Saravanna Bhavan

BIG NEWS ON THE HOME FRONT: I asked CT to move in with me and she said YES! She may have been under the influence of alcohol at the time she made her decision. Not sure, hehe. On a recent Sunday, her Dad came into town with the station wagon to make the first of many trips from her place to mine. Luckily, her apartment is only five blocks from mine, which made the actually moving of boxes pretty easy. Since CT’s Dad was coming in early to help, we decided last minute to have Indian Brunch. This was decided while CT and I were eating one of my famous omelettes, so we would have our second breakfast of the day. You could almost feel a high five from Yvo all the way in Queens on the multiple meals.

I will readily admit that I don’t come anywhere close to the eating capacity of some of the other FBM’ers. CT said the brunch would consist of Aloo Poori, which is a relatively light meal, so I felt ok with eating a second breakfast. I needed a lot of sustenance to carry all of those heavy boxes! We headed down to the heart of Curry Hill and arrived at Saravanna Bhavan to meet her Dad. This restaurant is actually a chain found all over India. Talk about authentic!

The last time I had poori was at the Diwali Feast last fall. Fried bread, what’s not to like about that?

CT got a mango lassi to drink. She seemed to like it. I’ve tried lassi before, but am not a big fan of yogurt, so this was not the drink for me.

CT says: I love a good mango lassi. It should be sweet purely from the mango, but since it’s hard to get super sweet mangoes here, sugar is added, changing the traditional flavor a bit. Due to the yogurt, it can be quite filling. I usually make the mistake of downing it and then being full before lunch arrives. However, since I’d already eaten half a breakfast, I smartened up and only drank half before our food arrived and the other half for dessert!

We made the waiter’s life easy and all got the Aloo Poori. For those of you that don’t know, aloo means potato in Hindi.

We were each served two large pooris on what I liked to call a prison cafeteria style tray. You could do some real damage to someone with those. Luckily there were no riots while we were at the restaurant, so the trays stayed on the table. After letting the pooris sit for a little while to cool off, they need to be poked with a fork or knife to let the steam out from inside of them. Then simply rip off a piece to grab whatever food you would like to eat.

CT says: Or just poked with your finger, if you dare!

The aloo here was like spiced mashed potatoes with some corn and peas mixed throughout. There was some nice spice in the potatoes, which packed a good amount of heat for my Caucasian palate. As I kept eating the heat mellowed out, but I was still glad that the table had a pitcher of water.

The other item on the plate were mushrooms in a spicy brown sauce. I will have to defer to CT on what the name of the dish was. The sauce was very liquidy, but was quickly soaked up with a bit of poori.

CT says: I don’t know the name either. Oops. Everyplace will give you a slightly different variations of sides. My mom makes the potato dish with chunkier potatoes and more tomato. This potato side is what you would also find inside a dosa – more mashed and easier to pick up with the thin, crepe-like bread. Both are delicious. I also like to eat my pooris with plain yogurt. But as TT knows, I’ll eat almost all my Indian food with yogurt. It helps balance all the spices. Either way – I LOVE pooris and will happily eat them with anything or even by themselves!

When we were almost done eating, CT’s Dad and I got Indian Coffees. I learned that it was more traditional to drink coffee at the end of breakfast instead of during. The coffee was basically an Indian latte(coffee with lots of milk). I enjoyed it as it seemed to be a good digestif.

All in all, Saravanna Bhavan was a great choice for a late breakfast/early lunch. Although the place is vegetarian, I could see myself returning, especially for another breakfast. Prices are very reasonable, so it is definitely worth a try. Thanks to CT’s Dad for treating us to Indian brunch and helping with the move.

Saravana Bhavan on Urbanspoon


  1. T.C. says

    Congrats to TT and CT for sharing the same living quarters together. Yay!

    I’d poke the poori with me finger. Mmm a puff of deliciousness.

    I wonder how are the Dosas at Saravana Bhavan. I do enjoy Vegetarian Indian cuisine. I gotta stop by here and maybe Vatan sometime when I’m really hungry.

  2. chakrateeze says

    My MIL used to stuff her puri with a mixture fresh peas and green chilies. Then fry them until they puffed… Uhm, yum!!!

    But nothing’s better than green mango chutney. Or Kir khadam (cooked- down milk until it’s crumbly dry encircling a Rôshogolla [syrup-soaked paneer]), it’s rich, sweet and the syrup floods your mouth when you take a bite… I could go on and on and on, ’cause Bengali food is the best!


      • chakrateeze says

        I live in Memphis, TN and the MIL lives in Kolkata. So, you’ll have to investigate and come up with the name of a great place when I come up on vacation. But to tell the truth, I am SHOCKED that Bengali sweet shops don’t dot the US like Krispy Kreames! I mean, something that remarkable should find it’s niche within the framework of America.

        Anyways, congrats on moving in!


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