The Good, the Bad and the Idli

As a vegetarian (who will even eat eggs only when they’re disguised in cakes), I’d packed snacks in an apocalyptic frenzy: granola bars, rotis, theplas, bhakris, bhel, soup powder, read-to-eat noodles, crackers, chocolates, dry fruit. I even contemplated taking a travel cooker.
I should have known that East Africa was not going to escape the idli, the South Indian rice pancake. At least 20,000 Indians live in Uganda, according to government data, and luckily, some of them work in this hotel.
Twice, after I’d been spotted squinting to read labels at the buffet and asking if a particular dish contained meat, a plate heaped with vegetarian food (and occupied by an idli) magically appeared. The Indian restaurant manager then nodded from across the room, in a show of overseas patriotic solidarity.

– Mansi Choksi