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Indian Food Fair (Photos!)


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JHlurie and I went to check out the Indian Food Fair at the Sadhu Vaswani Indian Cultural Center in Closter today. Terrific food all around.

Sadhu Vaswani Center

494 Durie Avenue

Closter, New Jersey

201-768-7857

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Some Indo-Chinese food to start off

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Chowpatty Chaat

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The Dhosa Man

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Dhosa Filling

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Dhosa

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Vedai

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Vedai with soup and coconut chutney

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Samosas

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The Hindu God Ganesh bringing good luck

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Pickles for sale

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Kulfi Dessert -- Indian ice cream with rosewater and glass noodles and crushed ice

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Falafel, Indian Style

Jason Perlow

Co-Founder, The Society for Culinary Arts & Letters

offthebroiler.com - Food Blog | View my food photos on Instagram

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Thanks for sharing the pictures - NJ has such a thriving Indian community - there are few other places in this country that you can get authentic Indian "street foods" in one place like that you've shown above.

By the way, this is one of my favorite snacks:

gallery_2_0_16568.jpg

Its called Pani Puri - Pani means water - in this case, a seasoned water, and puri is the puff pastry shown. You fill it up with boiled potatoes, chick peas, and "chaat masala" which is a seasoning, then fill up the liquid (pani) into each puri and eat very carefully and quickly.

Thanks again

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I really enjoyed all the photos, Jason. Just one comment on the masala dosa: At the places I've gotten them in New York and New Jersey, they described the sauces as vegetable sambhar and coconut sambhar, so what you're calling soup is what they were calling vegetable sambhar. I'm not sure if there's a traditional way of eating the dosa with the sambhar, but I tend to put the coconut sambhar on semi-evenly first and then dump the vegetable sambhar on the dosa. Sometimes, a generous soul has offered to give me additional sambhar.

Michael aka "Pan"

 

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coconut stuff jason is the coconut chutney

yes used as a dip with a lot of south indian entrees (dosa, vada, idli...)

the soup can also be used as a *dunk* for the vada/idli/dosa or had as a soup.

btw, nice pics... I am tempted to have some food now and its midnight CST!

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I like these smaller "food/culture" festivals - I wish I had known about it I'd have been there... (I LOVE :wub: INDIAN food! :wub: ) I know they have one soonish in Nanuet NY usually in the mall's parking lot on Rt 59 across the lot from Sears closer to middletown? ? road. If anyone knows of any upcoming middle-eastern or indian food festivals - smallish size (because I am mobility impaired) please PLEASE let me know, I like sitting, enjoying the music and munching (and shopping too!) Thanks a BIG big bunch.

On a side note: (I know there is a huge diwali one in the somerset area because my co-worker is involved in central jersey with it each year.... It's just way too big to go to for me.)

Stacey C-Anonymouze@aol.com

*Censorship ends in logical completeness when nobody is allowed to read any books except the books that nobody reads!-G. B. SHAW

JUST say NO... to CENSORSHIP*!

Also member of LinkedIn, Erexchange and DonRockwell.

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I like these smaller "food/culture" festivals - I wish I had known about it I'd have been there...

Jason--

You're obviously hearing/reading about these festivals (i.e. the Brazilian one in the Ironbound); any reason you can't either post them on the calendar in advance or start a thread before you go to the events? Seems like many of us only hear about them after the fact, when you post the pics and torture us!

Curlz

"I'm not eating it...my tongue is just looking at it!" --My then-3.5 year-old niece, who was NOT eating a piece of gum

"Wow--this is a fancy restaurant! They keep bringing us more water and we didn't even ask for it!" --My 5.75 year-old niece, about Bread Bar

"He's jumped the flounder, as you might say."

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I like these smaller "food/culture" festivals - I wish I had known about it I'd have been there...

Jason--

You're obviously hearing/reading about these festivals (i.e. the Brazilian one in the Ironbound); any reason you can't either post them on the calendar in advance or start a thread before you go to the events? Seems like many of us only hear about them after the fact, when you post the pics and torture us!

Curlz

The answer is that I'm typically seeing them on road signs or being told about them the day or so before, and I usually don't have time to get them into the Calendar. But I'll ty to be more proactive about it. If anyone knows about these things far enough in advance I can get them into the calendar.

Jason Perlow

Co-Founder, The Society for Culinary Arts & Letters

offthebroiler.com - Food Blog | View my food photos on Instagram

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Thanks for sharing the pictures - NJ has such a thriving Indian community - there are few other places in this country that you can get authentic Indian "street foods" in one place like that you've shown above.

By the way, this is one of my favorite snacks:

gallery_2_0_16568.jpg

Its called Pani Puri - Pani means water - in this case, a seasoned water, and puri is the puff pastry shown.  You fill it up with boiled potatoes, chick peas, and "chaat masala" which is a seasoning, then fill up the liquid (pani) into each puri and eat very carefully and quickly.

