Andaman and Nicobar Food and Culture

Food

The islands are known for their exquisite sea food delicacies and one can find a Burmese and Thai influence in the cooking. A variety of sea foods such as prawns, fish, lobsters; crabs and so on are available at most local joints. Seafood might be a little on the expensive side but it is well worth the extra cost. Most of the hotels have their own restaurants and every island will have something different to offer.

The  sea food Andaman and Nicobar Islands is usually found in the most unlikely of places. The restaurants at the various hotels are expensive and unless you are staying there it doesn’t make sense to eat at these places. The best bet is to ask the locals and figure out a cheap place to eat. Most of the shacks along the beach offer fresh catch.

Sea foods such as lobsters are usually available only in the upscale restaurants and they are quite expensive. Prawns, fish and crab are available everywhere and they are relatively safe to eat. You must try the Tandoori fish at the Lighthouse House Residency in Port Blair. Actually, most of the local joints also serve this dish and it quite stunning. The fish is covered with a variety of spices and then cooked in a tandoori open. Sea food lovers would have a wonderful experience at the Andaman’s. You can walk along the streets and explore the various dining options which are available to you. This is the best way to choose a good local joint.

Mainland Indian cuisine and Chinese cuisine is always available on the island. However, continental cuisine is mainly restricted to four and five start hotels in the region. They are quite expensive and might not be authentic in any case. Rice, roti, and naan along with a variety of Indian curries are available in most of the dhabbas around the islands. Curried prawns and grilled lobsters are ideal options if you have a cold drink in hand. One can find various barbeque parties and grilling sessions along the shore during the winter months. Freshly caught sardines, mackerel, king prawns, and crabs can be found here.

Drink

The Andaman Islands hotel, bars and pubs are popular watering holes and it might not be a good idea to visit the local bars. They are usually eerie and poorly lit. Fresh coconuts are available throughout the islands and these are a perfect accompaniment for any sea food dish. Most of the main islands have retail liquor outlets and you can pick up alcohol from here. But note than the beer would not be cold in most places. There are no clubs as such in the region and nightlife is largely restricted to the beaches.

Culture

The people of the region are not much different from rest of India. It means culture of Andaman and Nicobar Islands is similar to Indian culture. Remember that the islands are still a part of India and the customs and traditions are quite strict. Public displays of affection and inappropriate dressing are frowned upon. Bikinis and sarongs should be restricted to the beach and avoid drinking in public. The majority of the population is Hindu and a smattering of Christians and Muslims also live here.  The tourist areas are quite open but the rest of the regions are still restrained. If you are traveling to some of the local villages then you should behave and dress appropriately.

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