I had not come across Howdah Gourmet Indian Snacks before I was emailed and asked if I would like to try some, a few days later a box of 6 different varieties arrived at ChileFoundry HQ. Before we start the review I would like to cover the name Howdah which I am told is derived from the Arabic (Hawdaj) and means “bed carried by a animal”, if you look at the logo on the packet you will see an elephant carrying a Howdah.
These snacks are distributed by Mumbai Foods and are made in India, so they are not some made in the UK copy..
What we are going to taste today are the Bakarwadi Bites, these are described as tiny, savoury pastries, rolled and filled with a blend of spices. and that is exactly what they look like.
The bites have a good crunch, with a great flavour from the coriander, cumin and fennel, the more I eat the warmer things become, but only warm, these are supposed to be a snack not a torture.
Ingredients: Wheat Flour (28%), Palmolein Oil. Sugar, Green Chilli Powder, Gram Flour, Fennel, White Sesame Seeds, Ground Spices (red chilli, cumin seeds, coriander seeds, curry leaves, stone flower, black pepper, cloves, nutmeg, bay leaves, mint leaves, fennel seeds, black salt, cardamom), Salt, Coriander Powder, Asafoetida, Citric Acid.
Pack kindly provided by Howdah Snacks (Mumbai Foods)
Looking at the ingredients list, I wanted to know more about a few items:
Stone flower:- Aka Parmotrema perlatum or Kalpasi is a kind of lichen and is used as a spice in India.
Black Salt:- Aka Kala Namak / Sanchal is a kind of rock salt with impurities (sodium sulphate, sodium bisulfate, sodium bisulfite, sodium sulphide, iron sulfide and hydrogen sulfide) that colours and gives the salt a pungent sulphur smell.
It is very hard not to eat the whole packet, but I do want to try them on the family later.. My wife’s first reaction was that would be good with a glass of red wine, enough said, they are a very welcome addition to the UK snacks marketplace, if you see them buy some, you wont regret it.
P.S. You can buy a box of 6 X 100g bags on their web site for just £11.94 (Less than £2.00 per pack).