Chatkhara by Krishna bills itself as a “vegetarian Indian streatery.” It opened on 109th Street earlier this year, and I decided to give it a try for lunch.
The lunch special rotates; different items from the menu can be featured. It’s almost like you’re being told “you should try this” by your server. When I arrived for a Monday lunch (yeah, a downtown spot that’s open for lunch on a Monday!), the item on offer was the Daal Makani. These are black lentils cooked overnight in a tomato and cream sauce. I went for the medium spice, and the heat was consistent, but not overpowering. It’s served with rice and a side of naan, so come ready for a feast.
The lentils are nice and soft, and they have a real earthy flavour. If you read “tomato and cream sauce” and think of the most ubiquitous of Indian dishes (at least here in Edmonton), butter chicken, you need to think again. Maybe it’s because the lentils aren’t as overpowering as meat would be, but the tomato flavour is more pronounced, here. The sauce is the star. Spoon it over the rice, and, wow, it’s filling, I couldn’t get through it all, and I was pretty hungry when I got there.
I have probably done Chatkhara by Krishna a disservice by dining here alone; I saw some great social gatherings over shared plates at the other tables, and clearly, with a number of appetizers, entrees and desserts on offer, there’s a lot more to take in. The vermicelli topped with ice cream and dried fruit sounds interesting, and the vegetarian Indo-Chinese fusion dishes are also intriguing. There’s a very large menu on offer, here… so, being on my own, I can only give you a small but promising sampling of what this new spot has to offer.