Sunday, April 26, 2009

Indian Mela Food

Barsana Dham hosted an Indian Mela (Festival) yesterday, and one of my school friends was particularly eager to sample the food at the event. We certainly don't know much about Indian food, and this was a perfect opportunity for us to get a taste of dishes we can't get in Indian restaurants around Austin. (More on my Mela experience on my travel blog.)

The Dosa vendor attracted us because we could relate it to traditions we are familiar with like crepes or Chinese 饼 (bing3). It came filled with potato curry and yogurt paste and a masala dipping sauce. This was fun to eat and had a pleasant crunch on the exterior with a slightly sour soft interior (due to fermentation).

Dosa-filled with potato and masala sauce and yogurt paste

The Masala Wok vendor offered an Indian take on Chinese food complete with fried rice, chow mien, egg rolls with samosas, and veggie balls. This was an obvious attempt to cater to the less versed in Indian food. That's us!

Fried rice, chow mien, fried dough balls filled with veggies, eggrolls and samosas

You know you're in Texas when they serve Indian taco salads at the Mela. Lol. I think it consisted of lettuce, tomatoes, boiled potatoes, onions, and beans. It wasn't bad.

Indian taco salad

I was not keen on ordering the Vada, but curiosity took over us. Unfortunately, the vadas confounded us. It's a savory donut, which is ok, but it was sour...super sour with the yogurt sauce. I can't even describe the extent of the sourness. It didn't help that the sauce seeped into the cake-like dough of one of the vadas. The other vada was filled with spices, one of which is oregano. That vada was ok at first and then the after taste was pretty good. Please, just don't remind me of my yogurt vada experience!


We washed all this food down with mango lassi and rose milk. The mango lassi was thick with a strong mango taste. No complaints. I'm a big sucker for mango anything. The rose milk was surprisingly refreshing. This is probably really simple to make. Just pour some rose syrup into milk and voila.

Mango Lassi and Rose Milk

Overall, this wasn't a meal I see myself eating often.

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