Where Indian food is concerned, the one thing that seems a universal constant here is comfort. I don’t find a lot of fine dining hereabouts, but all around is food that is filling, satisfying, simple and, well, yummy. A top example is Nandu’s, where they serve pretty much just parathas, a griddle-fried pancake made from wheat flour and stuffed with different things. Just like the swedish meatball, every culture has its own version of the pancake. India, abundantly blessed in so many ways, has many versions, from dosa to roti to paratha to uppam to madak saan to cheelas and more.
But Nandu’s is pure paratha. Here’s what you get:
This one was stuffed with potato and chopped fresh green chili. It comes with coriander chutney, some raita, and some pickle – mango, lime or other vegetable in salt, vinegar and more chili. On the spoon is a dollop of ghee – clarified butter. It all comes to you hot off the griddle. You drizzle the ghee all over, tear off bite-size chunks of pancake, dunk in raita or chutney, and then eat. Then you eat more, and along with thinking how just plain good it is – the butter, the pancake, the filling, all fresh and hot – you’re also cursing every hour you ever wasted eating American fast-food.
The price … wait for it … a big, big Rs. 90, or about $1.50.
I’ve been in India over a year, with less than a year remaining and people are already asking, “What will you miss when you go?” I have a lot of work to do on that list, but the #1 entry is easy: Nandu’s.