A nice meal for a long journey.

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#1 Jul 22nd, 2007, 16:14
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  • steven_ber is offline
#1
I'm not a fan of train food, so I'm always look for alternatives, platform food is always good, but sometimes it's nice to sit down to a full varied meal.

A stainless steel tiffin carrier is ideal for long train journeys.

A few questions.....

1, Can our members suggest suitable food items for a long train journey of 12 or 24 hours.

2, Tourists are often concerned about food 'going off' after 4 or 5 hours because it's not refrigerated, can our members suggest food that should be safe for long periods.

I've used tiffin carriers a few times, but I just go to a restaurant and fill the containers with the food I want, I don't know if this is the best way, but it works for me.

3, I've heard that it's best not to chop onions, but to take whole onions and a sharp knife, is this right?

4, How long is cooked rice good for?

5, Is there a way to store cooked rice that keeps it fresh?

6, Are meat dishes as safe as veg dishes?

7, I've bought cooked (but cold) meat kebabs from restaurants (and told them not to heat them) and took these on train journeys, they were still good the next day, is this the right thing to do?

8, Are there any Indian food items that shouldn't be stored in a Tiffin carrier?

9, Are there any Indian food items that should only be eaten hot, and not at room temperature? (is it would be in a tiffin carrier)

10, What about drinks, how would these be stored?

11, Do some drinks keep better than others?

12, Any other tips for eating on long journeys.

Can anyone think of other questions?

Thanks for any replies.

EDITED TO ADD, the following thread may be useful for those planning a long train journey.

Advice on 37 hour train ride.
Last edited by steven_ber; Jul 26th, 2007 at 17:08..
#2 Jul 22nd, 2007, 16:26
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#2
I'll have a go at a few! ...

Quote:
3, I've heard that it's best not to chop onions, but to take whole onions and a sharp knife, is this right?
Onions will start to dry out (and lose some flavour) if chopped, so will be better if left whole. However, you could keep chopped onions wrapped in cling film or airtight sandwich bags.

Quote:
4, How long is cooked rice good for?
A long time (days) if not allowed to dry out. It will dry quickly in the air, and become hard and inedible.

Quote:
5, Is there a way to store cooked rice that keeps it fresh?
I refer the honorable gentleman to the reply I gave to question 3!

Quote:
6, Are meat dishes as safe as veg dishes?
No real reason why not, as long as it's cooked meat.

Quote:
7, I've bought cooked (but cold) meat kebabs from restaurants (and told them not to heat them) and took these on train journeys, they were still good the next day, is this the right thing to do?
I refer the honorable gentleman to the reply I gave to question 6!
"After the battle, many new ghosts cry. The solitary old man murmurs in his grief." Du Fu
#3 Jul 22nd, 2007, 16:39
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#3
1 and 2.. stuffed Parathas, vegetable pulao (rice), unbroken full boiled eggs.. last very well for about two meals if in seperated airtight bags. A steel tiffin carrier is convenience, it doesn't go towards food preservation as it is not normally airtight.

3. true. same for fruit.

4. 12 hrs minimum, probably much longer. May not taste too good, though, or dry up.

5.Ziplock bag

6.Yes, if cooked at home. Meat brought from outside has the same pitfalls... maybe poor quality purchased, thawed and refrozen , undercooked etc.

7. I would eat kebabs brought from outside soon, for same reasons as 6. May go off faster than home cooked meat.

8. Things which must be in airtight bags.

9. For the taste, most Indian food should be eaten hot. Not for any other reason that I know.

10. In the good old days, water carried in a thermos/vacuum flask. But more and more, disposable coke/bisleri is being used, even if the drinks/water don't stay cold, you have one less item to carry. And most people buy drinks/water in the train now if required, or carry a maximum of one disposable water bottle from home. I buy when I am thirsty.

11. Milk drinks like lassi will spoil faster, but should be ok for a few hours.

12. Keep a tab on the nearest loo and availability thereof

others
-buy sealed food items, soft drinks and water whenever possible.
-avoid train meals if weak stomach.
-wash hands before eating
.
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#4 Jul 22nd, 2007, 18:03
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#4
As a family we used to travel long distances by train and always carried goodies from home to eat. In fact it used to be real feasting & partying in the privacy of 1AC. The general rule was to avoid gravies/curries. Dry preparations of meat & vegetables were chosen. We never carried rice although we have eaten take away Biriyani from Hyderabad. We used to carry Pooris or Parathas, fried vegetables like potato,brinjal. Dum Aloo was a favourie. Fish was avoided, dry Keema(mince) was favourite. Boiled eggs were carried for the next day's breakfast along with bread & butter and Bananas were bought from the platform. Of course as Bengalis we did carry sweets.
#5 Jul 22nd, 2007, 19:00
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#5
Sad to say that, although they completely lack the romance and appeal of Indian stainless-steel ware, plastic containers are probably better at the job these days .

The last time I asked a question about veg being safer than meat on this board, the answers that I got back amounted to veg being, potentially, just as dangerous as meat! Can wet or dry make any difference?

