Saturday, February 23, 2013

Little India in Paris

Chai chai chapati!
"Let's go for a samosa and a cup of chai in Paris" I say to my friend.
"Is it possible?" he asks.
"Of course it is! Come on, get up your ass, and let's go."

We take the Paris subway direction the 10th arrondissement. Located between Gare du Nord and la Chapelle, we walk la Rue du Faubourg Saint-Denis and get a taste of India. The area is packed with sweet shops, restaurants and other delicacies. In the grocery stores, everything you need to cook your favorite indian dishes is there. I am happy to find karela, my favorite indian vegetable, a jar of ghee, manguo pickle and some black dhal.

For a break, we do as we said: we sit down for a cup of chai and oh! what a delight it was. Here we are in Paris, sitting in front of a fake coconut leaf with 2 samosas, achar, 2 iddlis, a south indian rice dish, the lentils to go with them, and a couple cups of chai. A few pieces of cardamon skin float in the hot liquid, the street unloads it's daily delivery, the dhal is excellent. We enjoy, a lot. The restaurant bathroom leeks, the soap doesn't work, it's wonderful: for a minute, we are in India!

After the samosa, iddli, chai break, we keep walking down the street.
Shops are full of shiny saris, henna, bangles to match the fabrics and all that the girl in you wants. Convenient stores, jewerly with all the fake glitters, women walking around with tikka on the forehead, smells and colors, all are there.

Walking down the street, we enter the passage Brady, at 46 rue du Faubourg Saint-Denis. A small street filled with restaurants, wood carvings and other treats.
This we'll do next time we want a taste of India in Paris...For now, it's time to go make a nice dhal bhat with karela!

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