Indian Instant Food for Backpacking

The neighborhood Indian grocery store has some surprises

If you are looking for some variety in your backpacking food, there are instant food mixes available in the Indian grocery stores that may be interesting to you.

If you are at an Indian store and are lost, ask the cashier for “Ready to eat breakfast items”. They will point you to the aisle that contains these.

Here are three brands of food that are reliable and what I carry. I tend to carry these even for long day hikes along with my MSR Windburner for a hot meal on the trail.

Amazon has this Variety Pack from MTR.

Poha is rice flakes that is easily dehydrated. The instant mixes have nuts, dried onions and a bit of flavor. Upma is a thick porridge made from coarse rice flour or cream of wheat, again spiced up. Pour hot water, wait a few minutes, eat.

Haldirams is another brand that has “Ready to Eat” items. Here are a few items I have seen at my local Indian store.

Dal Khichdi is a mix of rice and spiced lentils, often in a overcooked form. Biriyani is spied mixed veg rice. Rajma Chawal is Rice and beans done the Indian way. Choley Chawal is Chick Pea and Rice, similar to Backpacker’s pantry Chana Masala. All of these need hot water and a few minutes and nothing more.

There is one other brand called Deep. It has similar items. Pongal is Rice and Mung Dal mix and is very filling. Again, just mix hot water and wait a few minutes.