The item that I would not travel without, and have to add to the list is A flask (or two) of Chai. The vendors in this part of the world always seem to have only "Kaaaafee!" but the flask can be refilled at a station stall when you have a long stop.
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#6 Jul 22nd, 2007, 19:12
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#6
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nick-H View Post Can wet or dry make any difference?
I don't think so.

I think carrying dry food has been more for the convenience than anything else.
#7 Jul 22nd, 2007, 19:43
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#7
Hi,

You can get thermos Tiffins now. Same 3 or 4 staking tins with a light weight hinge to keep them together. You then put it into a plastic thermos container. Bit like the thermos I use to take my soup to school in. They look like they are for children but keep the food hot for many hours. I don't have one yet but plan to get one soon.

Chappati's are better than rice, as if kept at room temp rice is said to bred bacteria. As with any food butin my food science course I learned that rice is worse for this.

Happy travels.

Candyji

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#8 Jul 22nd, 2007, 19:53
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#8
Thanks everyone, great info.

How are pickles best stored?

I try to look for restaurants that have cooked, but cooled food that they re-heat for their customers, and I ask for the food not to be heated and then put in my tiffin carrier, is this the best thing to do?

Where are the best places for tourists to buy food for their journeys? (restaurants, supermarkets etc.)
#9 Jul 22nd, 2007, 19:58
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#9
I have heard the thing about rice being dangerous too... I remember a recommendation not to reheat left-over takeaways (back in London) as there is a particular bacteria that thrives in rice when cooled and reheated.

I'm about to reheat my yeaterday's rice, by the way .

Nice to hear about the thermos tiffins! Another modern wonder is the coolpack.
#10 Jul 22nd, 2007, 20:03
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#10
Whatever you do, don't buy train food which has been picked up from another station then hawked from carriage to carriage - if there is a pantry car on your train and the food is freshly prepared then usually o.k. But to my regret, I bought a lukewarm samosa (no pantry car on train) from one of the food pedlars on board and 4 hours later was violently ill! this has put me off train food for life and i now take some packed item with me at all times.
#11 Jul 22nd, 2007, 20:09
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#11
Quote:
Originally Posted by steven_ber View Post How are pickles best stored?

I try to look for restaurants that have cooked, but cooled food that they re-heat for their customers, and I ask for the food not to be heated and then put in my tiffin carrier, is this the best thing to do?

Where are the best places for tourists to buy food for their journeys? (restaurants, supermarkets etc.)

Pickles will last for months, if not years (ok, slight exaggeration) in their original bottles. In smaller quantities, best in a small screw-down plastic jar. The oil/salt etc acts as a long term preservative.

I think the best bet would be to buy freshly cooked food from resteraunts.

Where to buy depends on the route. In heavily touristed areas in the North train food/vendors can be decent. Another example...Chennai has excellent and varied facilities at the station, where you can buy a huge variety of food.. from Hamburgers and sandwiches to dosas and idlis to Pastries and Juice and whatever else in between... and clean.

But many routes are poor and its better to carry food with you.

Snacks/water etc can be bought from supermarkets; one option is to ask the place where you are staying to make some parathas or rice for you and hardboil boil some eggs, or make some sandwiches.

Otherwise, buy from a resteraunt which is busy and has high traffic and looks clean. In addition, I sometimes pick up Biryani or samosas.. stuff like that... from a good resteraunt en route to the station.
#12 Jul 22nd, 2007, 20:11
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#12
Mental note to myself

I have to shoot pictures of people cooking in the Train.. I have seen it many times... but never thought it was interesting enough to shoot!!
Last edited by GauravPandey; Jul 22nd, 2007 at 20:12.. Reason: Type error.. : Bad typists of the word- UNTIE
#13 Jul 23rd, 2007, 06:58
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#13

Omg!!!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Candyji View Post Hi,

You can get thermos Tiffins now. Same 3 or 4 staking tins with a light weight hinge to keep them together. You then put it into a plastic thermos container. Bit like the thermos I use to take my soup to school in. They look like they are for children but keep the food hot for many hours. I don't have one yet but plan to get one soon.
Candyji

WHERE do you buy one?? Are they common in Mumbai/Delhi??? Cost???? I was just talking to several friends about how someone should invent a microwavable Tiffin (take the parts, plastic material of some kind that you can nuke in micro at work for nice hot lunch) and this is close!!

(excuse my excitement, but this is a treasure that I *MUST* bring home!)

Kim
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#14 Jul 23rd, 2007, 08:54
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#14
You can buy them at any big shop selling plasticware.

I may be wrong, but I haven't seen any huge ones (like the four/five high steel ones).. but smaller affairs, like a school 'tiffin carrier' size, two high. But maybe bigger ones are available.
#15 Jul 23rd, 2007, 10:38
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#15
You can definitely pack in one lunch for two persons in one of these thermos type containers with the same tiffin box inside it though it may not carry more than two small boxes inside it. It is available at any major shop selling utensils and thermos bottles. Hope this helps.

Cheers,
Aadil.
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Your aim, the stars!!!
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