9 food items you’ll recognize if you’re a Desi studying abroad

9 food items you’ll recognize if you’re a Desi studying abroad

University life is really daunting and even more so when you’re away from home. I mean, you have to wake up for your classes without your mother screaming “beta van walay uncle paanch minute mein aa rahay hain!!” in your ear jolting you awake.

You no longer have the comfort of the uniformity of your ugly school uniform which means you have to pick out your outfit every day by yourself and hope to God your fashion sense is acceptable. Worst part you have to do your own laundry!

Your bitter-sweet independence hits you in the face but if there’s one thing that almost tilts your newly-acquired independence in favor of going back home, it’s having to worry about food.
Beyond the fundamental question of halal/haram, you are faced with the nostalgia of home-cooked, spicy and authentic desi food. We’ve put together a list of pictures you’re sure to recognize if you’re a desi college student overseas.

1. Instant Noodles

Your one true dietary friend for when your meal plan expires or your dining hall serves food without even a pinch of spice. If you are feeling particularly gourmet you can always whip up this batch of jhatphat khowsuey using instant noodles.
Instant Noodles

2. Chocolate

Because Freshman 15 is very real and nothing helps cure homesickness than a bar (or six bars) of chocolate.

3. Grilled Cheese Sandwiches

When you can’t find halal food and all you have is bread and cheese, this is what your grilled cheese sandwiches look like
Grilled Cheese Sandwiches

4. An Empty Fridge

Your parents thought you’d be cooking karahi and biryani every other day for your culturally diverse friends but this is really what the fridge they forced you to buy looks like
An Empty Fridge

5. A Mug of Cereal

Can’t be bothered to wash the two glass bowls your parents bought you when they came to visit this week? No problem! As a college student overseas, you know that you can have your cereal in a mug.
A Mug of Cereal

6. Tea Bags

No one make doodh patti like your mother did and you face the dilemma of being too lazy to make it for yourself and being absolutely dependent on it to pull all-nighters for your exams. There’s only one solution…
Tea Bags

7. Nimco

Your mother intuitively packed these gems in right before you closed your suitcase and you couldn’t be more grateful. You have been saved many a starving night by munching on this savory taste of home.

8. Free Home-Cooked Meals

If you’re lucky, you’ll find a desi aunty who you will casually meet at the park. She will occasionally invite you and your brown friends over for dinner and pack the leftovers for you to take back. For some of you, this saintly aunty is only a myth but if you look hard enough, you will find her lurking in the grocery store and full of wonderful stories about her life to share
Free Home Cooked Meals

9. Masala Packets

You’re going to the grocery store on your block to buy milk for breakfast when you see this. You thank God for your fortunate luck, grab as many packets as you can, check your wallet and buy everything you set your eye on. The only time you cook is when you have the help of your friends from home and in that moment, that Bombay Biryani Mix is your best friend.
Masala Packets

Rida M Zafar
Rida M Zafar For more blogs from the author, click here Student at NYUAD, part-time blogger and writer.
Inline popup