Annual Sikh Festival
It’s always an impossibly gorgeous day on this, one of my favorite afternoons of the year. The lovely and generous Sikhs return to Madison Avenue to honor gurus and martyrs and serve up generous portions of vegetarian food for anyone who would like to partake. The first sight of gleaming orange turbans against the gray arches of the Met Life building unleashes some kind of primal drool in me. Women and children wander table side carrying plates brimming over with tamarind chickpeas, saffron rice, lightly oiled naan…gleaming themselves in bedazzled saris and wide smiles.
They’re just so nice. Generous. Happy that you have come to enjoy the festivities and ply you with domino-sized karah prashad, a remarkable and simple bite made from sugar, butter, flour, and water.
They practically stuff your pockets with fresh fruit, bottled water, juices and Moong Dal, a crunchy lentil snack that I now live for. Then there’s the food. Dine on the street or take it home.
Even though I was clearly told the names of particular dishes, I sadly can’t remember them now. Maybe it’s the food malaise induced by tofu chickpeas in yogurt sauce, curried vegetable dumplings, delicate chapati or this nameless dish of orange shreds, zesty with a hint of sweetness that I’m insane for. Looks like I’ll have to find out next year. Can’t wait!
Madison Avenue between 24/27th Street
One day a year in April