April 20, 2011

A Lunch Feast at Saravanaa Bhavan in NYC

Recently, my niece, Sophie Herbert, asked me to join her for lunch at one of her favorite restaurants, Saravanaa Bhavan, located at 81 Lexington Avenue in Manhattan.  This area of the city is known as Curry Hill, for the abundance of Indian restaurants and markets found there.  Saravanaa Bhavan specializes in South Indian vegetarian cuisine and is actually a chain of fifty-seven restaurants located across the globe.  Sophie first discovered Saravanaa Bhavan when visiting New Delhi, India several years ago and was very happy to learn of the New York City location.  Unfortunately, I was involved with a photo shoot and could not meet her, but I asked Sophie to take photographs for my blog and after seeing them, I plan on eating there with her soon.  No matter what region of India, aromatic spices are the essence of its cuisine.  Some tend to be spicy, but the majority are just extremely flavorful.  Here are some Indian food terms you may not be familiar with.

Chapati – an unleavened flat bread, also known as roti
Chutney – a condiment made from fruits, vegetables, herbs, and spices
Dosa – a savory crepe or pancake made from fermented rice and lentil batter
Idli – a savory steamed cake made from fermented rice and lentil batter
Masala – a mixture of spices
Sambar – a vegetable stew or chowder
Thali – a selection of dishes, usually served in small bowls on a round tray
Tiffin – a lunch or any light meal

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Photos By Martha Stewart @marthastewart and Eliad Laskin @joemartha