After hearing that I enjoy Indian food, my coworker offered to take me to her favorite hole-in-the-wall Indian place for some traditional Indian street food. She is Indian and said this place reminds her of her family’s cooking. How could I resist?
Hole in the wall is right. Khasiyat is located just south of downtown off of Lancaster Road, and it’s easy to miss. They don’t serve Indian food like what you might be used to. They are a vegetarian restaurant that serves less formal Indian cuisine, almost like fast food. It’s a very simple place and looks like a dive, but the food was so good and different from any Indian food I had ever had. The food is served on paper plates, and you get plastic silverware, but the service was really friendly and I don’t need fancy utensils.
The meat was definitely not missed. Everything had layers of flavor. I was glad Anita was with me to help me navigate the menu. A large portion of their offerings are “Bites,” meant for sharing like tapas. We ordered three of these bites, and it was plenty of food. I left stuffed, despite the food being lighter than typical Indian curries.
I start with my favorite dish (although all were wonderful). This was a bowl of puffed rice, poori (wheat bread), sev (very thin noodles made of flour), onions and chutney. I was eating this by the spoonful. It was very crunchy but also thick and hearty. The texture made it so much fun to eat. Even the onions were crunchy.
Here they take two fried samosas, filled with potatoes and peas, and mash them to form the base of the dish. Then they topped the mashed deliciousness with yogurt, lentils, chickpeas, onions and various chutneys. I was familiar with samosas, but I had no idea they could be used this way. The flakey crust soaked up all the toppings, and everything melted together so well.
These are bite-sized bread puffs stuffed with spices, lentils and yogurt and topped with sev. I was instructed to pop the whole pocket in my mouth. It was a lot but tasted really good. The spices heated my whole throat, but the yogurt cooled everything down.
I really enjoyed my experience trying the other side of Indian cuisine. I loved all the uses of chickpeas and lentils and the many layers of spices throughout the dishes.
What is your favorite Indian dish?