Thursday, April 03, 2014

Ah-dil

A trip to Adil Stores never fails to amaze me. Essentially, it's an Indian supermarket which has a wide selection of dry groceries and kitchen items, but what it really stocks is Indian nostalgia.

For instance, here's where you can find Milan Supari or Amul Shrikhand or Rasna or even 'Indian Maggi'. The larger supermarkets like Lulu or Choithram's may have Mother's Recipe or Priya Pickles. But at Adil, you can find Bedekar's brand of pickles. Again, at the larger supermarkets, you can find a wide range of Basmati rice, but at Adil, you can get the lesser known Ambe Mohar or Kolam varieties. You'll also find things you might have lost a taste for back in India, but may suddenly develop a yearning for like khari biscuits or boiled sweets shaped like orange segments or amla supari. 

Going beyond foodstuff, Adil recreates another old Indian tradition - of grinding grain in a stone mill and packing it right before your eyes. This used to be the norm in the India when I was growing up. I remember how my sister and I would heave a metal tin filled with wheat to the stone mill, and then lug home the hot tin with soft, golden flour. I remember how we giggled at the man in the stone mill whose hair, moustache and clothes were always covered in white flour. 'Ghost ghost', we'd whisper to each other.

I saw the stone mill in a sectioned off area in Adil, where flour was being ground, but there was no ghost. The man working the mill wore an apron and his head was covered with the mandatory hairnet. Everything was sanitised and neat, as per municipality rules. The freshly ground flour was packed in a brown paper bag. (I once worked with a multinational client who dealt in packaged flour, and he mentioned that his competition wasn't other packaged flour brands, but Adil Stores.)

I also saw a poster in the store which said, 'Gluten Free Atta'. Given my intolerance to gluten, I was intrigued. The flour featured a blend of rice, sorghum, garbanzo and other flours, and cost about Dhs. 20 for 1 kg. I was impressed that gluten intolerance was even acknowledged in an Indian supermarket, given that rotis and naans are such an important part of an Indian diet. I also spotted organic basmati rice and organic sugar and even organic jaggery.

Clearly, despite its stronghold on the nostalgia market, Adil believed in keeping with the times.



1 comment:

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Adil is a really good and affordable super market where you get to see variety of Indian spices, eatables and other things. All the things are at affordable prices which falls within your budget.