14-20 June 2013 #660

Mama’s curries

If you like curry and look for not expensive Indian taste in Lalitpur then this is the perfect place to go
Someplace Else by Juanita Malagon

The mama at Mama’s Curries is Julie James, a former teacher who ran a high school in Jhamsikhel for 27 years with her husband Kim. Julie’s culinary skills were a well-kept secret among close family and friends for years. But after much coaxing from her son, Julie Miss opened the aptly named Mama’s Curries in Jhamsikhel three months ago.

Small but cosy, it’s a delight to see Julie firing it away in the open kitchen as you wait for your lunch seated in one of the five tables. Even though orders can take longer than expected, it doesn’t feel like a drag because being at Mama’s feels like lounging around in a friend’s kitchen on a lazy Saturday afternoon.

PICS: AMIR JOSHI

The menu here isn’t too elaborate. The owners have stuck to what they know best - Indian food. A variety of curries, kati rolls, and biryani make up the mains while you have a choice between alu chop, dum alu, chicken tika, and pakodas for sides. Just as with the food, the options for drinks are limited. And if like me, you are not well versed in Indian cuisine, ask Julie for suggestions as talking with the only waiter present wasn’t too helpful. But I’ll give it to him for understanding my “not too spicy” request perfectly; the food came out just the way I had imagined.

The dum alu (Rs 185), our first order, came to us looking every bit appetising. A staple at many dinner parties in Nepali households, the alu at Mama’s is a Nepali version of the famous Kashmiri dish. Pieces of boiled potato sautéed in oil and spices and coated with cumin seeds. Delicious. I thoroughly enjoyed our second round of snacks, vegetable pakoda (Rs 200), but my colleagues found the finger food too bland.

For mains we settled on chicken kofta curry (Rs 350) which comes either with rice or roti depending on your taste, served with raita, and pickled mango on the side. The deep fried chicken balls are as delicious as the gravy they are served in. And the chicken biryani (Rs 375) is the closest I have ever come to tasting typical Hyderabadi biryani. Brilliantly seasoned and cooked to perfection, it was very easy to forget table manners while tearing apart the large pieces of chicken.

Mama’s is ideal for those hungry days when all you want is a filling meal and not pretentious food served in miserly portions in the name of fine dining.

GOOGLE MAP

How to get there: walk past fire brigade road in Pulchok, turn right into the road between Dan Ran restaurant and Vesper House. Mama’s is a few metres away, right opposite Kantipur FM station.

Mama’s curries is open from 11 am to 9 pm.

For reservations: 9851 043 756

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