Recently, over the long weekend, I decided to take a little detox getaway from the toxicity of Delhi and into the arms of another less-polluted city. And instead of booking my plane tickets or hopping on a late-night Volvo, I decided to do it the old-school way. I booked my tickets for Shatabdi Express

Indian Express

Now I have to be honest, as I was stepping into Shatabdi, I was as excited about their quintessential meals almost as much as I was about my solo trip (judge me all you want but I actually like train ka khana). Especially their signature railway style Tomato soup with Amul Butter and a side of breadsticks. 

I’m not even the biggest fan of tomato soups in general, like I wouldn’t order it if I had the choice. But there is something about the Shatabdi wala tomato soup that instantly gets my mouth watering.  


I was deep into binge-watching the finale of Hunters when I lost track of time. As I looked up, I saw the servers doing their rounds to serve soup in the mini trays, I knew it was somewhere between 7:30/8 in the evening. And the little girl inside me started jumping with excitement.


Believe it or not,  when I took the first sip from those plastic cups, it tasted like all of the train journeys I’ve had from my childhood. I mean I’m in my early 20s and the flavours of that tomato soup are still intact. It literally tastes the same. 


Im not even exaggerating when I say this, it felt like someone had put me in a time-capsule and we had gone back 10-years to taste the boiling tango of this sweet and sour Tomato soup. 

Story Pick

Obviously just like old times, I was so impatient to taste this tango of sweet and sour that I ended up burning my tongue and the roof of my mouth. But I still have no regrets, because the tinge of black pepper, tickling my throat, tingled my childhood nostalgia. And it was totally worth it.


Do you remember they’d serve a coin-sized brick of Amul/ Nova butter on the side and those imperfectly curved crunchy breadsticks are still crispy enough to test the strength of your teeth? 

Ribbon To Pasta

The only way to eat those crummy bread-sticks without chipping one of your teeth was to poke your breadstick in the coin-sized Amul butter, dunk it in the steaming hot soup and stir your bred-stick until the dollop of butter had melted into the soup.

I mean for someone traveling in a moving train, that soup-stick was quite a handy, multi-purpose tool. 

Indian Rail Info

And remember how you’d try to control your sneeze while sprinkling the pouch-sized pepper over your soup? Because if you accidentally sneezed, the stakes of spilling your precious tomato soup all over the place would go up. 

High On The Way

And for some reason, even in summers, the feel and comfort behind sipping on to this hot elixir in a moving train is the same. It is probably one of the few all-season-favorite drinks that desis all across the country cherish.  

I mean I don’t know if it’s sipping something warm while sitting on the window seat and enjoying the view that gives you a fuzzy feeling or it’s the imperfectly balanced flavors of this soup that leaves you with a feeling of nostalgia. 


I don’t know about y’all but I’m definitely craving some Indian Railway style tomato shoup now.