Indian Street Food in Dubai: The Curry Lane, Karama
It is difficult to differentiate one Karama restaurant from the other—be it a Chaat Bazaar from an Urban Tadka or a Mumbai Express from Elco. Probably that’s when innovation in the name of The Curry Lane is not only welcome but dutifully lauded. The menu darts around street food from Bombay, with usual inclusions like Pao Bhaji, Masala Pao, Tawa Pulao to the more traditional Misal Pao, Usal Pao and Kothimbir Wadi. Before the non-inclusion of sev poori, pani poori and bhel poori could leave us distraught, the presence of Thaali Peeth, Puri Bhaji, Sol Kadi and Kokum Sherbet, reminiscent of breakfasts in Bombay, stirred nostalgic sentiments from years ago.
One could consider this quite a bold step on the owner’s part considering Peshwa—a Koli Maharashtrian restaurant is just next door, but the brightly lit contemporary interiors of Curry Lane create a more vibrant setting vis-a-vis the dim-lit one at Peshwa.
The menu may seem a little confusing at the onset—there’s a range of parathas and a stab at Calcutta Chinese with a Chinese menu after 7 pm. Probably a solidarity attempt for the non-Mumbai audience. No dosas and idlis, though.
I have been quite happy with the Indian street food variety in Dubai (read, Mumbai Express, Elco and Curry Lane), hence people (read Western Expats) need to move beyond curry based ‘Indian food’ and explore the diversity which restaurants like Curry Lane bring in. Sabudana Wada, Upma, Bhajiya, etc are dishes available widely in Bombay and move beyond the Delhi Darbar-esque chains which have tainted Indian food with a thick blob of curry. That would the food which Indians do prepare at home. Not naan and ‘chicken tikka masala’ which is not so occasionally prepared in our homes as often as it’s eaten by the world.
What to order- Pao Bhaji, Sabudana Wada, Kothimbir Wadi, Cutting Chai, Chinese Bhel, Mushroom Chilli (dry)
For more details- https://www.zomato.com/dubai/the-curry-lane-al-karama