I quickly stumped the clerk who helped me find groceries at the Indian market in Issaquah, Washington. She looked at the length of the shopping list on my clipboard, then at me, and said, “Let me find the manager.” He and I sped through the first 10 or 15 ingredients, stuff like black chickpeas, Kashmiri chili powder, jaggery, nigella seed, curry leaves, and buttermilk, before he caved.
“What are you making?”
These purchases created a whole new annex to my spice drawer. I was happily switching from being a consumer of one of my favorite foods—the Indian snack food known