Your Indian grandma’s curry is at Rani’s Kitchen

At Rani’s Kitchen, the food is straight from the streets of India, and it’s served by this adorable and keenly talented cook.
Photo: Beverly Poppe

Rani’s World Foods comes with a scent all its own, a flurry of curry and other spices. That’s not particularly surprising, considering Rani’s is an Indian grocery store, but the delectable home-cooked vegetarian favorites from Rani’s Kitchen are far less expected.

Rani is like your long-lost grandmother … if your grandmother was toiling in the back of an Indian grocery store. Just wander to the counter, order from the wonderfully doting woman and grab a seat near the refrigerators.

The Details

Rani's Kitchen
Inside Rani’s World Foods, 4505 W. Sahara Ave., 522-7744.
Daily, 11 a.m.-8 p.m.

Probably the best start is a thali, or mixed plate. Rani’s thali ($6) includes two rotating vegetable selections, dal (lentils), roti (unleavened bread), basmati rice and pickles. Curry choices include palak (spinach) and paneer (cheese), and if you’re lucky, she’ll be serving kofta—vegetable dumplings in an addictive cashew sauce, for which you’ll want extra roti and rice to sop it all up. If all vegetarian dishes were this good, I’d never eat meat again.

Another interesting dish is the chole bature ($6), essentially a spicy chickpea curry (chole) served alongside two absurdly over-sized pieces of puffy bread (bature). This is some seriously funny-looking bread, but it’s the perfect utensil for scooping the chole. For more Indian street food, try the samosa chat ($4), a flavorful mixture of deconstructed samosas in a bowl with yogurt, chutneys and a mixture of Indian spices, including cumin and coriander.

Order a housemade mango lassi ($2.50) as a foil for the spicy curries, though the offerings are not overly hot. Mrs. Rani doesn’t want to scorch your palate while you enjoy her cooking. Grandma would be proud.

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