It can sometimes be challenging to differentiate the many Indian restaurants in the Twin Cities. Delights of India (1023 W. Lake St., Minneapolis) has changed the status quo by presenting a dinner filled with chaat, snacks generally sold at roadside stalls throughout India.
Last night’s meal was organized by veteran food writer Jeremy Iggers of tc foodies, and prepared by his friends B.K. and Ameeta Arora of the Delights of India. It gave a select group of diners a first chance to try chaat at the restaurant.
The first course was a plate-sized peppery pappadum made of chickpea flour. It arrived topped off with a fresh Indian relish of tomotoes, onions, cilantro, and a whole lot of heat, and primed the group’s appetite.
Second up was Sweet Potato Alloo Chaat. Though traditionally made with conventional potatoes, this combined both sweet and regular varieties into a dish that was a sweet distraction from the heat lingering on our tongues. The texture of the potatoes mixed with puffed rice and lentil vermicelli; the bright flavor of cilantro was very pleasant and refreshing.
Next came Papri Chaat, made with lentil wafers, black and yellow chickpeas, yogurt, and ginger. This dish was a delight, its myriad flavors bound together by the yogurt into one harmonious mouthful.
It was clear the main dish, Alloo Choley with freshy fried poori, was the specialty of the evening. Poori itself is impressive, grapefruit sized pillows of aromatic bread — they were presented with a black chickpea curry by Chef B.K. himself. The Choley was not unlike a hearty stew of potatoes and beans with an insurmountable number of different spices flavoring the pot. This dish is meant to be eaten with your hands and was perfect for a wet, dreary fall evening.
Dessert arrived and was pleasantly small. Ladoo was a dense and sweet orb the size of a golfball. Slightly sticky though not overtly sweet, it had just a hint of cardamom at the end. The other dessert, a wedge of cashew puree, was bland compared to the Ladoo, but would be a great dessert alternative for those who don’t love sweets.
While not yet a mainstay on the restaurant’s menu, positive feedback from tcfoodies attendees as well as requests from patrons could help give chaat a permanent Lake Street home.
Delights of India
1023 W Lake St