According to the packaging, Fatafat is an “Ayurvedic digestive pill.” So technically, it’s health food. But as me and all the other Indian kids who grew up sneaking packets out of the pantry after dinner know, Fatafat is basically candy. Round, soft, chewy black orbs made of salt, sugar, cumin, amchur (mango powder), and ajwain (carom seeds) that happen to aid in digestion. Digestive snacks, or churan, are a whole category in India, and I can’t think of anything else that packs so much umami in a single package.
Fatafat has the I-can’t-stop-eating-these quality of Reese’s Pieces, the electrifying tang of Sour Patch Kids, and the salt-sugar ratio of Chewy SweeTARTS. Plus, it really does help settle your stomach! Fatafat was in such high demand in my house growing up that my older sister tricked me into thinking Fatafat was actually just little pieces of poop (to be fair, that’s what it looks like) so she could hog our limited stash. Only Indians would be so bold as to make candy and label it as medicine, and my acid reflux and I are forever here for it. —Priya Krishna, contributing writer
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Originally Appeared on Bon Appétit