A Taste of Kailash Parbat's Vegetarian Sindhi Fare
The Veggielante is on a mission to spread the word about places to order good, meatless grub. Check out this week's pick.
KP chaat platter at Kailash Parbat | Tara Mahadevan
Destination: Kailash Parbat (99 Lexington Avenue, 212-679-4232)
Neighborhood: Murray Hill
Overview: The first Kailash Parbat opened in Mumbai in 1952, after the owners -- the Mulchandani brothers -- emigrated from Pakistan to India during the 1947 partition. Hailing from the Sindh region of Pakistan, the brothers made sure Kailash Parbat's menu was packed with many traditional Sindhi recipes, such as koki, a type of flatbread served with yogurt and pickles, and chole, a stew made with tomato, chickpeas, and onions. Now, 62 years later, third-generation owners Amit and Gary Mulchandani have opened the restaurant's first New York branch. Kailash Parbat caters to both Hindu and Muslim diets by keeping a strictly vegetarian menu.
Highlights: Kailash Parbat is known for its chaat, a type of savory snack and a typical street food found in India, Pakistan, Nepal, and Bangladesh. There are many variants of chaat, but the usual ingredients include pieces of fried dough, potato, chickpeas, yogurt, onion, coriander, chili, chutney, tamarind sauce, bhel or puffed rice, and sev, a type of crunchy noodle.
Kailash Parbat's menu features a chaat bar, with a wide array of classic chaat dishes to choose from. We decided to go with the KP chaat platter ($12), which includes a little bit of everything -- from left to right: dahiwada, corn basket, khatte methe aloo, and bhel puri. Any type of chaat you decide upon will incorporate many different flavors -- tangy, sweet, and spicy -- paired with different textures. For example, the bhel puri -- which is made of bhel (puffed rice), sev (crunchy noodles), potato, onion, and tamarind sauce -- is soft and chewy due to the profusion of tamarind sauce; conversely, the corn basket chaat, which are corn cups filled with similar ingredients, has an extra crunch due to the corn basket itself.
The dahiwada and bhel puri were on the sweeter side -- the dahiwada is naturally sweeter due to the yogurt, and the bhel puri had a little too much tamarind sauce. However, the corn basket and khatte methe aloo were true to both taste and texture.
Ragda pattice at Kailash Parbat | Tara Mahadevan
Kailash Parbat's ragda pattice ($7.50) features two potato cutlets with a side of chole, the tomato, chickpea, and onion stew described earlier. The cutlets are thick and soft, with a crispy exterior; the spice-less potato cutlets pairs well with the spiciness of the chole. As you pour the chole over the cutlets, the cutlets soak in the chole broth, allowing them to remain crispy in some places, yet soft in others. The ragda pattice are a great starting dish for two.
These dishes are only some of the many, many vegetarian options found on Kailash Parbat's menu. The restaurant also has an Indo-Chinese section -- India's adaptation of Chinese food -- with such dishes as the ever-popular veg manchurian dry ($11), which features deep fried vegetable balls cooked in an Indo-Chinese sauce.