In Jayanagar 9th block, in the market area, is one of many innumerable shops; this one sells various types of puffed rice and fried lentils….
The proprietor (who did not want to give his name…"yaake?" he queried dismissively, when I asked!) says he has a very regular clientele. "Not everyone wants to buy everything in five minutes in those big shops," he shrugs. I noticed that he did exchange a few words with most of the people who came to shop.
The rate list of the various kinds of puffed rice and lentils are clearly displayed, and has been updated thanks to inflation:
The "Mysore" puri is puffed rice with salt; the "Bangalore" puri is without salt. The "Kempakki" puri is made from reddish, unpolished rice. Fried gram dhal is also available.
Puffed rice is made by mixing it into sand and then heating the sand and stirring it; so there is no oil or fat involved in its preparation. This makes it quite a healthy snack, albeit one of pure starch.
Much of the puffed rice comes from Davengere:
When a customer asks for the puffed rice, the proprietor measures out the puffed rice in units of one litre (with a measuring cup) and sieves the sand out of it further:
I was struck by the "Om" sign drawn in sandal paste on a mirror hung up in the shop. Is there any "vastu" signifance to this? "No," smiles the shopkeeper, someone gave me the mirror, and I don’t want too many pictures of gods and goddesses….so I just put the ‘om’ on it."
Hundreds of small shops and businesses like this one keep our market areas vibrant, and keep us from having, perforce, to go to the malls and supermarkets for every small thing we need! ⊕