To think that the stomach of an average American is not equipped to handle spice and then recommend south Indian cuisine to them, may seem a bit odd. But there’s a lot more flavors linked to south Indian food that are being served in south Indian restaurants in USA. Fortunately, the tides are beginning to turn in favor of south Indian cuisine. What has caused this favorable shift though?
Only the condiments and spices used can be accredited for this. South Indian food is characterized by the liberal use of numerous spices, all with a well-defined and distinguishing taste. In my opinion, the authentic south Indian flavor comes from the final tempering that is done using oil or ghee. An archetypal south Indian tempering would have all or some of the following: mustard seeds, cumin seeds, curry leaves, coriander leaves, red chilies, urad dal, chana dal and dried chilies.
Apart from this the south Indian cuisine abundantly uses turmeric, tamarind, red chili powder, dried or fresh coconut, coriander powder, cumin powder, star anise, nutmeg, clove, cardamom, cinnamon and black pepper, to name a few.
Some of the best south Indian restaurants in USA also make use of these spices and retain an exquisite balance of flavors and textures in a meal. Dharani also falls under one of these restaurants that serve south Indian cuisine in USA. And they are doing a great job at it! Their food remains matchless in terms of the quality and don’t even get me started on the taste; I could write a bible-length book expressing my love for their south Indian food menu that is definitely a pride for them. For all the right reasons, if I may add.
Their Chettinad food is spot on with all Karaikudi spices being used. Also, I can’t stop raving about their Gongura chicken. For a south Indian restaurant in USA, it’s a rather bold move to experiment with the spices that are part of the south Indian treasure. Their Gongura Chicken is a testimony to their dauntless moves with cooking. Their chicken Sukha is another favorite of mine, the spices are again, authentic and full of flavor. One bite and you’ll be on a culinary adventure to Mangalore. No doubt, the indulgent usage of spices by Dharani has only worked to their advantage. They have a lot more people coming in with these bona fide spices and ingredients that add a genuine feel to your meal. The American mentality is get what you pay for.
Dharani gives this mentality a run for the money. Not only do they create a truly amazing dining experience, they give you much more than what you pay for. Fine dining quality at half the price! The food is delicious of course. But the entire idea of not having to shell out big bucks to relish an authentic meal is the real kick here. Personally, the spices are just a fragment of what makes this south Indian cuisine so genuine. The real hero is the marriage of these spices with the freshest of ingredients that work in harmony to give your tastebuds the much needed thrill they crave for.