta examines me.

Gupta审视了我一下。

An analytical man, he watches more than he talks. "Ah," was all he'd said yesterday morning when I'd been lost. Out of a stripe of shadow, Gupta appeared.

一个善于分析的男人,他看的比说的多。“啊,”就是昨天早上我迷路的时候他的全部语言。在一片阴影中,Gupta出现了。

"I do not need any help," I had announced. "Ah," replied Gupta, watching, watching. "Ah." He then unfurled his map.

“我不需要任何帮助,”我当时宣布。“啊,”Gupta回答,看着我,一直看着我。“啊。”然后他打开了他的地图。

"How about a snack outside?" I suggest. "You could find a vendor. Same south Indian food, let's say, but simpler."

“出去吃个小吃怎么样?”我建议道。“你可以去找个小贩。还要这样的南印度食物,呃,但是更简单一点。”

"Tourists do not try this," he says. "Even at a clean place, well, I cannot risk it."

“游客不吃这个的,”他说。“即使是个干净地方,我也不能冒这个险。”

The risk is mine, I say. Let's go.

出了事算我的,我说。走吧。

Street food here, I have read, is a regional thing. Stalls in Delhi and Mumbai will have different techniques and tastes. A few years back, in 2007, there was a push to enforce new sanitation standards and set up "vending zones" with electricity and running water.

我曾经读到过,路边摊是个地域事物。德里和孟买的食阁会有不同的技术和口味。几年前的2007年,曾经强制推行过新卫生标准,并建立有电和自来水的“贩卖区”。


"We call this [street] food chaat," says Gupta, lecturing while I drive. He tells me about a typical sidewalk snack called pani puri, a deep-fried shell made from wheat or other flour, full of boiled potato and tamarind juice. Some of the foods, he adds, will give us tastes of yogurt. Chickpeas, "maybe mint" and peanuts.

“我们把这个叫做chaat,”Gupta说,他趁我开始的时候开始给我科普。他告诉我了一个叫Pani Puri的特色路边小吃。这是一种炸透的脆壳,用小麦或其他面粉做的。里面满满都是煮熟的土豆和酸角汁。他还说,有一些会吃起来像酸奶的味道。鹰嘴豆、“有的有薄荷”以及花生。

Fine, I say. All fine.

好,我说。都很好。



"Here, you can get more than bite-sized," says Gupta, ordering a masala dosa. For me, he sexts the same regional dish I'd tried at the restaurant: uttapam with tomato and onion.

Gupta说:“这更实惠点”,点了一份 masala dosa。对我来说,他选的这个地方食物: 番茄和洋葱的做的煎薄饼,我更想在饭店吃.

Uttapam, I say. "Sounds like a prescxtion."

Uttapam(译注:薄饼)——我说,“听起来像是一个药方。”

"Probably no one gets sick here," assures Gupta.

“没有人因为这个生病,”Gupta保证道


My uttapam looks the same as it did at lunch: a cross between a pita and pancake. Its toppings seem to be trapped inside. Gupta pours on Day-Glo green and orange relishes without checking first. "Hey," I say.

我的印度薄煎饼看上去跟午餐吃得一样:介于皮塔饼和煎饼之间。它的浇头看上去是裹在里面的。Gupta没有检查就把那些红红绿绿的佐料倒了上去。“嘿,”我说。



Uttapam tastes like the world's purest pizza. After I'm done, I try a bite of Gupta's masala dosa. It's scrolled up like a crepe. Biting into its quick-fried outer pancake, I get a surprise: a molten core of lentils.

印度薄煎饼尝着像世上最纯粹的披萨。我吃完了以后,又咬了一口Gupta的咖喱土豆卷饼。它就像一个可丽饼那样卷着。咬开它那油爆过的外皮,我有了个惊喜:里面都是绵热的小扁豆。

I wave my fork at Gupta. It is missing a prong. Gupta waves his back.

我向Gupta挥动着我的叉子。它缺了个尖头。Gupta也挥了挥他的。

His eyes are following my progress. I add a dab of relish myself — a pink one that makes my food look almost preppy, mixed with the green.

