This week we had delicious Indian food at Khichidi at Henley Beach. Just shy of the shore there are good sea views from this casual family-oriented restaurant. Khichidi prides itself on being diet friendly catering for vegan, gluten free, keto, vegetarian calorie counters and even kids. The expansive menu has something for everyone.
Is it even possible to go out for Indian without a couple of entrees? The most common is the Samosa, in this case filled with spiced potato and peas and served with a tamarind sauce. Two generous samosas sand proudly on the plate. The pastry has a crumbly biscuit-like quality, very short and delicious. The tamarind sauce is sticky and sweet playing off the intense spice mix dominated by cloves.
For something new we tried the Papdi Chaat; crispy fried dough wafers topped with potatoes, finely chopped tomato, onion cucumber, mint and tamarind sauce. These little one bit morsels are topped with a shredded baked chickpea batter giving loads of crunch. A canape style starter, it’s lucky there are so many because one is not enough.
The main curry menu works as a ‘create your own’, so you can pick a sauce and pair it with the protein of your choice. Chicken/lamb/beef are $18.90, lamb shank or duck leg for $19.90, and goat/prawns/fish $20.90. This allows you to tailor the perfect curry for you. My first decision was easy – Beef Vindaloo – my go to at any Indian restaurant, why mess with a classic. This beef is incredibly tender, the sauce packs a decent chilli hit and the balance of the tomato and vinegar is spot on.
We stayed faithful to the classics also ordering a Lamb Korma swimming in a rich creamy cashew nut based sauce that is perfect to mop up with some of the many varieties of naan bread and fluffy rice. Again the cubes of meat are delectably tender with no hint of toughness or gristle. They happily ruminate in the thick spiced sauce dominated by cardamom which works well with the cashew base.
When I saw the Lamb Shank on the list of proteins I knew I had to have it and chose to pair it with a Madras sauce. The chef’s special south Indian Madras sauce is full of spices, coconut cream, mustard seeds and curry leaves. The exposed bone is a tell-tale sign of how the meat will simply fall off the bone when pressed with a spoon. A thick saffron hued sauce forms a blanket over the shank, honey sweet, earthy and tingles the tongue perfectly. Every Indian restaurant must have a signature dish that sets the apart from the rest and this is Khichidi’s. We both decided this was the best madras we have ever had and I’ll be having this again and again.
From a signature dish to a name sake our last curry dish was the Khichidi. Rice cooked in lentils with loads of vegetables; cauliflower potato, capsicum and broccoli. A sort of Indian paella, the warmth of turmeric and the soft rice result is a very tasty and rich and satisfying dish.
Finally, in looking for something different to the usual we picked the Achari curry and paired it with a duck Maryland. The Achari sauce is a spice packed pickle sauce, very tangy and vinegary. This dish packs a punch and is full of flavour with a medium chilli hit that concentrates on the front of tongue with a modest burn.
A relaxed, cheerful restaurant that caters to every dietary requirement, Khichidi creates some very memorable dishes all served with a warm smile. With generous use of a range of spices and well balanced dishes with the tenderest meats a visit to Khichidi will be sure to please.
Words by Kate Wilkinson
WHERE: 1 Henley Beach Rd, Henley Beach South