No onion, no garlic food has been my priority since childhood. When you are at home, you have so much with you. Your mother spoils you by making the food the way you like. However, the life outside is not the same.
That too for a person like me, who has new fantasies about things to try. In 2022 itself, I started eating food cross legged. It has seriously helped with my gas and motion problem.
Coming back to the point, my forefathers used to have no onion- no garlic food. However, our recent generations, like my grandparents and further, blended with having them in diet. My parents and uncles’ generation added eggs to the list. Alcohol, smoking and doping are still taboos (thank god) and I hope they remain this way.
Yet, I don’t like consuming onion, garlic, and eggs. If by mistake, I consume onions or garlics, that can be excused for a while, but eggs are not. This is because, eggs are non-vegetarian. There’s no such thing as eggetarian. That’s nonsense.
How had I made through my hostel life?
I tried compromising but later realized that I must eat what works for me.
It was especially difficult for me. When I was in Delhi, most of the messes, canteens and restaurants were run by Punjabis and related communities. Their diets are different and loaded with onions, garlics, and heavy spices. I couldn’t tolerate that.
When I moved to Dehradun, the food at the mess also had onion, but this time not garlic. I was relieved a bit. However, the food was still not my favourite.
Still, the mess staff was really kind and considerate. When I told them that I have my fasts on Monday, they used to separate the pulses without onion and garlic.
Then lockdown emerged in the scene and I was at home the entire 2020. In 2021, I took a PG and there was a jain mess nearby. I was overjoyed, The food over there was so good.
Earlier, I didn’t like potato curries and soups, but I started liking it then onwards. I even started eating pumpkin a bit but I don’t like it till now.
How to Find No Onion- No Garlic Food While Travelling?
This is a guide for you to find no onion- no garlic food while you are away from home or when you are travelling. I recently travelled to Ashtavinayaka in Maharashtra and was determined not to compromise. I did not consume onion or garlic in any way.
1. Choose the right restaurant
There are many restaurants which serve no onion no garlic food. They run on certain names through which you can identify such as ‘Pandit ji ki Rasoi, Pandit ji ka Dhaba, Vaishnav Bhojanalaya, Jain Bhojanalaya’. Restaurants or eateries running on such ideologies offer good food with onion and garlic.
My Two Cents On Street Food!
If you must ask me, I like street food more than some food I eat in a five-star restaurant. In Omkareshwar, after darshan of the temple, there was an eatery that offered no onion, no garlic food. Because it was just 7 am we knew the markets of the town would be closed. Our hotel also had no restaurant of its own. Only the temple market was open. We went in. I had two plates of poha and a plate of samosas. Other people of my family also had the breakfast heartily. The bill was just near INR 200. The vibes of the eatery were so nice.
On the other hand, in our hotel in Gwalior, I ordered sandwiches in dinner because that was the only no onion-no garlic dish in the menu at that time. They just brought two sandwiches made of four breads in total. It costed INR 175 and it was not even near the worth.
If you want to have the real taste of any place, you must experience it raw. There’s no other way.
2. Jain Food Section
Jains also do not consume onion and garlic. You can walk into a restaurant and say you want jain food. They might suggest you some dishes.
3. Vrat/ Upvas/ Fasting Food
Many restaurants have something on the menu that can be consumed during fasts/ Vrat/ Upvas. They obviously do not have onion and garlic. You can have such dishes.
4. Talk to the waiter
You can talk to the waiter who comes to ask your order and he will help you with your doubts.
5. Cook your own food
If possible to your standard, you can rent a room wherever you go and cook your own food. Airbnbs can be rented. Couchsurfing is an emerging trend these days. You can even stay in a traditional sarai or dharmshala. I do not have any experience of staying in such places but yes I have lived the PG life. I even cooked my food in Delhi.
Cooking your food can be helpful when you travel overseas, because in India people understand your no onion- no garlic and vegetarian preferences, but it might be difficult once you are out of the country. In coastal countries, fish oil and other non-vegetable oils are used even for vegetarian food. My relatives told me when they visited.
I guess, sharing my experiences has been helpful for you. Choosing the right restaurant, ordering jain and vrat food, and talking to the waiter about my preferences have been extremely useful for me. I have cooked my own food in Delhi, but I still need to experience that more before I add details into that advice.