Roti owner Qasim Malik, St. Helena Farmers' Market

Owner Qasim Malik brings authentic and creative Pakistani specialties to the St. Helena Farmers’ Market every Friday. He is eager to share samples from his dazzling array of colorful chutneys and dips.

Living in Napa Valley, we enjoy an abundance of wonderful local produce and other premium products. And yet, when it comes to lunch or dinner, I find the same tried and true dishes keep showing up on my table. This is about to change thanks to the St. Helena Farmers’ Market.

One of our newest vendors, Roti, is a family-owned business bringing authentic and creative Pakistani specialties to Farmers’ Markets throughout the Bay area. Owner Qasim Malik, who is both engaging and informative, is eager to share samples from his dazzling array of colorful chutneys and dips. After the first bite I was hooked.

We started with a garlic chip topped with a dollop of mango chutney and a dash of jalapeno chutney. Heavenly! It was the perfect balance of textures and salty, sweet and spicy flavors. Qasim claims he sells “the world’s best garlic chips.” While I haven’t tasted every garlic chip in the world, I can say that these are mighty good!

I went on to enjoy tastes of chicken samosa, Roti’s best seller, pumpkin parantha (stuffed bread), gluten-free pakora topped with various gluten-free dips, and gluten-free snack treats made with moong dal, a vegetarian superfood.

Roti also offers premixed spice blends including curry masala and garam masala. Armed with these delicacies, I’m ready to put some new twists on old favorites by adding jalapeno chutney to my scrambled eggs and mango chutney to chicken salad. You can be sure my next cocktail party will feature some bright and flavorful additions to my standard cheese and crackers.

This Friday, May 18, we invite you to join us for a special Cherry Berry Tasting from 9:30 to 11 a.m. Stop by and sample some of the season’s finest, including the sensational blueberries from Thor Farms.

The St. Helena Farmers’ Market is held in beautiful Crane Park every Friday from 7:30 until noon through the end of October. Come and discover the best locally grown organic produce, prepared foods and artisan crafts. For more information, please visit us online at sthelenafarmersmkt.org.

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Stacey Bressler is a local vintner, a member of the St. Helena Farmers’ Market Board of Directors and past Citizen of the Year.