Friday, January 24, 2014

Lay's India's Magic Masala Potato Crisps


My husband and I found these chips at an Indian market. I wasn't there for potato chips. In fact, I was there to buy loose leaf tea because it is one of the few places at which I can acquire Brooke Bond tea in the United States. In Japan, it was the only brand of tea bags that I liked and remains, in my less than sophisticated senses, the best mass market tea available. It's not Teavana level, mind you, but it also costs a lot less and has a nice robust flavor and floral aroma.

While perusing the shop and pondering whether I should pay $4 for the regular red box Brooke Bond or $4.49 for the "Taj Mahal" variety, we stumbled across these chips. I forked over the extra 49 cents, but I'm not sure the Taj Mahal is better than the red box. As for the chips, at a mere 99 cents per bag and with such an exotic-sounding flavor name, we could hardly pass it up.


The flavor of these is pretty amazing in its complexity. It hits you with cumin immediately followed by some chili flavors and onion, and then some sweetness. There are at least 3 layers of depth involved and the list of spices is long and explains how this is accomplished: spices (weird that this is listed then a long list of specific spices is given), chili powder, onion powder, dry mango powder, coriander, ginger, garlic, black pepper, turmeric, cumin, salt, black salt, sugar, tomato, citric acid, and tartaric acid.

This potent and complex mix also carries a strong bit of heat at the very end. If you're sensitive to hot things, this may be a little overwhelming, especially the cumulative heat that comes from it. My husband purchased these, but I'm wondering now if he will be able to bear the level of fire they offer. It's not that they're so hot. I can easily manage them, but I'm able to tolerate a lot more heat in my food than he is.

These are available on Amazon for a much higher price than I paid for them. Each bag is 2 servings at 2 oz./57 grams. For the 99 cents I paid (about 100 yen), they're well worth it for the novelty and complexity, but for $2.99 at Amazon, it's quite an indulgence, especially if you have to pay shipping.

To me, this is what flavored chips ought to bring to the table, though I do wonder if the flavor may be overbearing for some. One thing I used to think was that flavor-blasted snacks were mainly geared toward the American market, but I believe these are made for India or England. They are definitely made in India, and since I found them at an Indian market, I have to presume that they are something folks from that country might favor.

I don't buy or eat lots of potato chips, but I'd certainly entertain buying a bag of these again and if you like Indian spices and hot food, they're well worth a sampling.

2 comments:

Hirayuki said...

What a coincidence! I just brought home a bag of these today. They're great if you have a glass of milk nearby. ;)

If you like ginger or cardamom (elaichi) at all, look for the blue boxes of Tetley teabags in those flavors the next time you stop by the Indian place. They could be a nice change from regular black tea now and then. And don't forget the Bourbon chocolate sandwich cookies to go with! Yum.

SirJman said...

These are available in Singapore as well, along with a couple other flavours. Usually 3 bags for $1.50SGD