In search of Poori Masala in Uncle Sam's land….


For the past two weeks there has been a growing desire to have a plate of poori and masala. I don’t know where it originated from. All I knew was, one fine morning, while walking to office, I felt this sudden urge to eat pooris. Ever since, every other meal seemed tasteless and worthless. I started comparing pastas and sandwiches with poori and they all seemed inferior to this flat and round man-made wonder made of dough and fried in oil! Until last weekend…..

It was a cold and windy Sunday morning in NYC, where I had gone to meet a bunch of my old school friends. It seemed horribly difficult to leave the comforts of a blanket, thanks to the tiring Saturday we had in the city, when all of a sudden one of us came up with the idea of a “brunch” at Sharavana Bhavan. Even in my sleepy state this directly translated itself into poori and masala. Within half an hour, I was up and ready to go. The walk was harsh. Although it was just a few blocks down from where we stayed, walking against the wind almost made it feel like running on the treadmill for an hour (which was something I have never managed in the 27 years of my existence) in a room with a misconfigured air conditioner. And I went panting into a small restaurant with a big sign saying “Sharavana Bhavan”. The place was buzzling with activity, with people from all spheres of life walking in to have a taste of South India. Weather didn’t seem to bother any one of them, although I believe most of them, unlike us, had their cars parked right in front.

We were fortunate to get seats as soon as we entered. The moment we got our menu, there was nothing I looked for, but pooris which laid buried under the title “Rotis”!! I waited in anticipation, downing two “steel glasses” of Madras filter coffee, for those fried doughs and its masala served in a steel plate with three “potholes” – something that had left me hungry and sleepless in Philadelphia for the past two weeks!

What followed was bliss…..

And here’s a glimpse of the Madras filter coffee, which on any other day would have taken the headlines!

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~ by Niranjan Nandakumar on October 20, 2008.

5 Responses to “In search of Poori Masala in Uncle Sam's land….”

  1. the filter coffee looks AWESOME.. i had some for the first time at Murugan Idli here. it was great! šŸ™‚

  2. Bro, I can understand exactly how you would’ve felt, digging into those pooris. I have been looking for dosas for 6 months now šŸ˜¦

  3. Yes! NYC Saravana Bhavan! The Davara tumbler coffee is pure awesomeness šŸ™‚ If my memory serves me right, you must’ve paid 4 dollars for the coffee, right? No sudden, inexplicable urge to eat Masala Dosa? šŸ˜€

  4. OMG ! I think I’ll step out for lunch now..head out to Ananda Bhavan and have Poori Masala šŸ˜€ One of those advanatges of being on this teeny weeny island šŸ˜€

  5. @Farhana … its heaven!
    @Karram … All Indian restaurants seem to have just the North Indian cuisines. Hard to find a place with authentic South Indian cuisine!
    @Prasil … I guess I didnt even bother to look at the prices šŸ˜€
    @Xeres … It sure was a bliss! Take a “walk” down to the other side of the country and find a South Indian place! šŸ˜€

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