The flavors of the Himalayas

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October 11, 2010
By: vanessa el-hakeem
vanessa el-hakeem
Looking to add a little spice to your life? There’s a new spot in Northeast you should check out — Gorkha Palace, a restaurant serving authentic Himalayan cuisine. It offers a diverse blend of dishes from Nepal, India and Tibet.

Using a blend of freshly ground spices ranging from, but not limited to, cumin, coriander, turmeric and garam masala — each recipe is unique to the region. Another ingredient called aaloo, which means potato in Hindi, is also served with many of the main courses on the menu.

Menu highlights include Aaloo Katahar, which contains potatoes and jackfruit; Aaloo Taama Bodi, featuring potatoes, bamboo shoots and black-eyed peas; and Aaloo Bhindi, a dish with potatoes and okra. All are cooked with an intense mixture of spices and served in a decadent sauce that brings out the heavy taste.

Richly flavored curry dishes are also popular choices. These include mutton (goat), chicken, shrimp and lamb curry platters. Naan, traditional oven-baked flatbread, is also an essential element in the dining experience at Gorkha Palace. It is eaten with any and all of the dishes as a way to either cleanse the pallet or add a base to the savory spice flavors.

Another sought out dish says Rashmi Bhattachan, owner of the local restaurant, is the Momo, which is a steamed pot sticker. It comes filled with scallions, onions, cabbage and again, a variety of tasty spices with your choice of meat. You can go for the ever-original chicken or beef, however, those of you so inclined to try something new and exciting can order the Momo complete with Yak (cow meat) or mutton (goat meat). There is also a veggie momo available.

The best way to get a bite of all of these different types of dishes is to visit the restaurant during their lunch buffet, which is Monday–Friday from 11 a.m.–2 p.m.

Rashmi, who has been apart of the Mill City Farmers Market for the past three years where she sells freshly ground spices and her popular Momos, opened up the restaurant in order to provide her devoted clients a place to sit and enjoy a little taste of the Himalayas.

She pushes to give her customers a dining experience that is authentic and also wants to be apart of the daily flow of things around the restaurant. Rashmi greets customers at the door and welcomes any questions diners might have about recipes, many of which are her own, or just about the culture in general. A genuine cultural vibe makes its presence with decadent oil paintings that fill the wall and traditional music that lingers in the background as you taste the different flavors offered in each dish.

A unique part of Gorkha Palace is that it has incorporated the Mill City Farmers Market’s mission of supporting local, sustainable and organic ingredients in all of the dishes offered on the menu. All meats used are naturally raised without hormones.

Gorkha Palace has also partnered with Eureka Recycling, which composts all of the restaurant’s food scraps and paper products.

From their delectable combination of Himalayan spices used in each flavorful dish, to their heightened awareness of a greener community, Gorkha Palace is a unique restaurant that offers more than just the seemingly average dining experience we often find ourselves caught up in.

Gorkha Palace
23 4th St. NE