Food Archives - foXnoMad

Category: Food

What’s The Best Country In The World? The India vs. Pakistan Debate

Nuance is often the antidote to controversy and the relationship between India and Pakistan is loaded with both. Recent comments suggesting a particular bias in my travel videos about both countries lead me to answer the question: which do I like more, Pakistan or India?

Well, that’s a deeper question about travel comparisons in general I talk about in the video here. It’s an answer, it turns out, a lot of us tend to get wrong for very reasonable reasons when we visit a place. Just like we’re moving though space, we can’t ignore time and happenstance either so our perceptions can be very narrow in a big world. After watching the video above, you might just be rethinking some of your favorite and least favorite destinations.

Not Wanting To Exercise Is Normal, Here’s Why

There are a lot of myths about fitness, including the notion that our ancestors were hulking super-humans who were always on the go. It turns out according to Harvard professor of human evolutionary biology Daniel Lieberman, hunter gatherers do a lot more sitting than you think.

Dr. Lieberman is the author of Exercised: Why Something We Never Evolved to Do Is Healthy and Rewarding and recently joined me on a recent episode of the foXnoMad Podcast to discuss common myths above movement. We also talk about the Paleo diet and why eating from a Stone Age menu might not be ideal.

You can watch a clip of my interview with Dr. Lieberman in this video or listen to the full foXnoMad Podcast episode here.

Turkish Vegan Recipe: How To Cook Mercimek Koftesi (Lentil Balls)

There are a lot of traditional Turkish dishes that are vegetarian or vegan in their original form. A popular local dish I‘ve mentioned before is mercimek (mer-ji-mek) koftesi (kouf-te-si), which are spicy lentil balls with onions and a few other ingredients. Last time I had my mom join a live chat here on the site to show you tips on preparing lentil balls.

For this recipe, I figured it even better to make a video with my mom showing you how to make mercimek koftesi so you can cook them for yourself, friends, or family any time you like. You can see the entire process in the video here.

Ingredients You’ll Need

Adjust as needed, just make sure to keep the ratios in proportion.

  • 4 cups red lentils
  • 2 cups thin bulgur rice
  • 8 cups water
  • 3 onions
  • 3 bundles spring onions
  • 2 tablespoons salt
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons mint
  • 2 tablespoons crushed red pepper
  • 2 tablespoons red pepper paste (spicy)

Total Cooking Time

With preparation, about 3 hours.

Any Questions?

Overall these lentil balls are a good side dish you can make to go along with any meal. They’re completely vegan in their original recipe so if you’re traveling in Turkey, it’s a good best if you come across mercimek koftesi there will be no animal products in it.

Let us know if you have any questions in the comments below and if you’d like to see more recipes on YouTube!

The Tea Shop In Bundi, India That Changed Chai

A few have good business ideas, less follow through on them, but when someone does be guaranteed people will try to rip it off. Starting in 1999, that’s exactly what happened in Bundi, India; a sleepy northwestern town that doesn’t see many, if any, tourists throughout the year. Mainly a day trip for visitors with a bit of time moving to Jaipur or Udaipur, the single road leading through the town’s heart has a handful of shops that must work hard to entice the occasional tourist.

Krishna’s Chai Shop found a way to be the must-visit experience in Bundi, with help from a few creative visitors and it’s now an idea many are trying to replicate. You can watch the entire story in the video above or read on.

One Man Operation

Krishna is middle-aged, thin, and speaks little English but his smile can be universally understood. His cheerful demeanor is amplified by the bright yellow walls of Krishna’s Chai Shop. Until 1999 Krishna’s was merely a stall serving chai, the common spiced tea enjoyed all over India. Chai is hardly unique although Krishna’s smile caught the attention of travelers getting off the beaten path in Bundi.

krishna chai bundi india

Some helped him paint the small shop and others later used the vibrant walls as canvas to share messages from around the world.

The Right Spice

Aside from chai, Krishna serves a blend of various teas including honey lemon ginger and other special blends for a variety of tastes. He’s an artisan, crafting each cup with ingredients ground by stone at his feet. Sitting for hours a day cross-legged Krishna’s smile never waivers for his customers. Over the years, visitors have helped Krishna craft a Facebook page plus added him on Tripadvisor, with a banner above the shop to advertise.

Getting Noticed

Especially in a town as small as Bundi, this relative popularity has gotten local attention – both for tea drinkers and opportunistic tea shops. Across Krishna’s now you’ll find a handful of chai shops with brightly painted walls, banners advertising social media accounts, and a small kettle outside with tea.

krishnas chai shop

Those shops will often try to get you to leave or avoid Krishna’s altogether, often bad mouthing him in the process. It works on a lot of visitors who don’t know any better but Krishna’s is still most popular with Bundi locals as well as anybody who’s been already.

What the other shops can’t replicate is Krishna’s smile, joy of working his craft, and his honesty. (Prices are the same for locals as for tourists but I’ll add, tipping is appreciated.) The tea and Krishna’s unique stock of spice blends helps but Krishan’s Chai Shop is infused with his personality.

These days Krishna’s bright yellow walls might catch the attention of a visiting passerby but the experience will have you coming back during your visit in Bundi. Don’t be fooled by the bland copy-paste competition all around, Krishna’s is the best place for chai in Bundi.

How To Spend 72 Hours In Berlin: Quick Guide To Food, Booze, And Art

berlin street food

There’s a lot to do and see in Berlin, Germany but even better more to eat and drink. You can take in Berlin through many senses so here’s how to touch upon each one if you’ve only got a short time in Germany’s capital city.

