My Birthday Surprise: Imported Food! 70

I have the cutest Mum ever! For my birthday, she contacted my friend here in Nagpur and asked her to buy me lots of imported goodies on her behalf! Argh! So many things which I have craved such as Marmite, Nutella and English breakfast tea! These little things mean so much when you move away from home.

There is a shop on the other side of Nagpur, Poonam Chambers, which sells imported items. Unfortunately, it’s so expensive I usually cannot justify spending so much money on it! Food is generally much cheaper in India, but imported items are extremely costly, three times the price they would be in England (and England is so expensive in the first place!). Knowing that I wouldn’t want to spend the money myself, my mum brought them for me. So sweet of my mum and my friend to do this! Thank you!!

marmite baby one imported

Yum yum… Marmite!!

I gave one of our maids some sour Skittles to try, I don’t think she liked them! Oh and M&M’s, so delicious. Baked beans? Oh my gosh, Heinz Baked BEANS… how can beans in tomato sauce be so heavenly? Also, Earl Grey tea… divine!

On my birthday, I decided to return to England for Christmas! I will miss my husband and Alfonso so much, but it’s been nearly a year since I have been ‘home’.  I applied for my one year X visa (long-term visa) seven long months ago now, still nothing from Delhi! Meanwhile, my mum called London and they said they would grant me a five-year visa in five days!! Well, after seven months of waiting and asking about my visa and nothing coming of it, I think it’s best to go to London!! Maybe they lost my file in Delhi?

Christmas dinner, my favourite restaurants, bakeries, cafes… Oh, I cannot wait, my mouth is watering! The funny thing is, I know that when I am in England, I am going to miss pani puri and paneer tikka masala!! Well, my obsession with food is only increased today by the fact it is Karva Chauth! A one day festival where women dress up like brides and fast for their husband’s health and wellbeing, only once the moon shows her milky (yum, milk) face can the fast be broken. I did this fast for the first time last year, when I was still living in the UK. I have been planning to celebrate Karva Chauth for a while, but now I have all of these imported temptations, so wish me luck!

Any men out there going against tradition and fasting for their wives today? 

About Lauren Mokasdar

Lauren fell in love on the internet, took a one way flight from England, got married & started a new life & bicultural family in India. She writes about finding happiness & balance between two very different worlds, when her baby takes a nap.

70 thoughts on “My Birthday Surprise: Imported Food!

  • Claudia Kaur Sandal

    Wow I’m very happy you are going back home for Christmas!! Enjoy!
    In Punjab, at least, the women don’t wear their bridal clothes but they just dress up for their husbands. Normally in the first years of marriage the girls mother has to give new suit and bangles and makeup… This year, my husban gave me a beautiful blue frake suit ☺️ Also we put Mehendi

  • The Voice of a Soul

    Awhh I hope you have a blessed and magical Karva chauth.. I have always been facinated by this celebration! It’s so beautiful and cute masha’Allah!!
    Happy birthday btw (or belated birthday) may God bless you with lots of love, light and happiness and may your road ahead be filled with numerous magical, fun and loving moments. I’m also staying in London (recently moved here) it’s exiting to know that you are coming this way. I can’t wait to go back to India again… Hopefully soon.

    Much love and light,

  • RD

    Happy Birthday! Hope you have a nice time with the imported goods!!
    I had a similar feeling when my father sent a courier with Indian food items during my stay in France. I got to taste Indian food after a long span of 10 months and it was pure bliss!! I thought I was in heaven at that time. 😀
    Regarding Karva Chauth, I do feel that there should have been some festival where husbands fast for the entire day for their wives! I would like to do it but I am not married yet!! 🙂
    Take Care!

    • Lauren Mokasdar Post author

      Hey RD,

      Wow how lovely of him! French food in very different from Indian food, and I always get fat in Paris!
      Maybe you should have fasted for a wife? hehe

      Take care!!


  • Maike

    Amazing! That was such a lovely idea 🙂 Happy belated birthday dear Lauren xx
    I definitely missed Nutella, M&Ms and Heinz Tomato Ketchup the most while I was in India! Haha. Wish you a blessed karva chauth! x

  • Susan

    I’m so happy for you, Lauren! Enjoy your imported foods, and I’m really excited about you going home for Christmas. You really do have a wonderful mom! That is something to look forward to! Take care, Susan

    • Lauren Mokasdar Post author

      Thank you so much, Susan!
      I am really excited! I keep day dreaming about all the things I will do, people I will see and food I will eat haha!

      Lots of loveee xxx

  • Surya

    Lauren, your post is confusing to me about your birthday, is it in October or is it in December? What am misreading here. Anyways enjoy the yummy food and do CHEER UP miss.

