A few weeks ago, when I went on that job interview, I pulled into the parking lot, and gawked. Apparently, I'd arrived in Little India. There were restaurants with those magical buffets, boutiques selling saris and kurtas, video stores with the most fabulous Bollywood movie posters, and the crowning jewel: a fully stocked, fully Indian grocery store!
I walked in bug-eyed with wonder. The owner approached me a little warily, not sure if I was nutz or simply gaga. I explained to him that I'd lived one block off Indian Row in NYC for a year and a half, had lived in an ashram for two years, and that really good Indian food was my very favorite food in the whole wide world forever and ever.
And with that sweet, beaming smile you so often see with native Indians, he took me on an hour long tour of his store. And for only $67, this is what I bought:
Boxes of spice mixes, just add ghee, yogurt, and veg . . . A few ready-made meals, the ingredients listed on the box in Hindi (??), French, and English . . .
I kept grabbing for things and he'd sweetly take them out of my hands. "Too hot, too hot for you." To which I'd reply, "It's okay, I like spicy." But he'd just smile and shake his head and hand me something else. I trusted him and went with the ones he deemed milder. I'm really glad I did, because when I finally began cooking with what I bought, they had me crying tears of fiery joy but for some, just plain tears of fire. You know what I'm talking about.
Tamarind chutney, garlic and mango paste, a huge jar of spicy mango pickles . . . pre-made papadums (just fry or bake!), a big plastic jug filled with chai teabags, Indian snack food ie spicy dried chickpeas with rice flour curls . . .
Heaven I tell you . . . heaven . . . And after I loaded up my car, I went next door to their vegetarian restaurant and ate a meal so ecstatically delicious I chewed slowly, gently, and for much of it with my eyes closed.
What is your go to comfort food?