12 Childhood Desi Snacks That Made You Smile As a Kid

June 25, 2015 - by Naureen

Growing up in America, I may have lost out on some elements of the South Asian culture, but I love my Frooti as much as any resident Indian. As an ode to summer, we’re sharing a list of our favorite childhood desi snacks.

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Warning: the images that proceed may directly lead to excessive hunger and salivation.

1. Frooti

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Image Courtesy: Core Comminique

Yes, Frooti, you are indeed “fresh and juicy.” Nothing could quench your thirst following a samosa better than Frooti’s mango-ey goodness.

2. Hajmola

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Image Courtesy: Amazon

Move over warheads, consuming these sour tasting “digestive tablets” was the easiest way to make funny faces!

3. Maggi

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Image Courtesy: Spoon University

Before the reports of possible poisonous elements, this childhood staple truly proved that “happiness is homemade” in under two minutes. Sigh, we’ll miss you lead-ridden maggi.

4. Parle-G Biscuits

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Image courtesy: Namaste Plaza

In my husband’s family, our niece and nephew lovingly refer to these as fob cookies. I have fond memories of my mother feeding me a biscuit lightly dunked in a warm cup of chai. Mmmmm.

5. Rooh Afzah (Rose Syrup)

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Image Courtesy: Asian Food Centre

Frooti may have held a special spot in our hearts, but a cold glass of Rooh Afzah mixed in milk or water was on another level entirely. This Ramadan staple was a prized commodity at every iftaar. Was anyone else guilty of the pink milk-mustache post-iftaaring as a child?

6. Kurkure

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Image Courtesy: Nidhi Varshneya's Blog

These aren’t your garden variety corn puffs. Nope, these Juhi-approved snacks came in a number of flavors, including my favorite: Chili Chatka.

7. Lay’s Masala Chips

Lay

Image Courtesy: Namaste Plaza

Why anyone would prefer a plain-old, bag of Lay’s to the masala version is beyond my level of comprehension. Plain Lay’s are so basic.

8. Muruku

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Image Courtesy: India Mart

While the twisted shape is reminiscent of Jalebi, these savory snacks provided the right level of crunchy satisfaction. I could never fit an entire one in my mouth though. I will one day… #lifegoals.

9. Tea Rusks

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Image Courtesy: Khana Pakana

I never really enjoyed these as a kid, but it was almost "cool" to be seen dunking a rusk in a cup of chai. It was like you were a semi-adult who was sophisticated and responsible enough to handle hot beverages and eat rusk without supervision.

10. Thums Up

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Image Courtesy: Namaste Plaza

Does anyone else remember eyeing the glass bottle Thums Up in the Indian grocery store? Sigh, Thums up tasted so much better than coke.

11. Bhujia/Bhel/Moong Dal Mixtures

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Image Courtesy: Amazon

With the variety of “namkeen” mixtures out there, it was hard to choose just one! My philosophy as a child was “got to catch them all” or cry until your mother picks one bag from the ten you stole off the shelf.

12. Soan Papdi

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Image Courtesy: Khana Pakana

This flaky, melt-in-your-mouth goodness was the perfect sweet snack. As a kid, it totally reminded me of the freeze-dried ice cream astronauts would eat. As an adult, I stare at the empty box and wonder how I ate it all.

We hope you enjoyed this trip down food-coma, memory lane! Did we miss any your favorite childhood desi snacks? Sound off in the comments below.

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