Delivering food on Train

Embarking on a train journey in India is not just a transportation experience; it’s a culinary adventure that unfolds as the landscape changes. Indian Railways, one of the world’s largest railway networks, ensures that passengers are treated to a diverse and delectable array of food options throughout their journey. From local specialties to pantry car delights, here’s a comprehensive guide to Indian train cuisine.

Pantry Car Treats:

One of the unique features of train travel in India is the presence of pantry cars on many long-distance trains. These dedicated kitchen cars serve freshly prepared meals to passengers, offering a taste of regional flavors as the train travels across different states.

  • Vibrant Breakfasts: Indian breakfasts are as diverse as the country itself. In the pantry cars, you can expect a choice of local breakfast items. From the hearty Poha in Maharashtra to the spicy Aloo Paratha in North India, the breakfast menu caters to various tastes. Don’t miss the quintessential South Indian fare like idli, dosa, and vada served with coconut chutney and sambar.
  • Lunch and Dinner Delights: The lunch and dinner options in the pantry car often include a selection of vegetarian and non-vegetarian meals. You might find regional specialties like Rajma Chawal from the North, Bisi Bele Bath from the South, or Dhokar Dalna from the East. For non-vegetarians, biryanis, curries, and tandoori delights are commonly on the menu.
  • Snack Time: Between meals, the pantry car serves a variety of snacks to keep hunger at bay. Enjoy a cup of hot chai with samosas or pakoras, a perfect combination to savor while watching the scenic beauty pass by.

IRCTC E-Catering:

In recent years, the Indian Railways Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC) has introduced e-catering services, allowing passengers to order meals of their choice from a wide range of restaurants. This service is particularly beneficial for those on trains without pantry cars.

  • Ordering Process: Passengers can place orders through the IRCTC website or mobile app by entering their PNR (Passenger Name Record) number. The orders can be customized based on dietary preferences, ensuring that passengers with specific culinary requirements are also catered to.
  • Local Cuisine Delivery: E-catering brings the flavors of local cuisine right to your seat. Whether you’re craving Biryani from Hyderabad, Dhokla from Gujarat, or Misal Pav from Maharashtra, the e-catering service allows you to explore and relish regional specialties.

Station Food Hubs:

Train journeys often involve brief halts at various stations, and these stations are not just transit points but also hubs for local delicacies. Many railway stations across India have food stalls and vendors offering an array of street food and regional dishes.

  • Street Food Extravaganza: Step off the train, and you might be greeted by the tempting aromas of street food. Whether it’s the spicy Chaat in Delhi, Vada Pav in Mumbai, or the famous Chole Bhature in Punjab, each region has its own street food specialties waiting to be savored.
  • Regional Thalis: Some stations have local restaurants that serve traditional thalis, offering a variety of dishes on a single platter. This is an excellent opportunity to indulge in a complete meal featuring the best of regional cuisine.

Traveling with Homemade Food:

For those who prefer homemade comfort food or have dietary restrictions, carrying your own meals is always an option. Indian Railways allows passengers to bring their own food on board. Pack a tiffin with your favorite dishes, snacks, and beverages to enjoy a taste of home while traveling.

Tips for a Culinary Train Journey:

  1. Hydration is Key: Stay hydrated throughout your journey, especially if you’re traveling during the summer months. Carry a water bottle and replenish it at stations.
  2. Try Local Sweets: Indian sweets are diverse and delightful. Use your train stops to sample local sweets, whether it’s Rasgulla in Kolkata or Mysore Pak in Karnataka.
  3. Be Adventurous: Don’t hesitate to try something new. Indian cuisine is vast, and each region has its own culinary treasures. Step out of your comfort zone and savor the richness of flavors.
  4. Check for Allergens: If you have food allergies, be cautious about the ingredients in the meals you order. Clearly communicate your dietary restrictions when placing orders through e-catering services.

In conclusion, a train journey in India is not just a passage from one destination to another; it’s a gastronomic voyage through the diverse and flavorful landscape of Indian cuisine. Whether you’re indulging in the offerings of the pantry car, exploring e-catering options, or sampling street food at stations, the culinary experiences on Indian trains are sure to leave your taste buds delighted and your memories enriched.