World

The culturing of cuisine

“Your staple diet must be idlis and dosas?” was the rhetorical question from a cheery young waiter at Lahore’s Pearl Intercontinental when he learned I was from India. My prompt protest that, being from Delhi, I ate food similar to what was being served in the expansive breakfast buffet failed to convince him. “This is what we have been told. Try our nihari and halim. I am sure you would not get it in India, which I hear is vegetarian,” he went on.