LOCAL Houston | The City Guide March 2017 - Page 21

FOOD | ARTS | COMMUNITY | STYLE + LEISURE
Bhindii Masala Soup Flight
boil , steep . A process . Then serve . No shortcuts . I cannot tolerate shortcuts .”
One pot of chai . So much time and so much energy focused into one pot of chai . A definitive indication of the passion and demanding quality behind every plate of curry that Kiran ’ s kitchen produces .
Curry – y ’ know , it ’ s not just a yellow powder . Like mole in Mexico , curry is generic for sauce . “ Curry is a sauce , a spice blend that changes , that matches what is being sauced ,” explains Verma . For lamb I use a Rhogan Josh mix . But I would never use that on fish . It is too big , too rich for the fish . For fish I need a more delicate curry .”
In the kitchen , Kiran ’ s staff daily grinds and combines the spices for 16 different curry blends . “ Everything is made here . We only use fresh – you won ’ t find any frozen spinach !” explains Verma . “ Like we use fresh mustard greens for the Sarson Kaa Saag – they must be double washed .”
More time , more labor , most cost – better flavor .
“ The naan ? We make here – with King Arthur flour .”
Time and effort and quality – and an unbridled , unexpected attitude regarding flavor combinations make reading Kiran ’ s menu an adventure .
Traditional Indian – it ’ s all there : the rich , luxurious fork-tender Lamb Rhogan Josh and the classic Chicken Madras , or the plethora of vegetarian offerings , including the much-beloved pickled and sour winter melon , Karela Achari , and the ever-so-slightly spicy Bhindi Masala , okra with its hints of cumin and coconut .
Self-taught with years of practical experience , Kiran redefines fusion cuisine . The menu sports a tandoori section though not all the items are prepared in the traditional yogurt-marinated

" As a chef , I start to get bored if I don ’ t reinvent my food ."

march 17 | LOCAL 21