In pursuit of Indian snacks, last week I stopped by the Swaminarayan Hindu temple in Milpitas. With only two other cars in the parking lot and no markings on the outside indicating any presence of a snack shop, I couldn't be sure I was in the right place. Once inside the front door, I was guided by signs posted for removing shoes and to remain silent. I went in through the women's entrance and shoe storage which is to the left immediately inside the front door. Fortuitously, this deposited me right in front of the snacks counter.
Soon I could hear a male voice in the distance calling, "hello, hello?" Feeling nervous that I might have done something wrong, I did a quick mental check --- my shoes are off, I haven't said a word, and I didn't go in the "men only" door --- and figured I should be okay. Once he found me, the man was much friendlier than his initial tone had sounded. I indicated that I was interested in purchasing some snacks but didn't know where to start. He gave me a price list, and apologized that they were out of several things. He suggested that I try one of the mixes, available in a mildly spicy or a South Indian very spicy style. I picked the milder form, Nadiadi Bhusa, that comes in a one pound pack for $3.50.
Luckily I didn't buy the hotter one, as this is plenty spicy for me. It starts off slowly, but after a few mouthfuls, the heat builds up to a roar. I'm enjoying it very much, but I can only eat one handful at a sitting before the spice gets to me. This mix has fried chickpea flour crisps of various shapes and sizes blended with crunchy dal and other legumes in a salty, slightly sweet, and spicy hot masala seasoning.
Besides snacks, Shayona also offers catering services and the social hall at the temple is available for hire. Interestingly, the poster indicates that Gujurati, Punjabi, Chinese, and Mexican menus are available.
What else do 'hounds recommend here?
Shayona Snacks and Catering
"Catering Pure Jain Vegetarian Taste & Freshly Made Sweets and Snacks"
BAPS Shree Swaminayaran Mandir
25 Corning Ave. (@ Abel)
Milpitas, CA 95035
Mon-Sat, 9-11:30am, 4-6pm
Sunday, 10-4, 6:30-8pm
Phone numbers for other outlets in Northern California listed on the bag are:
San Francisco 415-469-9121