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

一位訪客及他的向導在德里無視了游客對路邊攤小吃卷餅、薄煎餅和肯德基的禁忌。

Finding good street food in Delhi, India

(編注:原文配圖)

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

德里,印度——德里,印度,今天關閉了。


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

早上接到這個消息后,我為空曠的街道做好了準備。偶爾會有鳴叫的救護車。也許是公交車。

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.

但是當我們在國防區附近下車時,簡直無法移動。試圖行走的我被各種穿著襯衫夾克和紗麗的人堵在那里。一種我不明白的逆流將我留在了那兒。

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

我的向導將我拖進了一個門廊。我在狂喘。大出汗?!笆裁辞闆r?”我問。

"Crowded," explains Gupta.

“擁擠的人群,”Gupta解釋道。

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

我知道,我說?!暗阏f德里今天關閉了?!?

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皺緊了他的臉。他的眼睛瞇得跟投幣口一樣?!笆顷P閉了,”他說?!暗藗冞€有差事。他們會餓。跟我來?!?

Gupta has me climb the stairs to a restaurant. South Indian Eating Paradise, says the sign. It so happens that Delhi is in northern India. But, for Gupta, this is not a problem.

Gupta帶我爬上了一家餐館的樓梯。標牌上寫著“南印度吃貨天堂”??墒堑吕锸窃谟《缺辈堪?。而這對Gupta來說沒什么問題。


Gupta examines me.

Gupta審視了我一下。

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.

一個善于分析的男人,他看的比說的多?!鞍?,”就是昨天早上我迷路的時候他的全部語言。在一片陰影中,Gupta出現了。

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

“我不需要任何幫助,”我當時宣布?!鞍?,”Gupta回答,看著我,一直看著我?!鞍??!比缓笏蜷_了他的地圖。

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

“出去吃個小吃怎么樣?”我建議道?!澳憧梢匀フ覀€小販。還要這樣的南印度食物,呃,但是更簡單一點?!?

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

“游客不吃這個的,”他說?!凹词故莻€干凈地方,我也不能冒這個險?!?

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

出了事算我的,我說。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.

我曾經讀到過,路邊攤是個地域事物。德里和孟買的食閣會有不同的技術和口味。幾年前的2007年,曾經強制推行過新衛生標準,并建立有電和自來水的“販賣區”。

But, despite attempts at regulation, this is India. There are makeshift stands wherever you turn. The street-sellers sell on.

但是,盡管試圖建立這些規則,但這是印度啊。不管你去哪兒都能看見臨時攤位。路邊攤主們使你相信這一點。

"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.

“我們把這個叫做chaat,”Gupta說,他趁我開始的時候開始給我科普。他告訴我了一個叫Pani Puri的特色路邊小吃。這是一種炸透的脆殼,用小麥或其他面粉做的。里面滿滿都是煮熟的土豆和酸角汁。他還說,有一些會吃起來像酸奶的味道。鷹嘴豆、“有的有薄荷”以及花生。

Fine, I say. All fine.

好,我說。都很好。

I park the car at the edge of Old Delhi's Chandni Chowk neighborhood. We take a ride on a bicycle rickshaw for a while (it's welded to the back of an Indian-made Hero-brand bike) and then we get out and try to walk. Streets are miniature and twisted.

我把車停在舊德里的月光集市附近的邊緣。我們坐上一部人力自行車(焊接在印度國產英雄牌自行車的后面)轉了會,然后我們下來準備準備著溜達溜達。街道很小,七曲八折的。

After a while, he finds a courtyard — it's partly a driveway for some bikes — that has folding chairs. A card table is topped with a plastic, patterned cover. There is a man with a beard, metal pans and a portable stove.

過了一會,他發現了一塊地方——其實就是自行車道的一部分——這有折疊椅,還有一個表面是塑料的上面有圖案的卡桌。有個長著胡子的爺們在這,還有金屬鍋和便攜爐灶。


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

Uttapam(譯注:薄餅)——我說,“聽起來像是一個藥方?!?

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

“沒有人因為這個生病,”Gupta保證道

But when our snack is delivered, I realize I am in a different Delhi. The food is served on metal plates, and each of the platters — including chutneys in cups — costs less than 80 rupees, about $1.50. Prices may be high in the stores, but not here.

但當我們的小吃點好后,我發現我身處一個不一樣的德里。食物是裝在金屬盤子里的,每盤——包括杯子里的酸辣醬——都花不到80盧比,大概1.5美元。商店里的價格也許會高,但這里不會。

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.

