Courtesy, my firstborn.
This is a post that was first published in my private blog three years ago on July 31, 2008 titled, ‘Tasty Treats’ soon after a trip to my motherland, India. I reproduce it here today because I am currently craving all these churans and suparis, and also more importantly because this is a reminder about the “show” that even these small life experiences are. I don’t know when I might make another trip that way, but until such time, I can brighten my memories with pictures of these delightful treats. Also, there’s a deeper perspective that I chose to explore by way of these treats. See for yourself. Original post follows…
So, if variety is the spice of life, then these tasty little treats certainly add a lot of spice to life and to our tastebuds, in particular! Check out the array of churans and suparis here– I found this amazing display in a kiosk right in the middle of a mall in Bengaluru! If your eyes aren’t dazzled by the brilliant colors, your nostrils will be piqued by the many tantalizing smells wafting in the air nearby, and then, when you begin to ask for a sample of this or that, your tastebuds will be jolted into a reawakening of every sensation ranging from sweet and sour to salty and even bitter! The names of the various treats are as colorful as they look: how can you argue with Ram Laddu, Chulbuli Imli, Khatti Imli Chocolate, Madrasi Supari Sadha, Kesar Supari, Milk Supari and Dates Supari to name only a few!
Makes me also think about how these small treats are similar to other small treats in life that aren’t really essentials, but only essential in how they enhance our overall experience! We don’t necessarily need them, and we can do without them; in fact, we might never have even known we liked them and/or wanted them had we not chanced upon them– sometimes in a moment of inexplicable serendipity! Often times it may be the simplest of things that provide pleasure in our everyday world, such as the beauty of nature, the sound of children playing, a stirring song, a good read, a brilliant movie. And like the churan and supari that play with our tastebuds to give us a pleasurable life experience, these very many other non-essentials (think everything outside of Maslow’s hierarchy of basic needs) also play their part in causing us to experience an even greater form of self-actualization when we find ourselves approaching these basic experiences with awe, pleasure, wonder and even ecstasy.
So, here’s to the churan and the supari, and to all those other non-essential things in your life that charm and tease you; and in doing so, they put that song on your lips, that spring in your step, and that smile on your face!
So, yesterday’s Pita Chips post must only naturally be followed by a post on how to serve these chips, i.e., what sort of dips might go well with them. Well, you could open a bottle of salsa just as well as you could make some fresh salsa– one of the perfect accompaniments to pita chips. Or you could serve it up with hummus, of course. But here’s what I did recently:
I served my pita chips with three kinds of dip: an Ajvar (Eastern European Red Dip made with Peppers & Tomatoes), a yogurt-based Raita-style dip (Yogurt w/ Grated Cucumbers), and a no-nonsense Guacamole (Avocado and seasonings).
Use your imagination, people, and enjoy! Check this out for pictures, and don’t you just love my dip-server? I absolutely adore it! One bite and one dip, and you’ll be saying, like we say around here, Yeh Hui Na Baat!
- Buy a bag of fresh pitas from your local middle-eastern bakery
- Cut them up into halves and halves again to make small triangles
- Open them up inside out so that each piece becomes two
- Heat up your oil in a nice flat-bottomed wok
- Fry your pita pieces, a few at a time, turning once
- Drain them out onto paper towels
- Sprinkle with anything from salt, pepper, chili powder or even parmesan cheese
- Serve with anything at all from hummus to a cheesy dip or a yogurt dip
What could be simpler than that? And what could be more satisfying? Mmmmm! Mmmm! Mmm! Check out these pictures from the last time I made some.