他的眼睛一直盯着我的动作。我自己又加了少许佐料——一种粉色的小菜,混着绿色,让我的食物看上去花花绿绿的。

"Now," says Gupta, motioning that I should finish. We move on.

“现在”,Gupta示意我应该走了,我们继续前进。


I can see that, I say.

我说,我能看见。


My cup of Tamil coffee is like liquefied candy with caffeine. "These beans get roasted," Gupta announces. "They are powdered. You use only hot milk!"

我那杯泰米尔咖啡看起来像加了咖啡因的液态汤锅。“这些豆子烘烤过,”Gupta声明,“它们被打成粉。只加上热牛奶。”

I promise, I say.

“好的,我喝”我说。

Something at the bottom of his cup gives Gupta an idea. "Enough," he says. "We go now. Time for different tastes."

杯子底部的什么东西给了Gupta一个灵感。“够了,”他说。“我们走吧。该尝尝不一样的东西了。”


I turn and leave. Now it is Gupta chasing. "Let us try it," he says.

我转身要离开。Gupta追了上来。“我们试试这个,”他说。

No, I repeat. This is India.

不,我重申道。这可是印度。

But we get caught in a pedestrian eddy that is swirling us toward a group of stores. Gupta is pointing. A red and yellow restaurant: one-half Pizza Hut, one- half KFC.

但我们陷入了一股人流中,把我们卷向了一排商店。Gupta指着一个红色和黄色的餐馆:一班是必胜客,一半是肯德基。

I start to protest. Too late. My guide is focused, narrowing his eyes.

我开始抗议。但太晚了。我的向导很专注地眯起了他的眼睛。


"Like in America," says Gupta. It is not a question. He passes me my share of the Zing Kong's contents: a fried chicken patty on a bun, a chicken thigh and a side of fries.

“跟美国的一样。”Gupta说。这不是个问句。他递给我我那部分的金刚盒,里面是:一个面包,上面有炸鸡肉饼,一个鸡腿和一些薯条。

The KFC is spicy. It's not like home at all. For the first time today, I am feeling slightly queasy.

肯德基很辣。一点也不像美国家里的那样。我今天第一次感到有些恶心。

OK, I say. Time for some pizza. I pick a Pizza Hut-India Teekha Veggie (99 rupees, about $1.85) that's topped with chiles, marinated tomatoes, capsicum, cheese, onion, red paprika, paneer — a type of curd cheese — and baby corn.

好吧,我说。该吃点披萨了。我点了个印度必胜客Teekha素披萨(99卢比,大于1.85美元),上面是辣椒、腌番茄、洋葱、芝士、甜椒、红辣椒粉、印度奶酪——一种干奶酪——和小玉米。


"Need some ketchup?" asks Gupta. He saturates his slice with Heinz.

“需要番茄酱吗?”Gupta问。他在他那片上抹满了亨氏番茄酱。


I am getting full. But this sounds worth a try.

我饱了。但这个听上去值得一试。

Shall we split one? I say.

我们能分着吃一个吗?我说

Gupta stares. His eyes are like perfect lentils. His mouth is in an upswing. There is the start of a definite curl.

Gupta凝视着我。他的眼睛就像完美的小扁豆。他的嘴角在上扬。这将是一个明朗的答案。

Delhi may be closed for the day. But C.K. Gupta is smiling.

德里在这一天关闭了。但C.K.Gupta却在微笑。

We are in northern India, and it is time for dessert.

我们在北印度,现在是甜点时间。

So far on my India trip, I have been splurging. The deals are good. My hotel, the Leela Kempinski Gurgaon, has a name that's hard to say. But it's enormous and shiny, with on-site restaurants that are like horns of plenty spilling meats and fruits and cheeses from around the world.

我的印度之行到目前为止,我一直在大肆挥霍。这些交易都不错。我的旅馆, the Leela Kempinski Gurgaon,有一个很难说出来的名字。但它宽敞亮堂,还有个现场制作的餐厅供应来自世界各地的大量肉类,水果和奶酪。