Jared and I both love indian food. I’d have to say that NIRVANA on Main St. served up the best Indian meal I’ve had outside of Vij’s – ever. Major price different though – our indulgent lunch for two at Nirvana was only $30. Sadly for Jared, he wasn’t with me – but we’ll definitely be going back. I was dining there with travel writer Lori Henry collecting tips on how to rock the 365 Days of Dining job for Tourism Richmond and since she’s vegetarian, we stuck with meatless dishes for this lunch. For those of you not too familiar with Indian food, today’s post is a bit of a guide to what the labels above mean.
We hope the descriptions and the photos above to illustrate will be more useful than saying AMAZING, TASTY, and an EXPLOSION OF FLAVOURS PERFECTLY BLENDED in regards to every item we had. If you’re curious why we wouldn’t want to say those things when food blogging, check out the first video on Crystal’s website in our series of tips that Lori shared over lunch.
PAPADUMS: a thin, crisp indian ‘cracker’. These are often served before a meal – like bread in Italian places or tortilla chips in Mexican restaurants. The preparation varies from place to place, but they are often served with a chutney style dip as an appetizer.
VEGETABLE PAKORAS (BHAJI): a vegetable “fritter” made of blended up spinach, cauliflower, potatoes, cilantro and ginger which is then battered in seasoned chick pea flour and deep fried.
TOFU TIKKA: Tofu marinated in spices and then cooked in a tandoor (clay oven) with onions and peppers and served with a side of a creamy, tomato-based sauce that is flavourfully spiced.
PALAK PANEER: Fresh spinach cooked with Paneer – a kind of homemade cheese. Paneer is a bit like soft tofu or compressed cubes of cottage cheese.
KHEER: Traditional chilled rice pudding, with almonds and pistachios.
MANGO KHULFI: Mango and saffron flavoured Indian ice cream, enriched with nuts and rosewater.
FENNEL CANDY & SEEDS: Served at the end of a meal (usually presented with the cheque) this mixture of fennel seeds, and candy coated fennel seeds will cleanse your palate after a rich meal. They taste like liquorice.