Start Early Checkpoint Charlie

Before you immediately click away (I see you Berliner) – a lot of people want to see Checkpoint Charlie. Walking around this area is hard to avoid so it can be done anytime yet if you want to enter the decent museum, arrive before they open. Crowds are terrible, lines worse, plus you don’t have much time to get to everything else.

brandenburg gate

While you’re nearby Checkpoint Charlie both the Brandenburg Gate (ready for your Instagram selfies) and Holocaust Museum (read if you’re considering) are roughly a 20 minute walk away.

Getting Around In Berlin

If an hour of walking sounds nice, it’s about the time you’ll need to get most anywhere from the center of town. Otherwise you’ve got bike rentals everywhere, Uber’s JUMP bikes with a small electric engine, plus scooter options as well. Travelers who prefer getting around by car, it’s best to hail a cab from the road (or use MyTaxi app versus Uber) since it’s less expensive and cabbies are fairly honest in Berlin.

berlin art

Back To Lunch

At this point, you’re probably getting hungry. From the Brandenburg Gate, you can focus on the north part of the city. Oslo Cafe has good coffee roughly 30 minutes walking distance with some bakery snacks. On Sundays, add the Arkonaplatz Market to your list, there’s plenty of shopping and street food to choose from. Any other day of the week, arrive on an empty stomach to Holy Everest one of the best restaurants in Berlin.

holy everest berlin

As the day draws to a close you might be wondering where to grab a drink before dinner. Hop a cab to either Bateau Ivre for a louder environment whereas Cafe Luzia is a bit more relaxed – both are moderately priced; located in Kreuzberg.

Late Morning Food To Art

Ideally, you’re doing this plan on a Thursday. Around noon, you can enjoy lunch at Kopps, one of the best vegan restaurants anywhere most people will enjoy. Right next to it is Koppenplatz, a small park often with live music during the warm-ish months. Once refueled, it’s a 45 minute walk to East Side Gallery, the largest open-air gallery in the world. East Side Gallery features murals along stretches of the Berlin Wall; excellent for photographs or a nice stroll to digest lunch.

berlin sunset

Try to time it so you get to Oberbaumbrucke Bridge 45 minutes before sunset, these are some of the best shots of the Berlin skyline during “golden hour.”

To celebrate the great sunset photo, cheers over a fancy cocktail at Apotheken. Belly warm, walk over to Markthalle Neun for Thursday night’s street food festival. Martkhalle Neun also has other food events during the weekends which vary as well.

Just A Taste

There’s plenty more to eat across Berlin, options for vegans or carnivores, not to mention Christmas markets and summer festivals. For meals across the day this video will give you breakfast, lunch, or dinner and if you would like any other recommendations, feel free to let me know in the comments below.

How To Prevent Jet Lag (But You’re Not Going To Like It)

jet lag sucks

No matter what anyone tells you, jet lag is something you can treat but not completely avoid. Traveling in the sky fast enough to outpace our biologically imprinted circadian rhythms requires some body hacking to mitigate the effects.

You’ll still feel jet lag but less intensely for shorter durations if you subject yourself to a few uncomfortable rules.

1. Don’t Eat On The Flight

For some reasons as soon as we board a flight our appetites start fiendishly craving overly processed, tasteless airplane food. Our biological clocks are timed in big part through our livers. According to neuroscientist Matthew Walker, evolution has primed our bodies to become sleepy a short time after our final meal of the day. Having airplane food high in sugar and sodium resets this countdown timer. Also, the lactose in the foods and other additives may cause even more gas than flying already does disrupting deep sleep even further.

2. Run Right After Your Flight

A solid cardio-focused workout can help speed up our body clocks adjustment to a new timezone. The impact of running in particular might have a significant impact on combating jet lag, shortening it up to 8 times in limited animal studies. Anecdotally, the best time to get the workout in is immediately after arriving to a new destination. Don’t fall for the “I’ll just rest my eyes” trap and get to a park, treadmill, or if either aren’t an option, try these hotel room workouts.

Plan for a minimum of 30 minutes or more of exercise at the highest intensity comfortable for you to get your blood thoroughly circulating. Swollen flight ankles? Running or biking is a straightforward way to treat that flight side effect as well.

3. Control The Mornings And Power Through

Sleep is not a state you can will yourself into easily but staying awake is a goal we can achieve through conscious will. No matter what time you land, try to get to sleep at a normal hours but no matter how little you sleep, get up on time in the morning. Give yourself an extra hour from your regular wake up time back home but other than that, don’t snooze. Using your bladder as an alarm clock can ensure you get out of bed, no matter how much you want 5 more minutes.

sarajevo golden hour

Use Chemicals Subtly

Caffeine can also be used in moderation to help adjust your clock as well if consumed at the right times. Caffeine drinkers, get that coffee or tea as early as possible in the morning after you wake up but don’t consume any after noon. You might be wondering about alcohol but since that drug blocks rapid eye movement (REM) and deeper stages of sleep, if you must, keep it to one drink until your jet lag is gone.

One last thing, remember that getting over jet lag takes time so maintain these habits for at least a week, depending on how many time zones you’ve shifted. In the first day or two we often have a rebound effect giving a false honeymoon period that we’ve cracked jet lag – only to realize a week later at 3am completely awake that might have been wishful thinking.

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About Anil Polat

foxnomad aboutHi, I'm Anil. foXnoMad is where I combine travel and tech to help you travel smarter. I'm on a journey to every country in the world and you're invited to join the adventure! Read More

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