Shopping with pani puri.

Tom took me along on his shopping trip yesterday, to a few stores and shops including a multi-story big box that had features of a Super Wal-Mart, Costco, and a department store. The escalators were ramps that accommodated shopping carts, and we visited all the floors and departments, but never found a C-battery or anyone who knew what that was. Tom wasn’t very sure himself, but some new baby equipment wants them. Oh well.

I was fascinated by the many varieties of basmati rice, both packaged and in large bins where women in pretty clothes were scooping up their favorite type. I love basmati rice and used to buy it in 25# bags myself; I came home with a jar of the Brown Basmati.

The packaged rice is one of many products and ads that feature a photo of a famous movie star, often a Khan, or the “Big B,” Amitabh Bachchan. I don’t have a hope of keeping all these celebrities straight, but a couple of them have leading roles in an unusually good Bollywood movie we are currently watching here (over the course of three nights, because it’s close to four hours long): “Lagaan.” Oh, and on the route between the different shops, whose car did our driver point out but that of the very Aamir Khan himself. Mumbai is the center of Bollywood, did you know?

Women were also filling bags with large-crystal sugar from a great bulk bin.



We ate several pani puri snacks and another type of snack at a stand in the food department of the store. For us to take our fill of those savory treats cost less than 100 rupees which Tom said was about $1.10.


From this store we drove to that quiet neighborhood Tom introduced me to on my first day here, where is found their favorite market.

The shopkeepers know at least the names of vegetables and how to count in English so I was able to complete the purchase of some carrots, zucchini, peppers and broccoli while Tom went to the next stand where we found leeks and potatoes from which he is going to make soup.

Are those red carrots really carrots? I’ll cook them today and find out.

We brought all our loot home and then Tom cooked up a big delicious dinner featuring mutton chops, pesto green beans, tomato salad and more. It was the first meal of not particularly Indian food that I’ve had in ten days.

Baby “Raj” had stayed home with his mama. They are eating well and building strength and we are all enjoying the early Getting to Know You period. Well, not quite all: Huckleberry Cat has led a very sheltered life until this point and he doesn’t feel entirely positive about the strange creature who suddenly showed up.

As I write, it is a lazy Sunday afternoon. I’ve been holding a sleeping baby for an hour while chatting with Kate and Tom about so many things India, seeds that could germinate into future blog posts. Now I’m back here typing with two fingers to finish this one. My mind will immediately and irresistibly start gathering threads of images and impressions to weave into the next scrap of cloth I hope to share with you, of this colorful tapestry that is Bombay.

15 thoughts on “Shopping with pani puri.

  1. This is so very interesting. My exposure to Indian culture and food involved northern India: particularly, the Punjab. I still make a beef Dopiaza curry, and love it. As for Bollywood, I’ve never seen one of the films, and really should. Perhaps. I’m not that good at watching American/European films. Still.

    It’s such fun to follow your travels. I’ll look forward to future posts.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. You are a fantastic reporter! I think I’m getting the feel of where you are, at least a bit! Love the couch picture. And knowing “Tom” I bet he was fun to grocery shop with.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Gorgeous piles of grapes and other fruit! I love that photo of your daughter on the couch with baby…I just weaned Paul this week. Over 2 years of nursing him, and it was difficult but I’m glad I did it. Bombay looks close to the ocean…will you go visit the shore?

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Oh, wonderful new baby goodness and a whole new continent! What an exciting time you are having. Sending lots of loving congratulatory thoughts from far away Tasmania 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I love the picture of him on the couch with his mom’s curly hair. He is in a unique position. Sleeping Tiger Pose perhaps.

    My newest friend who is a neighbor is from just south of you. She is a Christian of many generations, therefore no caste and eats beef. It appears rather serendipitous that she is a member of a Brethren congregation in Bethany. Her husband had been an elder there. It is an Indian congregation. I just love the way Abba Father makes His Presence known. She loved looking at your photos. I can’t wait to show her these. She is also a recent widow. Love to you all!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. How wonderful to shop for fresh vegetables in an open market like that. The red carrots are gorgeous. I have heard of them, but never have grown such. How did they taste?

    Bollywood — I had no idea.

    God bless you all.

    Liked by 1 person

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