India, which is locked in a spacewrace with China and Japan, plans to send a man into space by 2015 and hopes to send some familiar food with him.

However, creating a curry that will taste good in space is no simple mission. The Defence Food Research Laboratory (DFRL) is tackling the task, the Time reports.

A. S. Bawa, from the DFRL, said his team faced several hurdles.

“Curry tends to be spicy, high in fat content and uses many ingredients; all these factors present significant challenges,” he told the paper. “We cannot afford the stomach of an astronaut to be strained.”

Dr Bawa said spicy meals and hot sauces had to be avoided because they could be hard to digest in zero gravity.

“When an astronaut is happy on all fronts, we would like to think his performance is enhanced . . . but so far, we are limited to very mild dishes,” he said.

The astronauts were expected to miss traditional snacks – such as the pancake-like dosa – the most, he said.

“Developing a dosa for space? It’s never been done before . . . fried bhajis? Very challenging — we can use only minimal oil. But if the mission demands it, we are ready to look into it.”

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