Indian Sweets To Escape Gravity!
Sunita Willams, the record setting space traveler is destined to walk in space again, come July. She along with her Russian & Japanese colleagues will take off from Baikonur Cosmodrome located in Kazakhstan on the 14th of July. But of course, the astronaut of Indian origin would love to munch on Indian sweets up above in the sky.
The ubiquitous samosa or the patty filled with spiced potatoes as the Americans know it offered her solace in 2006 when she spent a long time perfecting her space walk. She is looking forward to carrying a batch of sukhdis or golpapdis, a form of Indian sweets on this tour to the far and beyond. The wheat and jaggery containing snack is not too sweet in taste and would help her to get her daily dose of dietary fibers. Sunita is quite fond of this concoction and would have nothing to do with the more popular jalebi humorously referred to as the syrupy ‘round & round’ sweet by the snob class of India. What’s more the sukhdi will keep for a long period and might just set a record for itself too as the first ever Indian sweet to have escaped from the clutches of gravity!
Magas na laadu is yet another favorite that Sunita aspires to take with her. This sweetened gram flour balls are hard and dry making it easier for her to carry them in compact containers. All of these are typical sweets from the Western region of India and this particular laddoo has absolutely no relation to its rich and flavorful North Indian counterpart which has many an adage connected with it.
Memories Of Food In India
Sunita has her doting uncle and aunt ever ready to prepare these delicacies for her. In fact, three of her family members hope to see her off in Kazakhstan and hand them over to her. Her extended family in India fondly recalls how she used to stop for a roadside meal at dhabas and ate the wholesome meal of rotis and subzi while touring the country on her last visit here. She is also extremely fond of bhajiyas, a deep fried delicacy recollects her uncle, Dinesh Rawal, chuckling as he recounts how amazed she was at finding bits of potatoes stuffed within it. "She wanted to learn the art of stuffing it herself," he says, quite amused by the fact that a world renowned astronaut could be perplexed by such a small thing as a potato filling.
NASA Food Regulations
Sunita herself admits her weakness for all food Indian! However, she is a disciplined space traveler and does follow the NASA regulations which mean that nothing under the rank of 6 could be consumed while in space. There is a generous variety of food served away from the earth though and Sunita is open to other options which include waffles, scrambled eggs and lasagna.
It still isn’t known whether NASA would allow homemade food to be carried along. In fact, there have been quite a few angry voices demanding to substantiate the facts and claiming that space shuttles would never ever permit an astronaut to escape from Earth with Indian sweets. Would it have been okay if she decided to take chocolate chip cookies instead? No one knows for sure but the debate rages on for now…
Image Credit- enlokam.blogspot