Porcupyn's Blog

November 2, 2009

On samosas … and an enterprising vendor

Filed under: Travel — Porcupyn @ 1:42 pm

So there we were, waiting at a station platform for our train – the mighty Karnataka Express with two engines and 24 compartments – to arrive. Not having had much of a chance to taste authentic roadside food 😉 the last few trips to India, this time I thought I might as well check it out, especially since I had already digested most of the full lunch I had eaten at home before starting out.

As luck would have it, the food stall at the platform was making fresh kachories; however, my eyes were on the samosas. Obviously, I wanted steaming hot samosas. So, I asked the shopkeeper how long would it be before he would make hot samosas. He replied that right now they were working on kachories; how many did I want? I said that all I wanted was a couple. “No problem,” he said.

Even as my eyes were roving around for a microwave (with the country improving by leaps and bounds, I felt that that thought was not as far-fetched as it appears), he took two samosas that were ready for sale and dunked them into the hot oil. After a couple of minutes, I held two hot, refried, dripping-oil-onto-an-old-newspaper-fragment samosas in my hands. Of course, I enjoyed them (Mrs. Porcupyn averted her eyes – not only could she not eat those savories herself, she could not bear to see me eat them either), though I had to drain a teaspoonful of oil just before I had the last bite (no, I am NOT kidding)!

Now, in hindsight, I wonder whether that approach would have worked in the USA? Probably not. Had I had asked for hot Krispy Kreme glazed doughnuts (see picture here and a video here) when french crullers were being made, the answer would have been an unequivocal “No” or “Please come back tomorrow morning at 6 am” or some such. Score one for the enterprising Indian shopkeeper(s).

PS: The hot refried platform samosas having whetted my appetite for samosas, I could not contain myself and helped myself to a few more at different station halts during the course of our 20-hour journey. Even Baab partook a small piece once, in defiance of his mother’s orders! Please note that this behaviour is strictly not recommended for a “First World” stomach, unless you are prepared for a Delhi belly.

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