Thursday, March 12, 2015

Once Upon a Desi Grocery Shopping Trip

Once upon a time we woke up on a very ordinary day and got about our daily routine automatically. It was all fine and normal until we opened a cabinet in our kitchen and realized our stock of Chai was running low. Instant Desi panic spread across the house. How could we possibly survive a day without at least three cups of Doodh Patti? No! That was just not possible. A trip to the Desi grocery store was inevitable.

A good long drive (on our way back from my post-surgery follow up at the hospital) later, we were pushing our cart through aisles of Desi merchandise.

This time at the grocery store I couldn't help Abbie shop due to an arm that had been recently operated, so I decided to pull out my camera and go crazy instead!

Our first stop was the cookies section, which FYI we call Biscuits in a more Desi casual language, just like the British do. Seeing the biscuits in a Desi store is a completely different experience than seeing them in a regular grocery store like Giant. Memories of our childhood fly back to us just by looking at those classic familiar brands; those Chocolate and Lemon sandwich biscuits used to be such a treat back when we were little and without a Gluco biscuit dipped in your Chai (which of course had to be Doodh Patti) tea time was just not complete. We emerged victorious from this aisle because Abbie decided to give in to our cravings and picked up a chocolate biscuit pack to take home!

The original chocolate sandwich! This baby was heading home with us on this auspicious day! #DesiWin #BeingChubbyFail

Our next stop was at the frozen section where Abbie has to always turn into a police and stop mama from buying all the possible K&N products the store has in stock. I don't blame her though, those Haray Bharay nuggets leave a crunchy delicious flavor in your mouth that is impossible to forget! Anyhow, I was able to cajole Abbie into buying a new kind of Samosa pack! #DesiWin again!

While I was eyeing the freezer for more kabab like goodness, Abbie and mama stocked up on parathay; the new Whole Wheat Parathay by Kawan are a killer! They are super quick to fix and our new favorite!

Mentally I imagined myself eating some delicious hot Keema with crispy Parathay! I think it is needless to state that I was terribly drooling just at the thought of that!

Wishful thinking alert! Each time I look at these cream rolls, I am mentally ripping open a pack and stuffing one in my face.
Reality Check! I do no such thing.

Next stop was where I take the role of police from Abbie! It is my turn to stop mama from buying a gazillion packs of these Desi snacks. Even though I love Boondi myself, I know that each time mama buys these they end up expiring in some kitchen cabinet. So Somebody had to put a stop to it!

The next aisle was where every Desi feels at home; the familiar Shan and National Masalay (spices) give you Desi flashbacks instantly. Even though I like cooking with separate spices instead of these instant blends, Shan and National Masalay are still very useful! In need of biryani and all you need is chef Abbie and National's Karachi Beef Biryani!
I have a personal Desi store activity that I love. I ask Abbie to tell me which spices are on the list and then I race her in finding it!

Our last stop before checking out of the store was near the ketchup aisle. We absolutely LOVE Mitchell's Chili Garlic Sauce! It used to be a childhood companion for us and somehow I have strangely associated it with the month of Ramadan. Each year in Ramadan, mama used to serve us extremely delicious crispy spring rolls and samosay and we'd dip them in Chili Garlic Sauce before stuffing them in our faces. It used to be such a joy! It was more than just a meal time, I always thought it was the highlight of my day. Today, Abbie picked up a giant bottle and kept it in our cart. Again FYI, Desi people call them trolleys instead of carts, British influence again!
With the chili garlic sauce sitting in our cart happily, Abbie finally announced that we were done with everything on her list. We headed for checking out with our cart full of Desi stuff and unloaded a skyscraper of Chai packs onto the shopkeeper's counter. He didn't even react at that tall tower of tea bags, he was Desi too and I bet his household survived on Doodh Patti Chai as well!

While Abbie and mama got our stuff rang up and packed I was standing there eyeing the Kulfi packets in the freezer. We had tasted these on our last grocery trip but this time we were in the mood for a savory snack. Mama had called up the store in advance so she could ask the guy to keep six samosay reserved for us. The store's samosas are really tasty and really loved; if you go there towards the evening it is very likely they'll be sold out, so it is much better to call up in advance. While I mentally devoured all the Kulfi packets in that freezer, mama bought some chicken meat and picked up the reserved samosas. We finally headed out of the store as happy Desis who had just refreshed their stock of Chai!

The ride back home was really good because I was stuffing down my samosa, which was warm and full of flavors! Of course, the first thing we did as soon as we reached home was make Chai and drink up! We were three satisfied and happy Desi ladies who had their pantries restocked with Desi goodness once again!
Until next time that our stock needs replenishment, I shall dream about that Samosa!

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