Singapore, September 2, 2010 Namaste India I walked into this restaurant in Serangoon Road enticed by its welcoming name “Namaste India”. Namaste India
218 Serangoon Road
Namaste is a national greeting in India and Nepa,l which to sum it all, is a sacred greeting. Namaste, a Sanskrit word, is a common spoken greeting or salutation, which simply means "I bow to you."
When spoken to another person, it is commonly accompanied by a slight bow made with hands pressed together, palms touching and fingers pointed upwards, in front of the chest.
This gesture, called Añjali MudrÄ, can also be performed wordlessly by hand, which is a symbol of respect in India and amongst yoga practitioners. It also means "to honor or celebrate".
The purity of sattvic cuisine
Aside from this, the signposts outside the restaurant stated vegetarian cuisine and "sattvic food".
I thought this would be the ultimate of an experience in “a vegetarian culinary affair” and I was not wrong.
Sattvic food is supposed to be food for the Gods in the purest form, and if not for the Gods, it is so for the ardent yoga or spiritual meditation practitioner.
Predominantly, it avoids the use of onion and garlic which according to the Hindu, Jain and Buddhist traditions, is supposed to excite the senses.
Therefore, by avoiding these two ingredients, the food has the effect of calming the mind and keeping one tranquil.
And, a sattvic diet is supposed to bring about positive personality traits in one, enhancing one's attributes, keeping one fit on the spiritual journey and on the journey of physical health.
With the proper mix of proteins, carbs and fats, it also gives us the subtle nourishment necessary for vitality and consciousness.
According to Vedic scriptures, some foods leave us feeling tired and sluggish, giving what is called the tamasic effect.
Other foods leave us feeling aggitated or over-stimulated - the rajasic effect.
The third category belongs to sattvic, which is described by The Bhagavad Gita (Hindu Scripture) as "promoting life, virtue, strength, health, and happiness."
I was warmly welcomed "traditionally" by the owners Neelendra and Rajesh Jain, who are partners in the business and cousins by blood relation.
Little did I know that I would come away with not just a satiated palate but also an uplifting clean-tasting gastronomical experience of wonderful vegetarian cuisine.
And, also gaining the knowledge of the good effects of adopting a Sattvic diet for life. Quite honestly, this is a unique restaurant which demonstrates and delivers the goodness of a Sattvic diet.
Rustic ambience with cultural splendour
It is a small rustic-looking restaurant with a seating capacity of 38. Comfortable pastel green chairs surround dining tables draped with burgundy rich wine color table cloths. The background was mostly in white, with tiles on the walls which has lovely hand painted paintings of scenes from Hindu Mythology and Legends of God and Goddesses from the state of Jaipur India.
Now the food
The exciting menu was a treasure trove of vegetarian culinary delights. I wasn't sure what to order because all the dishes sounded so delicious.
You can start with small potions of Bhel Puri and Pani Puri.
The assortment of Indian tidbits were made of gram flour with peanuts placed in cup-shaped crispy fillers. Pour into one a spoonful of watery piquant sauce. It was yummy indeed and whetted my appetite.
Next came the Tandoori Vegetable Platter, beautifully garnished and served on a bed of cucumbers with a sprig of coriander sprouting from the pretty display.
The smoked cauliflower, capsicum stuffed with paneer (Indian cottage cheese) and tandooried potatoes stuffed with paneer were simply delicious.
All the vegetables were enhanced with a dash of chat masala which I thought was a little bit too much but nevertheless the flavours were still great!
There was tamarind sauce and light green pudhina chutney (mint chutney) to add to the smoky flavor of the tandooried vegetables.
The options in the main course menu seemed to go on endlessly.
The rotis were well done. Like the signature Lacksha pratha, a chef’s special.
The Pratha was garnished with mint leaves, and besides making a pretty picture, it allows you to savour all the herbs and spices when you tear out a morsel and tuck it into the creamy matar paneer or the rich yellow dhall curry.
Very pleasant on the palate.
The roti romali is sizeable and soft like a pristine white handkerchief. It was so soothing on the tastebuds aftyer it's dipped into the delicious assortment of lightly spiced curries.
The curries were not at all hot and spicy, but light and piquant. All tastefully spiced so they were not pungent and overpowering.
The crispy Jaipuri Bhindhi was a real delight. The chef had painstakingly made this to perfection as it must be eaten hot and straight out of the pan to relish all the flavors. It was actually Lady’s Finger chips or Okra Chips that had a crispy coating of lightly spiced gram flour.
For drinks, try the sugar cane juice. It was freshly squeezed just like how they serve it in India .It had just the right amount of lemon juice making it so refreshing on a hot day
What was truly awesome is the Jaipuri Lassi. A long glass with cold yoghurt mixed with milk, bits of dried fruit and an assortment of handpicked nuts like cashew nuts, almonds and pistachios.
Have one sip, and then you'd want to have another and another, and then, all would be gone in no time.
Rich and creamy and however delicious as it was, you must watch the calories before you think of ordering another one.
Prices of dishes start from as low as $3 to $10.
What you'd get is the most wholesome and nutritious meal that is not heavy on the pocket, on the palate or on the digestive system. You'd leave Namaste India with a great feeling of satisfaction and enjoyment
I walked into this restaurant enticed and I walked out satisfied. And, it also etched on my mind that I'd definitely come back.
218 Serangoon Road (junction with Rowell Road)
Tel: 65 - 63922449
See pictures of signature dishes at Namaste India
Singapore, September 2, 2010
I walked into this restaurant in Serangoon Road enticed by its welcoming name “Namaste India”.