Monday, June 28, 2010

Little India

Need a little get-away, but you can't get away for a real vacation? Try Little India in Artesia. One afternoon and about four blocks will transport you to another continent!

All good trips require some quality food, this time served up from Ashoka. Here you see my absolute favorite Indian dish: peas and cheese, or, more formally, matar paneer. This dish is less common than palek paneer, spinach and cheese, that you can find on most Indian menus and buffets or even in the frozen section at Trader Joe's. With a spicy curry base, my peas and cheese is perfect for ladling over the rice, or for scooping up with the naan. This shows both garlic naan and disco naan, chosen for the sassy name plus the delish ingredients stuffed in the bread: ginger, garlic, onion, chili and cilantro. Dang, I should be dancing afterwards, but it was me who was stuffed!

Next, stroll to the many shops selling beautiful saris, tunics, shoes and jewelry. The beading and embroidery is stunning, and it is typically done by hand. More than one shopkeeper said each sari is unique, which means that no one else will have your outfit! I bought a sassy silky patterned top with blue sparklies from a shop named ISP: India Sari Palace; I'm sure you'll see me wearing it. You can also get your henna tattoo, or some eyebrow threading if you like.

Keep walking until you've visited all the shops, then you can consider some sweets. I went with Standard Sweets & Snacks. As treats are sold by the piece, select several and have an adventure. I'm not really sure what all I had, and some were definitely better than others, but it was all good. I can also recommend a mango lassi chaser to wash down the sweets.

These are highlights for just three of the shops I visited in Little India. Go explore for yourself, and feel like you had a real vacation!

Click here for Ashoka's Web site.
Click here for Standard Sweets & Snacks Web site.
ISP does not have a Web site and is located at 18640 S. Pioneer Boulevard.

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