Not my actual plate>>>
Last Wednesday I was walking through my college quad from the library when I saw a bunch of tables lined up with ambrosial looking food on it with peppy looking faces serving it to students. I was told it was the Sikh holiday Vaisakhi, and that free food was being given out to anyone who wanted some. I do not eat Indian food often, because I choose Thai, French, American, and so on, before I choose Indian (and Italian), but the food on the tables looked incredibly enticing (and it was free!), so I decided to give it a try.
Vaisakhi is a celebration of the first Sikh baptism call Amrit. When a Sikh becomes baptized they vow to give their life for righteousness and service to humanity. They vow to abandon all other rituals and follow the path lovingly meditating on God and spreading universal compassion throughout mankind. This year 313 years of Amrit were celebrated. Langar is the reason for the free food; this practice promotes unbiased compassion and universal equality. It is a community kitchen where all are welcome to enjoy a meal at anytime regardless of their race, religion, lack of religion, color, or social status. No strings attached! (I got this little bit of information from slips that were pasted onto the food containers).
I had eaten Indian food quite a few times before this occasion, but there were some dishes being served that I was unfamiliar with, like a thick spicy chickpea curry called Chole.
Of course there was naan, which was actually whole wheat. It wasn't the best naan I had ever had, but it was warm and good for dipping in the Chole. In addition there was chicken curry, one of my favorite Indian dishes. Aloo Gobi was also being served up, which is a potato cauliflower curry. Alongside these multiple curry dishes was vegetable basmati rice. I love the long, grainy texture of basmati rice.
There was also something else, kind of like a lentil soup, but I am not sure if it was. Maybe you can tell me. It looked sort of like this, except green:
For dessert they were serving some kind of doughy syrupy balls of deliciousness. I bit into a chewy ball of sweet dough only for an even sweeter syrup to be revealed that ran down my hand. They told me the name of this delight but I cannot for the life of me remember it. It has been bugging me ever since, and Google is not helping. After doing some research, my best guess is that it was Gulab Jamun.
There was something so wonderful about this experience. It was a warm and sunny day outside, and it was very enjoyable to sit on a bench and eat a different type of food during my lunch break. The combination of the weather and the new food experience made it a very memorable thing for me. Typically I do not eat any food on campus, even the food for events like this, because it can be very questionable, but I risked it this time and was pleasantly surprised. It tasted like one of the student's Mom's was slaving all day in the kitchen to cook this food. It was homey; I felt very comforted while eating it, like I was eating a chicken soup my Grandmother made. Have you had any memorable and uniquely enjoyable food experiences? Do you like Indian food?