我的印度薄煎餅看上去跟午餐吃得一樣:介于皮塔餅和煎餅之間。它的澆頭看上去是裹在里面的。Gupta沒有檢查就把那些紅紅綠綠的佐料倒了上去?!昂?,”我說。

But when I bite, there's nothing. No fire. Nothing except an onion-y, tomato-y, cilantro taste that makes me want to have more. I do.

但當我咬了一口之后,什么也沒發生。沒有著火。只有令我想繼續下去的洋蔥味、番茄味和香菜味。我要更多。


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.

印度薄煎餅嘗著像世上最純粹的披薩。我吃完了以后,又咬了一口Gupta的咖喱土豆卷餅。它就像一個可麗餅那樣卷著。咬開它那油爆過的外皮,我有了個驚喜:里面都是綿熱的小扁豆。

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

我向Gupta揮動著我的叉子。它缺了個尖頭。Gupta也揮了揮他的。


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

“現在”,Gupta示意我應該走了,我們繼續前進。

In front of us is an ocean. It's rolling, bobbing, rippling with people. There are islands of stalls. "Tea and coffee selling," explains Gupta.

在我們前面是人潮涌動。一些攤位像人海里的群島。Gupta解釋說,那是出售茶和咖啡的。

I can see that, I say.

我說,我能看見。


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!"

我那杯泰米爾咖啡看起來像加了咖啡因的液態湯鍋?!斑@些豆子烘烤過,”Gupta聲明,“它們被打成粉。只加上熱牛奶?!?

I promise, I say.

“好的,我喝”我說。

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

杯子底部的什么東西給了Gupta一個靈感?!皦蛄?,”他說?!拔覀冏甙?。該嘗嘗不一樣的東西了?!?

We are back to New Delhi, moving on more modern sidewalks, and I am struggling to keep up. Gupta pushes open a door. It's aMcDonald's. "No," I say. I glance at the menu. A Veggie, Coke and Fries for 180 rupees. A Maharajah Mac.

我們回到了新德里,向著更現代的街道走去,我努力跟上腳步。Gupta推開了一扇門。是麥當勞?!安?,”我說。我看了一下菜單。一個素漢堡、可樂和薯條套餐是180盧比。套餐叫“麥當勞大君”。

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

我轉身要離開。Gupta追了上來?!拔覀冊囋囘@個,”他說。

No, I repeat. This is India.

不,我重申道。這可是印度。

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.

但我們陷入了一股人流中,把我們卷向了一排商店。Gupta指著一個紅色和黃色的餐館:一班是必勝客,一半是肯德基。

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

我開始抗議。但太晚了。我的向導很專注地瞇起了他的眼睛。

KFC-India's MasterMeal attracts his gaze. Its picture shows a pair of chicken legs, an unidentified disk and a serving of cheese. Gupta decides on a 195- rupee (about $3.60) Zing Kong Box instead.

印度肯德基的主餐吸引了他的目光。圖片上面是一對雞腿,一個不確定是什么的盤子和一些乳酪。然而Gupta點了個195盧比(大概3.6美元)的金剛盒套餐。

"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.

“跟美國的一樣?!盙upta說。這不是個問句。他遞給我我那部分的金剛盒,里面是:一個面包,上面有炸雞肉餅,一個雞腿和一些薯條。

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。一點也不像美國家里的那樣。我今天第一次感到有些惡心。

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,我說。該吃點披薩了。我點了個印度必勝客Teekha素披薩(99盧比,大于1.85美元),上面是辣椒、腌番茄、洋蔥、芝士、甜椒、紅辣椒粉、印度奶酪——一種干奶酪——和小玉米。

Gupta and I dig into the seven-inch pie. It's not as fresh as my uttapam with tomato onion. But it's got a kick I like. Maybe it's the red paprika. Or the peppery corn.

我和Gupta切開了這個七寸的披薩。它沒有我那個帶番茄洋蔥的薄煎餅新鮮。但是有我喜歡的味道??赡苁悄莻€紅辣椒粉?;蛟S是胡椒味的玉米。

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

“需要番茄醬嗎?”Gupta問。他在他那片上抹滿了亨氏番茄醬。


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

我飽了。但這個聽上去值得一試。

Shall we split one? I say.

我們能分著吃一個嗎?我說

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

Gupta凝視著我。他的眼睛就像完美的小扁豆。他的嘴角在上揚。這將是一個明朗的答案。

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

德里在這一天關閉了。但C.K.Gupta卻在微笑。

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

我們在北印度,現在是甜點時間。