Gluten Free in India Part III: Lunch time in India without a fridge

Prior to my first day in the Gurgaon office, Negi Chef told me he would prepare me a lunch to bring to work.  Perfect, I thought, that way I would know that I was eating safely and gluten free.  After all I was told a few times to only trust the food at the hotel, not the stuff at work.  Well there I was my first day at our Gurgaon office, packed lunch in hand.  When I got there and asked my colleague where the kitchen was so I could put my lunch in the fridge he said there was no fridge.  “Wait, no fridge?  But how will my lunch stay cold then?” I thought.  Instead, he brought me downstairs to the cafeteria and he asked one of the vendors to put my food in the beverage fridge full of pop.  Well, from then on I had a new routine of eating my lunch during first break so that it had less of a chance to go bad.  Then I’d eat a banana or Lara bar during dinner break.

I spoke to Negi Chef about not having a fridge at work so he assured me I’d be ok as long as I didn’t bring anything with a cream sauce and for my own reassurance I always brought a vegetarian meal to work.  I’d pre-order my meal at breakfast and then pick it up at the concierge on the way to my car.  It was so convenient; everything would be packed up in a bag along with extra bananas and utensils.  Quickly I learned that the biryani portions were gigantic so I asked them to give me two small containers of it instead of a large one.  This way I could keep one container in my hotel room fridge to eat as a snack later (oddly it tasted pretty good cold).

My staple lunch was vegetable biryani.  I tell you, I can’t get sick of the stuff.  I love it, and really each time you eat it there is a slight variation.  I also brought aloo gobi and aloo mutter with me often.  Sometimes I’d ask Negi Chef to prepare anything vegetarian and I’d get different types of curried vegetables.  Again I tried to keep it basic so that it was safe out of the fridge and I didn’t want any surprises at work.

If only my bagged lunches at home looked this good!

If only my bagged lunches at home looked this good!

The best thing that I ate for lunch at work though was the day one of my colleagues I had gone sightseeing in Delhi with brought me homemade aloo mutter.  So good!  It was so sweet of her; she really wanted to make sure that I was able to try homemade food since she said it was more traditional than what most restaurants serve.  It was nice being able to try the food; it was great and really spicy!  Even though I can’t handle spicy foods well, I really liked it because it was authentic.  At the beginning of my stay I felt the hotel was making the spicy level so mild for me that I missed out on the flavors and heat.  Not with this lovely aloo mutter though.