You bet we did. 😉
After an odious meal at an Indian restaurant in Long Island the other day, we were in such a foul temper that we stopped at the Ganesh Temple in Flushing, New York for some benediction.
Oh no, not divine benediction for the soul but for a palliative for our miserable stomach.
You see, while we are not so enamored of Ganesh’s spiritual prowess we’re more than heartened by his gargantuan appetite.
Is it any surprise then that inside the Flushing temple canteen a statue of the Ganesh, yes, he with the swollen belly, has been installed directly facing the kitchen.
In a gluttonous mood, we ejaculated a stream of snack orders to the lady at the counter: Jangir, Laddu, Mixture, Muruku, Ribbon Pakoda, Pulihora Paste, Mysore Pak, Mango Lassi, Idli Miligai Podi, Rasmalai and Badushah.
Some snacks like the Mango Lassi, Rasmalai and Laddu we consumed at the temple, others like the Ribbon Pakoda in the car and Mixture, Badusha et al at home. (Hey, why are Nityananda Kamananda’s books still floating around inside the temple?)
Overlooking the Temple Kitchen
If you ignore the not-so-cold but still decent Mango Lassi and the rude counter-clerk (yes, the dark-skinned mami with the nose-stud), you can’t beat the Flushing Temple Canteen for snacks.
It’s truly non pareil. In a city littered with crappy Indian restaurants, the dingy, self-serve Flushing Ganesh Temple Canteen stands tall.
Mixture – Fine Companion for Booze
In a long life, you can bet we’ve tried a variety of snacks with our preprandial and postprandial drinks.
But nothing – not even Chicken 65 – comes anywhere near the Ganesh Temple Mixture (the $1 packet lasts for two booze sessions). A spicy delight, we tell ya, it goes very well with Gin and Dev D (the movie). Hey, Paro (Mahie Gill) and Chanda (Koel Koechlin) in Dev D sure look as hot and spicy as the Ganesh Temple Mixture. 😉
The Mixture is followed closely by the Ribbon Pakoda and the Muruku.
We also purchased a box each of Tamarind Paste and Idli Miligai Powder for $3 a piece.
After tasting a spoon of the yummilicious Pulihora (made by mixing the Tamarind paste with hot rice), we cursed ourselves for not visiting the temple in the last few years.
Slightly sweetish-sour and spicy at the same time, and containing peanuts the Pulihora was truly out of the world.
We even tried the Tamarind paste as an accompaniment to Idli. Great, we heartily recommend the combination.
Flushing Ganesh Temple Canteen
Oh, no the Ganesh Temple is not a retreat merely for spicy stuff.
The Mysore Pak ($1), a sweet treat from the South Indian state of Karnataka, melted in our mouth. Heavenly. Second only to putting your hand in your pant or better still in your inamorata’s pant. No, not in Ganesh’s dhoti, we wouldn’t advise that. 😉
Sipping the sweet milk in the Rasmalai, a sweet delight from Bengal in Eastern India, was akin to putting your mouth straight to the honey-pot. 😉
No kidding, guys. It was that delicious. We keep sipping and licking from our spoon until there was nothing more to lick or sip. The two milky white soft patties in the Rasmalai quickly disappeared into the netherworld of our stomach.
Badusha was a little dry but was still sweet and tasty.
Alas, the reddish-hued Jangir was a little short of sugar but still more than palatable.
The Boondi Laddu, medium-sized ones by the way, packed a yellow camphor flavor, and with the right texture and sugar reminded us of the famous Tirupati Laddus (bigger in size, of course).
Given our insatiable appetite for fresh maal, it pleased us no end that all of the items we purchased at the Ganesh Temple Canteen had a fresh flavor and smell.
Great Vegetarian Bhojan in NYC
Folks, whether you believe in God or not the next time you are visiting NYC make sure you drop in at the Flushing Ganesh Temple Canteen for the fine snacks and food.
Amidst the endless Sahara of crappy Indian restaurants in New York City, the Flushing Ganesh Temple is an oasis of fine, authentic Indian snacks and food (we had the food during our previous visit).
Next time you feel like a vegetarian bhojan in NYC, head for the Flushing Ganesh Temple Canteen without a second thought. This place is Moksha, even for non-Hindus.
Ganesh Temple Canteen Review