One of the simple pleasures I enjoy is the market tables filled with a variety of sweet-sour-hot-salty “mints” (for lack of a better word) called churan in Hindi. Here are a couple I ate too many of: some jeera golis (cumin balls) made from tamarind, jaggery (natural sugar) and powdered sugar/salt. In the plastic are some tamarind-chocolates–not so chocolately, really, but tasty nonetheless.

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Suresh and I goofed around in the kitchen with some molecular gastronomy chemicals I brought along. We made falooda (in case you haven’t noticed, I’ve taken a shine to falooda). We worked together to produce the ingredients; here’s the plate I assembled with noodles, pistachio kulfi (Indian ice cream), milk, top quality vetiver syrup, saffron soaked tukmaria (basil seeds) and the new molecular touch–caviar made from saffron juice. Fun stuff. I’m not sure this version would get a warm welcome everywhere, though.

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This is just a shot of City Market, one of the old style holdouts in the face of multiple shopping malls and franchises. Good place to buy karhais! This is the floral section.

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Rathna made this date halwa–fragrant with ghee and not too sweet at all!

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I grabbed this bottle of snacks from Metro–a store sort of like Costco I guess. These are lightly spiced anchovies, not too salty, and dried into crisps. Nice, but nothing special. I’d guess they’re from Tamil Nadu, if I were to make a wild guess.

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These are some terrific Kerala snacks made from fried bananas. (Recipe in Ammini Ramachandran’s book, “Grains, Greens and Grated Coconuts”). They’re thick and crunchy, almost like nuts, and coated in jaggery. My first taste didn’t portend what a pig I was to make of myself with them. When Suresh was gone one day, I simply ate the whole bag in one sitting. Sorry, Suresh!!!

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This is a woodapple. I wanted to make a chutney from it, as per Uma’s directions, but the first one I bought was rotten and the second one I bought wasn’t ripe enough. Oh well.

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And here are some sitafals.
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Mmmmmmmm, sitafals! Green versions…
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…and in Hyderabad I found a purple version that I thought was even sweeter and more floral, but that might’ve just been my imagination.
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This is a version of puranpoli, a sweet bread made with jaggery, hailing from Gujurat I believe. I’m not fond of them, but Suresh is.

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Mysore Pak is normally quite soft, made from ghee and chickpea flour. Here’s one that crunchy.

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I’m irritatatd with the owners of Tibb’s Frankies who couldn’t be bothered to answer a simple email query I sent them. (Why bother having a website if you don’t maintain it?) Anyway, I overcame my irritation with them to try their chicken frankie (a wrap made of an egg-fried paratha) which was highly rated by the Times of India. Tasty. Unfortunately, Tibbs Frankies ain’t got jack on Kolkata’s Kathi rolls (post forthcoming)….
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Suresh made a lovely Sindhi meal for me and a couple of fellow foodies–Veena and Uma. Veena was kind enough to bring along these Mathania chillis from Rajasthan. I’m eager to get ’em home and cook with them!
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Some banana halwa.

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And Suresh made this parting snack for me–shahi tukda. It’s a sweet sort of like a cross between french toast and bread pudding, fried in a liter of ghee (no, two!) and lightly drizzled with saffron syrup. Suresh needs to show Dum Pukht in Delhi how to make this version.

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