Curry in a Hurry

In Austin, it's a small world after all, but one with plenty of dining options

International Gustations
Photo By John Anderson


Curry in a Hurry

2121 W. Parmer Ln. Ste. 114-A, 821-0000

Daily, 11am-8:45pm

www.gandhibazar.com

Vegetarians: Listen up! Curry in a Hurry is a relatively new and authentic vegetarian North Indian (Rajasthan and Gujarat) restaurant, and it serves large portions of vibrant, delicious food daily for $4.99 a plate. The menu changes every day, and on offer are three different main dishes, two different sides, a choice of two paratha (think Indian tortillas) or four roti (smaller and thinner than paratha), with a side of fluffy basmati rice. Peruse the board and make your choice, order at the counter, and wait a minute before the food arrives. The week's offerings are posted on their Web site, and it is possible to eat there every day and always get something different.

Monday's main fare included a choice between palak paneer, spinach with homemade cheese; cauliflower mutter, a spicy cauliflower mélange with peas and potatoes; and aloo sabzi, potatoes and peas with turmeric, garlic, and ginger. The spinach is perhaps the best in town; unlike the green mush you normally find, this version has distinct spicing (fenugreek, ginger and garlic, tomato, coriander, and cumin), and the spinach is recognizable. The cauliflower is spicy, with depth; the potatoes and peas creamy and delectable. Both the dal fry (a soupy mix of split peas and lentils) and the toor whole (pigeon peas in a dark aromatic broth) were superb, and the accompanying paratha and roti flatbreads divine.

The snack that day was a flaky potato-and-pea samosa with a spicy tamarind dipping sauce (75 cents). On Friday evenings, and all day Saturday and Sunday, a large and comprehensive list of snacks, chaat, and sweets draws in the crowds. Chaat are roadside snacks which are typically prepared in stalls, and North India was their birthplace. It's a fantastic and cheap method of grazing. Curry in a Hurry prepares one of the most inexpensive feasts in town, and it's not just for the vegetarians: This food is exciting. – Mick Vann

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