Sunday, July 10, 2011

Aditi Indian Kitchen at the Union Station in Washington DC

Food court, Union Station,Washington, DC

I met an old friend after almost 25 years and had lunch at the Aditi Indian Kitchen, in the food court of Union Station in Washington, DC.

This is a barebones affair.  A few dishes are set out behind the counter and they dole it out to you on paper plates.  The vegetarian dishes caught my eye, for they are not that common. There was vegetable biryani (common enough), but along with it “bonda karhi” and “chana saag” (chickpea-spinach)”.

The food was just what you would expect on a busy street restaurant in India.  Nothing delicate about it.  The vegetable biryani was good--it is really hard to screw up a biryani.  Curry is derived from the traditional North Indian “karhi”, made with yogurt and gram flour.  It is a smooth yellow sauce, and the yogurt seems to bind everything together, soaking into anything that it encounters.  Let lose into this karhi are the “bonda”, pronounced not as you would 007’s last name, but as in “bone”—potato dumplings with a crusted batter around it.  After being cooked in this karhi the bonda loses its crispness aquiring the pliant texture of a junior accompanying artist.  There is nothing junior about the bonda though, when it is well made, and this was a good karhi that afternoon at this Indian Kitchen.   The chana saag was somewhat watery, not as dry as the curries you get here, which is a good thing for North East Indian palates like mine, the spinach nicely offsetting the  bite of the chanas.  The food was hot, but it was not due to an overdose of powdered red chili—this is only too easy.  It was honest food.

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