Friday, July 14, 2006

Dining in L.A.: Annapurna Cuisine and Reflecting About India

If you've read this blog much at all, you know I'm not really a serious restaurant reviewer like some food bloggers. So when I give you these little glimpses into my restaurant-eating-life, it may be overstating it to call them reviews. For the most part, these restaurant photos are simply my way of recording good memories. I only write about restaurants I've loved visiting, and I hope you enjoy sharing the memories with me.

I went to a number of great restaurants when I was in Venice Beach a few weeks ago visiting Rand and Bradley, but I'm especially thinking about Annapurna Cuisine today because India is on my mind for a couple of reasons. Like others around the world, I've been shocked and saddened by the senseless violence that has taken place there recently. India is a country I've never known much about, but over the last year I've greatly enjoyed reading Indian food blogs and getting a glimpse into the diverse cultural traditions that make Indian society so complex.

Last night I saw a powerful movie called Water, written and directed by an amazingly talented Indian woman named Deepa Mehta. The movie portrays the treatment of widows in India in the 1930's, when women whose husbands died became outcasts, with no right to remarry or participate in society. Apparently in some parts of India this tradition still exists, founded in religious belief, and various groups tried to disrupt the making of the movie. I just learned that Water is the conclusion of a trilogy of films by Deepa Mehta. I don't remember hearing about the other two films, called Fire and Earth, but I'm going to be searching for them at a theatre near my house that specializes in rentals of foreign films.

I'm relying on help from Rand to identify what we ate at Annapurna, since I'm so lacking in knowledge about Indian food. However, if any Indian food bloggers want to comment more about these dishes, I'd be grateful. I'd especially like to know the name of a soup (pictured in the second photo, but I don't know which of those things it is) which the server told me contains tomato sauce, garlic, chilies, and tamarind.

Medu Vada (lentil donut) and Idly (Rice and lentil cake)
served with chutney & sambar

Deluxe Thali: Soup, rice, sweet of the day, Sambar, Rasam,
2 vegetables, Raita, 1 north Indian curry, Ghee, Papad

Aloo Paratha: whole wheat flour bread stuffed with special potato
& peas cooked with butter & served with yogurt sauce.

Spring Dosa: Rice and lentil dough crepe stuffed with
seasoned onions & mixed vegetables.

Mushroom Masala: button mushrooms cooked with garlic
& spices, garnished with curry leaves.

Annapurna Cuisine is one of Rand and Bradley's favorite places to eat, and everything we had was wonderful. It's part of a group of restaurants in the L.A. area, including Annapurna Garden, Annapurna Express, and Masala Bowl.

Annapurna Cuisine
10200 Venice Blvd.
Culver City, California 90232
310-204-5500counter customizable free hit

5 comments:

tfp said...

Mmmmmmm! It all looks yummy! I especially like the sound of that mushroom masala.

sher said...

Oh my goodness!! That looks so fabulous! I've never had many of those dishes. I just bought a book on Indian cooking and I'm looking forward to learning how to do it properly. Penzeys is going to get a big order!

Kalyn said...

Food Pornographer, it was all so yummy. Rand and Bradley love this place.

Sher, love Penzeys!! I admit I am pretty intimidated with cooking Indian food. Probably more than any other type. I need to get with it and start trying some things. It just seems like every time I see a recipe on an Indian blog that looks good, there are at least a couple of ingredients I don't have or even know what they are.

thodarumm said...

Hi! I have visited your blog several times. Today I landed here when I was Googling "purslane". I am pretty sure that the soup you are talking about is "rasam". It is a South Indian dish which I ate almost every day when I was growing up. We eat it mixed with rice and with our fingers. Yummy.. there are several variations of this...spiced with red pepper and other spices mixed into a powder or spiced up with black pepper, lemon juice rasam etc. I do not 'blog' :)

Kalyn said...

thodarumm, thanks so much for the tip about the rasam. For sure I am filing it away in my brain so I can remember to order it again.

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