Spending our time untethering the mind, getting the fidgets out, exploring the in-between ideas, and learning kintsugi.

Eating a starfruit from a roadside vendor

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Delhi vendor selling starfruit and roasted sweet potatotes

Delhi vendor selling starfruit and roasted sweet potatotes

From a Delhi roadside vendor.

A typical street vendor in Delhi is a lanky man with a leathery skin who stands at the roadside, sometimes in the 110 degree sun, for hours serving his wares. He can be selling a variety of stuff from coolers like sugarcane juice, and crushed ice with colorful syrups, to tid-bits like chaats, and cutlets to substantial meals like kababs, chickpea curries and stir fried liver.

One such street food is starfruit. You know, the yellow green tropical fruits that have a starfish like cross-section. A regular starfruit eaten at home is just that – a 30 calorie healthy fruit full of anti-oxidants that prolongs life of cancerous rats. But in hands of a street vendor in Delhi, it transforms itself into a mouthwatering explosion of refreshing crunchiness.

I am not quite sure what menfolk think about spicy tart things of the edible kind but women love it. I have this memory from childhood wherein the starfruit vendor would be surrounded by bobbing pony tails during most part of the school lunch break. If toothless gummy mouth can crunch into the crunchiness, grandmas will seek out the starfruit vendor as well.

Starfruit with mint, lemon and spices

Starfruit with mint, lemon and spices

Spiced starfruit seems trivially simple but I bet you that the flavors can not be reproduced in the cleanliness of a proper kitchen. Even if you have all the 24 spices on your shelf that the vendor is using . Trust me, many savvy cooks have tried and failed. Ahem … I mean, I have tried and failed. One problem is you can combine roasted cumin, crushed mint, dry ginger, black and red peppers, asfoetida, black salt, dry mango powder and the dozen others in a zillion different ways. The other is that you will never dare have rat droppings in your spice repertoire or the filth under your fingernails.

But no matter. Go ahead and eat one. A starfruit from a roadside vendor will probably not kill you. All that salt and lime and anti-oxidants should keep you from falling sick, right?

Written by Som

March 25, 2009 at 2:40 pm

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  1. […] Eating from a roadside vendor (more) […]

  2. […] Eating from a roadside vendor in Delhi (more) […]

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