  • marilynrgill

    Enjoy your goodies and what a sweet mother you have Lauren! The luxuries of England, your homeland…so savory and delicious! So excited for you and I look forward to blogs and pictures of your family and culture in England! <3

  • Ajit Joshi

    Visit Mumbai and buy these goods at cheaper rate then England. English Breakfast Tea, Heinz Baked Beans are cheaper than London. chocolates are at half the price in near by Alfa stores — Irla market Vile Parle west.Except for tissues all goods are available and are cheaper because VAT is not paid for European goods coming into India from non traditional channel and Indian supply chain is cheaper than European one.

  • Nicola

    Your parents and youngest sister were living as ex-pats in Kuwait not that long ago, if I recall correctly? And the other sister who attended your wedding, was living there also, I think? Are they back in the UK now?
    Belated birthday wishes, btw!

  • Mani (A New Life Wandering)

    I love this! Nothing better than having your favorite hometown foods in a foreign city. What a wonderful gift! So funny that you have to fast and wait to have them! They’ll taste so much better. Happy Karva Chauth Lauren

  • Sonja Müller

    I feel you, girl. As an expat you sometimes crave your food from home. Here in Thailand it is the same thing: triple the price. But sometimes I just need my cottage cheese and bread for breakfast.

  • Debbie Downing

    Happy Birthday Laura! Really enjoying your blogs and hope to have a ‘nice cup of tea’ and a chin wag maybe, when you visit your mum. Debbie x

  • Sara Wilson

    Holidays were the hardest time to be away from home when I was living in Turkey. I remember how happy I was to go home for Christmas, but of course there were other holidays that I couldn’t travel home for. When Thanksgiving rolled around, my now-fiancé and his family surprised me with “Turkish Thanksgiving.” They didn’t know how to make the American Thanksgiving classics, so they improvised and made Turkish dishes with similar ingredients. We had turkey and rice (a variation on Turkish chicken and rice) and kabak tatlısı, a dessert made with pumpkins.

    I really enjoyed sharing some of my favorite recipes from home with my new Turkish family. I made them oatmeal pancakes (like my mom and grandma make), pumpkin muffins, and pumpkin and apple pie. The pumpkin items were challenging, because I had to make my own pumpkin puree without a blender! I was able to find most food items, but I had a hard time finding vanilla extract, sugarcane molasses, reasonably priced maple syrup, and dark hot cocoa mix.

    Now that we’re living in the States, I miss all kinds of Turkish food.

    • Lauren Mokasdar Post author

      Hey Sara,

      Lovely to hear from you! Oh so cute to have a Turkish thanksgiving! very sweet!! Oh how lovely you could exchange dishes!! I hope you can visit Turkey soon <3

  • Hidden Passions

    Not sure in reality how many did.. but one of the popular author (you probably heard of Chetan Bhagat) in India did this and encouraged other men -here is the campaign if you are interested in checking it out.

    I know the feeling.. me being away from often miss many delicious items..:)

  • madhmama

    Yummy! That is the sweetest gift….the food things are what I missed the most too. In India I was craving cheese and crackers like anything! Luckily I found some Vache Qui Rit in a store and devoured it….lol!!!
    Christmas will be amazing in the UK and so great to have some time with your family :))))

  • Amanda McMahon

    This is awesome! I soo sooo miss some things. A lady I’ve known from a forum for 10 years sent along some Annie’s Mac N Cheese and kid’s vitamins when her husband came to Mumbai. BOY was I excited! We’re rationing the mac n cheese!

    Oh and happy birthday 🙂

  • wisemonkeysabroad

    That is such a great gift idea for an expat 🙂
    Sorry Lauren, we may have looked to have disappeared off the blog world but only because we were doing our Camino. Now we are “back” and playing catch up! Hope you have been well!!

  • Hilary no tabi

    Very belated Happy Birthday to you! And what a wonderful treat. Every time I’ve lived outside Canada, my mom has sent me my favorite chocolates. It’s heaven to gobble them down. I also hunted down import shops in Japan, primarily for peanut butter, of all things! Having a taste of your other home is the best way to go home without leaving where you are. 😀

  • Reema

    Hi Lauren,

    I think somehow god wired mums to be ‘that sweet’… I can totally understand how much you crave for your ‘home food’ , considering the fact, I too miss my mum’s cooking so much. Though, I have only moved from Delhi to Jaipur. Foods that I used to take for granted, now I can do anything to one spoonful of it. Just enjoy your imported food 🙂

    Also, Coming from a big city I believe I never had to look far beyond my nose for the kind of food you are craving, no supermarkets needed just the nearest grocery store has most of them. I do hope you too get the same opportunity, and you do not have to crave so much in future… 😉

    All the best

    • Lauren Mokasdar Post author

      Hey Reema,

      I agree! Mum’s are the best :D. I have found some decent places to shop but still have my cravings! I hope you are doing well in Jaipur!!

      Take care,

      Lauren xx

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