Thanks again

Doggone it! I meant to go this year but it totally slipped my mind. Last year when I got the Pani Puri there wasn't much of a line and I was fortunate enough to have them served one at a time in all of their crispy/liquidy glory. This is a great food fair and one definitely worth planning towards for next year. I'll just go bonk my head against the wall now...

aka Michael

Chi mangia bene, vive bene!

"...And bring us the finest food you've got, stuffed with the second finest."

"Excellent, sir. Lobster stuffed with tacos."

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Doggone it! I meant to go this year but it totally slipped my mind. Last year when I got the Pani Puri there wasn't much of a line and I was fortunate enough to have them served one at a time in all of their crispy/liquidy glory. This is a great food fair and one definitely worth planning towards for next year. I'll just go bonk my head against the wall now...

One at a time is how they do it at the stalls in India - or at least any Pani Puri stall i ever went to. (ok all of them were on the beach, but still)

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they described the sauces as vegetable sambhar and coconut sambhar, so what you're calling soup is what they were calling vegetable sambhar. I'm not sure if there's a traditional way of eating the dosa with the sambhar, but I tend to put the coconut sambhar on semi-evenly first and then dump the vegetable sambhar on the dosa. Sometimes, a generous soul has offered to give me additional sambhar.

The vegetable sambhar and the soup in this instance are the same thing, just a different expression, the traditional way of eating sambhar would be to break apart a piece of dosai and dip it in the sambhar before eating that morsel, the morsel would also have some filling in it, also the bites you crave extra flavor it is also very acceptable to lift the bowl of sambhar (the Katori) and sip out of it or you can also use a spoon ( a more polite or "sophisticated" gesture when eating out). Also, back in India at traditional joints in Souther India it would almost be impolite not to offer additional sambhar if needed. Most restaurant atleast offer one refill, if not it is totally acceptable to reorder just the sambhar, the charge is usally minimal. The coconut sambhar would be the coconut chutney or Pachadi (a south Indian word for chutney or pickle). However "coconut sambhar" doesnt make sense, shredded coconut is almost always used as an ingredient in Sambhar though.

"Burgundy makes you think of silly things, Bordeaux

makes you talk about them, and Champagne makes you do them." Brillat-Savarin

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Thanks for sharing the pictures - NJ has such a thriving Indian community - there are few other places in this country that you can get authentic Indian "street foods" in one place like that you've shown above.

By the way, this is one of my favorite snacks:

gallery_2_0_16568.jpg

Its called Pani Puri - Pani means water - in this case, a seasoned water, and puri is the puff pastry shown.  You fill it up with boiled potatoes, chick peas, and "chaat masala" which is a seasoning, then fill up the liquid (pani) into each puri and eat very carefully and quickly.

Thanks again

The masala used in pani puri is pani puri masala, which is different then the chaat masala, it is made with similar ingredients but different composition besides panipuri masala has extra hint of coriander powder and sometimes powdered dried mint in it too.

"Burgundy makes you think of silly things, Bordeaux

makes you talk about them, and Champagne makes you do them." Brillat-Savarin

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One at a time is how they do it at the stalls in India - or at least any Pani Puri stall i ever went to.  (ok all of them were on the beach, but still)

tryska,

there are multiple ways to do that.

the best is something like a kaitenzushi

you basically prepay or order a set (say 10). the person the would break the top of the puri, fill the filling (recipes vary) and then add sweet chutney(optional) and then dip it in a big vat of the spiced water

by far the best method to have

there are some where they would actually give you the ingredients on a platter and you basically make it yourself

there are some that would make the 5=10 you order and then put it in a plate for you and then ladel in the spiced water.

please note depending on where you eat the color and taste of the water can vary a lot. this is because right from bengal to maharashtra and gujrat - they have adopted various recipes with dry and wet ingredients in pani puri / poochkas

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  • 10 months later...

Bump!

Does anybody have any information about when the Food Fair is scheduled for this year? I'd hate to miss it again and their website doesn't have it posted. Thanks.

aka Michael

Chi mangia bene, vive bene!

"...And bring us the finest food you've got, stuffed with the second finest."

"Excellent, sir. Lobster stuffed with tacos."

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Excellent- I'll mark my calendar. Thanks, Jason.

aka Michael

Chi mangia bene, vive bene!

"...And bring us the finest food you've got, stuffed with the second finest."

"Excellent, sir. Lobster stuffed with tacos."

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  • 5 weeks later...

Anybody else go yesterday? We had a great time- the food was excellent, as always, and the people there are sooo nice. And you just couldn't have asked for a better day weather-wise.

My favorite thing this time around was the channa masala (chick peas) with an incredible flat bread that resembled naan, only it was fried. Some friends came with me so we got to try almost everything, and that is definitely the way to do it. Allright...I'll admit to not giving the Tex Mex table a second look, but that's not what I came for dammit. Just great stuff all around- puris, dosas, samosas, etc., etc.

aka Michael

Chi mangia bene, vive bene!

"...And bring us the finest food you've got, stuffed with the second finest."

"Excellent, sir. Lobster stuffed with tacos."

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