Sunday, November 5, 2017

India Fest!

Every year around this time, the India Association of Memphis hosts India Fest — a massive celebration of art, culture, music, cuisine, and the heritage of India. I typically go every year (but I skipped last year due to a scheduling conflict) so I can stuff my face. There are multiple food booths, each representing a different state in India. I like to sample my way around the country by getting small snacks at each place. They also have booths peddling Indian jewelry and saris, plus dance performances and art displays.

I met my friend Autumn there.

We checked out the art and and culture displays, like this neat sand art (that somebody messed up!).

India Fest is always very well-attended, so we had to fight our way through the crowd for food.

I started with a Samosa, which was weirdly served with ketchup. Typically, samosas (fried pastries stuffed with potatoes and peas) are served with some kind of chutney or tamarind sauce. But ketchup was okay!

Then I found dosa! We only have North Indian food in Midtown, where I live. All the good South Indian food is way out east, so I sadly don't get to eat dosa very often. But I love it so much! I opted for Masala Dosa. I ate it with the red sauce but I left the coconut chutney untouched because it smelled like it had some kind of dairy in it. My rule with Indian food is "don't ask, don't tell," but if I suspect something contains dairy, I won't eat it. That said, I'm sure there is some sneaky dairy in things I've eaten, and what I don't know won't hurt me.

Next up, I ran across some Pani Puri. This is a fun street food snack (called chaat)! You stuff the little crispy crackers with chickpeas, onions, cilantro, and coriander-mint sauce. 

I ran across another booth selling my favorite fried snacks — Vada (savory lentil doughnuts) and Mirchi Bajji (battered fried peppers).

After all that chaat, I was pretty stuffed, and I thought I was probably done eating. But just as I was about to leave the fest, I passed a booth selling Bhel Puri, my very favorite Indian snack. It's made with puffed rice, potato, onion, tomato, green chilis, peanuts, and chutney. It's both savory and sweet with just the right amount of crunch! I had to have some!

And that, my friends, is a perfect day of Indian snacks! I wish India Fest happened more than once per year!


Jennifer Bliss said...

I LOVED seeing your India Fest post!!! I wish I was able to attend one but we don't have any around here. Yet another reason I live vicariously thru your blog! LOL

vegan peace said...

I want everything you tried! Sadly I've never even had a dosa! Looks like a really amazing day!!

Susan said...

Ketchup with samosa definitely is an odd choice, but I can see that it would work.
Looks like such a fun day, sampling your way around with lots of little snacks sounds perfect.