Sunday, August 12, 2012

Indian food and the joy of eating in New Orleans

Tom and I went over the bridge to Gretna to check out an Indian place called Saffron NOLA, which is primarily a catering company which also serves dinner on Friday nights. They've begun doing a monthly brunch that focuses on specific regional cuisines of the country.  Today's brunch was inspired by the Kerala region, which they describe as a "Cuisine of the Syrian Christians of Kerala." Here's the menu:

Served A La Minute
From The Kitchen 

Puttu (Steamed Coarse Rice Cake) 
Paalappam (Lace Rimmed Pancakes)
Kallappam (Toddy Pancakes)
Parippu Vada (Lentil Fritters)
Parotta (Flaky Kerala Flat Bread) 


At The Buffet:

Kadala Karri (Curried Chickpeas) 
Kezangu Varthathu (Potato Sauté)
Avial (Mixed Vegetable) 
Dried Prawns and Cabbage 
Thakall Chertha Meen Karri (Tomato Fish Curry) 
Mooriyerachi Roast (Spicy Beef Pot Roast) 
Kozhi Ishtew (Chicken Stew) 
Mutta Roast (Egg Roast Curry) 
Steamed Rice

Tender Mango Pickle, Lime and Green Pepper Pickle 
Brinjal Pickle, Minced Shrimp Pickle, Bitter Gourd Pickle

Ah, the Indian pickle. Tom was in love with the pickle table. It's a condiment that's found much more frequently in the UK than in the US, and he misses it. So he was in high heaven. If you can read the signs, you can see they are very bold and interesting flavor combinations. The lime and green pepper pickle was a little too hardcore for me, but Tom loved it.

Dessert was a lovely mango mousse:

The food was just excellent. The curries, the pickles, the bread...I was so excited to be there and try a version of this cuisine I'd never had before. The fish curry, the chicken stew, and the egg roast were all very delicately seasoned and incredibly delicious. I loved everything (except maybe that lime green pepper pickle).

After coming home and trying to decide what to do for dinner, I realized that we have an embarrassment of riches as far as dining options are concerned. Not just fancy pants places like Coquette or Root or August, but on Sunday night alone I had the option of getting food from amazing chefs from Hush Supper Club (Pete Vasquez), NOLA Smokehouse at the Avenue Pub (Rob Bechtold) and Pizza Delicious (Mike & Greg). They all pop up on Sunday and it is a painful decision on who to choose every week! This week we went with a few thing from Chef Pete (Cornish pasty, butter chicken, and cold sesame noodles) and a potato pizza from Pizza Delicious. But I was also sorely tempted by NOLA Smokehouse's gumbo ya-ya and shrimp ceviche. Decisions! 

And those were hardly the only options. Coquette's started doing family style Sunday dinners, Maurepas has begun a Sunday night prix fixe which includes dinner, dessert, a cocktail and a glass of wine for $50. There's Killer PoBoys in the Quarter (which actually closes at 5 on Sunday but is usually open till 10) and around the corner from that is St. Lawrence, a new place that I've heard nothing but raves about. There's Hoof & Cleaver, a porky popup, and Milkfish, which bills itself as a Taste of the Phillipines. 

There are three Vietnamese joints on Magazine, a Korean place on South Claiborne, La Divinia for panini and gelato, TSAI vegetarian food at the OCH Market every 2nd Saturday of the month, salted caramel popsicles downtown, "Coolinary" prix fixe at Sobou (and other places), Friday "Snoceaux Loceaux lunch" at Hansen's with the Taceaux Loceaux taco truck parked in front, Slavic soul food (chicken paprikash on Saturday nights only!) in Siberia... it's just mind-blowing the food that's coming out in this city right now. All the old standards are still great, and still important, but it's this increasing global influence that makes New Orleans a very special place to be. And eat.

Kind of fitting that so many of my food joys coincide with Sunday, because if eating is my religion, the New Orleans is the most worthy pilgrimage I can think of. It's a temple and cathedral to the joy of cooking and eating and drinking.


  1. Killer Poboys
    Current Operating Hours
    12-10 Wed -Sat
    12-5 Sun
    More hours and Days coming soon
    Plus Local Delivery
    Viva Killer Poboys

  2. Your blog is really awesome. Thanks for sharing your experiences. I like Indian food, culture, Hindi tradition, Hindi music etc . I have tried many Indian recipes which i got from youtube and many other website. I like visiting Indian restaurants in weekend.