02/20/17 10:07am

QDC Takes a Passage to South India Feb. 28


The Ganesh Temple of the Hindu Temple Society of North America, known by its devotees as Šri Mahã Vallabha Ganapati Devasthãnam, is a cultural and spiritual center for Hindus residing in Queens and beyond. Thanks to a canteen serving some of the best South Indian vegetarian fare in New York City the temple is also a destination for culinary pilgrims. That’s why my pals from Queens Dinner Club and I chose it for this month’s feast. To score a ticket to this culinary passage to South India please click here.


Masala dosa is just one of many items at the vegetarian feast.

Before heading to the Canteen to dine we’ll be given a tour of the Temple where we’ll learn about the elephant-headed deva Ganesh and the other gods. Then we’ll head around the corner to Canteen where the chefs have rolled out a special menu for us, including Keralan and Adrahan specialties from the catering menu. Normally to eat these dishes you’d have to be a guest at an Indian wedding.


Laddu, Ganesh’s favorite sweet will be among the desserts served.

As for why the Temple Canteen’s offerings are so tasty Dr. Uma Mysorekar, director of the Hindu Temple Society of North America says it has everything to do with the fact that it is consecrated food. “It is a feeling within that you are getting a blessed food instead of running to a restaurant where you might find the same food,” she said, “but a restaurant is a restaurant, but this being the location of a temple everybody has the good feeling, that’s why things taste so good.”

Check out the evening’s full menu!

A Passage to South India

Onion pakora
Crispy onion fritters

Koottu curry
Keralan plantain and chickpea curry

Vanyaka koora
Spicy Andhran eggplant

Besibele bhath
Rice and lentils with mixed vegetables

Yogurt rice

Rice and yogurt seasoned with ginger and chilies 

Mixed pickle
The classic Indian citrus-chili condiment

Paper dosa
Crispy rice and lentil flour crepe served
with vegetable samber and coconut chutney

Masala dosa
Dosa filled with potatoes
and special masala seasoning

Onion chili uttapam
Spicy onion pancake with samber and coconut chutney

Adai Payassam
Keralan rice and cardamom pudding

India’s bright orange answer to funnel cake

Ganesh’s favorite sweet scented with cardamom and cloves 

Pineapple halwa

Coffee and tea

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