South Indian restaurant Semma opens in West Village

Semma literally means “to achieve excellence”, but as Pandya pointed out, “it is a slang word, like how we say” dope “or” rad “here. It is that kind of word. . If you ask a student like, ‘hey man how’s that new album that’s just out’ they’re like ‘semma’. “

The lamb dish, Attu Kari Sukka, features a bunch of meat, messy with a thick and thick concoction of black cardamom and tellicherry peppers. Eat them with your hands, obviously, and the same goes for Eral Thokku, four large tiger prawns loaded with a complex fenugreek curry. The Potato-Stuffed Gunpowder Dosa is another portable delight, and if you haven’t dipped your entire pot of sambar into it, feel free to pick it up and put it down before the waiter grabs your plate.

Mulaikattiya Thaniyam is a delicious snack made with sprouted mung beans and smoked chili. The Dindigul Biryani is sprinkled with goat cheese and tastes as good as you would expect from these guys (as he put it on the table, Pandya said: “you had the biryani in Adda, you had it in Dhamaka, but you’ve never had a biryani like this “). And the two seafood dishes, the Meen Pollichathu, or black cod, and the Valiya Chemmeen Moilee, or lobster tail, are both covered in a spectacular mustard sauce.

It’s also worth noting that, like in Adda and Dhamaka, almost everything here in Semma has fire, and many of these dishes will make you actively seek relief, either immediately via coconut and / or ponni rice ( the latter was “invented” in Tamil Nadu), or at the end of the party with a dessert, both excellent, but especially the Chakka Pradhaman, which is essentially a jackfruit cake topped with jackfruit ice cream. Beer, wine, cocktails and non-alcoholic refreshments are also available to cool off the heat.

There is a small but cozy (unheated) roadside setup, and Semma’s interior has been almost redone from its Rahi days of a month ago, with banquets along the walls, lots of wood. rough and a ceiling covered with the kind of straw mats you see in homes all over South India.

“We are not chasing the West with our food,” Mazumdar said of Semma in particular and the Unapologetic Foods group in general. “It was a very different decision for us. We want to share with the utmost integrity what our cooking really looks like, what we actually eat in our homes. You can’t really sum up all of our food in one restaurant, so what we’re doing is creating one restaurant after another that each tells a different story, a different story. “

Pandya adds, “Indian cuisine is very different from region to region and place to place. We have always wanted to do different types of Indian cuisine, we never wanted to make concepts out of it. ‘cookie cutter. And we have to empower people. We have to find the right talent. If you asked us five months ago, are you going to do a South Indian restaurant? The answer would be no. But c t is because we met Vijay Kumar four months ago that we have Semma.

About Walter Bartholomew

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