Please note that the meal was complimentary. However, the opinions expressed in my blog are 100% my own!
Indian cuisine is so broad that I am always amazed to try new dishes never seen before. I have tried a lot, not only in the various restaurants in New York that I visited, but also during my multiple trips in India, having visited Mumbai and Delhi, as well as a memorable trip across Rajasthan few years back. Indian cuisine is one of the few where I do not mind eating vegetarian, forgetting, the time of a meal, my love for meat. And going to Kailash Parbat in Curry Hill did not change that curiosity that I have for Indian food, to the contrary. First of all, there were only few dishes that I knew on their menu: no paneer tikka masala or chana masala. Second, I learned few things I did not know. To start, the name of the restaurant comes from a sacred Himalayan mount, Mount Kailash (Parbat = mount). Then, the restaurant serves two kinds of specialties:
- Sindhi dishes: Sindhi are a socio-ethnic group of people originating from Sindh, a province of modern-day Pakistan. After the 1947 independence of India and Pakistan, many Sindhi Hindus migrated to India and some later settled in other parts of the world - Source: Wikipedia.
- Jain dishes: Jainism ancient Indian religion that prescribes the path of non-violence (ahiṃsā) towards all living beings. Jain philosophy distinguishes the soul (consciousnesses) from the body (matter) - Source: Wikipedia. In this case, they crafted a menu made of dishes cooked without any roots (no potatoes for instance, no garlic...).
There are several locations of Kailash Parbat across the globe: in India of course, as well as in London, Singapore and New York. The story of this place, founded by the Mulchandani brothers is interesting: the brothers were selling food in the 40s in the street of Karachi, at the time India and Pakistan were one country. One of their specialty was Pani Puri, a crispy bite-sized bread (puri) filled with a mixture of spiced water (pani), sweet and sour tamarind sauce as well as different fillings. But, in 1947, during the partition, they fled to India, leaving behind their valuables, but making sure they kept with them the utensils used to make their Sindhi street food. Few years later, in 1952, they opened Kailash Parbat in Mumbay and started the adventure, opening the location in Manhattan two years ago.
It is a casual place that has its charm. At the entrance, you cannot miss the golden Lord Ganesha that kinds of greets you in the premises. Then, on the left, is the chaat bar, where you can built your own snacks, a true ode to how the founders started selling street food.
We started off our culinary experience with beverages. Jodi went for a masala chai that had a wonderful color and incredible aroma.
But the color was not as vibrant as the one from my mango lassi that was delicious and perfect to sooth my palate whenever needed, some of the dishes having a nice kick.
The first dish was the chaat platter, a sampler that included bhel puri, dahiwada and corn baskets and khatte metthe aloo:
This is a great way to try different dishes that are typical street food items. So, first was, on the right, Bhel Puri, that is puffed rice served with a chaat mixture and chutney. Mixed in it was red onion that definitely added a kick.
In the center was my favorite: Khette Metthe Aloo or crispy corn baskets and potato wafers mixture topped with various chutneys. I loved the sweet and savory taste of it, as well as the crispiness of these tiny baskets.
Then, on the left, was Dahi Wada, a soft savory cake mixed with chaat chutneys and yogurt.
Then came the Bhee ki Tikki: this is a traditional Sindhi dish made with a lotus stem coated with a spicy mixture of gram flour and deep fried.
It was accompanied with a sauce that was a mix of tamarind and mint sauces. I loved the crispiness of it, as well as the taste that had a nice kick. The surprise was to discover the lotus stem in the center.
After that, came the mushrooms Makhmali:
It is mushrooms stuffed with spiced cottage cheese that are skewered and cooked in a clay oven. This was succulent: the mushrooms were perfectly cooked and I thought the yogurt on top added some freshness to the dish.
After these delicious appetizers, came our entrees. First was Dal Pakwan, a dish only served on Sundays for lunch and that is usually eaten for breakfast.
That was another favorite of mine! It is curried lentils (dal), served with a crispy flat bread (pakwan) and pickles. I loved it: the pakwan was crispy and very addictive, perfect with this lentils dish that was fantastic. I am not sure how they cook them, but they were soft and had a buttery texture. The way you eat it is by putting some of the lentils on the bread and top it with the sauces (again the mixed tamarind and mint sauces).
The other spectacular entree that they propose is The Kailash Parbat Bhatura platter.
Bhatura is fluffy deep fried leavened bread from North India, very close to Puri. It is made with refined wheat flour and comes in three different flavors: from left to right, there was pain, fenugreek (my favorite), spices and cottage cheese. They were served with a dish made of chickpea and served with cottage cheese (paneer). The bread was so good, that I could have eaten it without anything on top. My favorite was the fenugreek one, but they were all very good, not greasy and slightly crunchy. The presentation was spectacular and very appetizing.
Last was dessert. The first one was not unknown to me: Kesar Rasmalai, skimmed milk dumplings dipped in cold saffron milk.
But the most surprising one was the kulfi falooda, a pistachio ice cream that topped some sweet vermicelli noodles.
At the beginning, I did not know what it was and simply thought it was ice cream, and a good ice cream in fact, quite rich. But then, I discovered the sweet vermicelli noodles underneath.
I really liked this dessert: it was deliciously sweet but not too sweet and these vermicelli noodles were a nice touch.
We left the restaurant stuffed and glad that we tried these dishes that we have never seen before. Kailash Parbat might be a vegetarian restaurant, but trust me: eating there you will not miss any meat. And I will sure go back for some more discovery of incredible flavors Indian cuisine has to offer.
Enjoy (I did)!
If you like this post, the photos or the blog, please feel free to share it or post a comment. Merci!