Shree creates Indian food with care in Westmont

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If you think Indian food is limited to tandoori chicken and curried lamb, think again. (WLS)

There is no faking it here, because the cooks at Shree - in a Westmont strip mall - have to fully understand the complexity, as well as the techniques, for recreating southern Indian food. That means a lot of options for vegetarians, like the giant, crispy crepes, called dosa, which begin with a thickish, white batter made from lentils and rice. It's spread thin on a smooth, flat griddle, then scraped of any excess batter. A mound of cooked, mashed potatoes is deposited in the center, then it's rolled up and brought to the table immediately.

"Dosas - crepes made with rice and lentil flour, stuffed with mashed potatoes, onions and green peas. It's served with lentil soup and coconut sauce on the side," said Dinesh Nai, the Manager of Shree.

Just tear off a piece, grab some filling and dip it into the chutneys for a truly unique vegetarian meal. In addition to the rice and lentil batter, there's also a cream of wheat version. The other veggie-friendly dish is called a thali platter.

"Thali is like a small, 12 kind of different items. Plain rice, yellow dal; vegetable curry with yogurt and coconut base," said Nai.

Each dish is carefully prepared, usually starting with cumin and mustard seeds, plus dried curry leaves and chili peppers. Every tiny silver cup contains a different vegetarian treasure: stewed lentils, curries and yogurt, just to name a few. But there is also starch and carbs, plus fresh vegetables, not to mention chutneys for dipping.

"...and it's protein, rice, bread, papadum lentil chips and some salad on the side," said Nai.

The dosas are available every day, but the thali platter just Friday, Saturday and Sunday and honestly, so much food here for just $12.95, two people could split it and still have leftovers.

655 N. Cass Ave, Westmont
(630) 655-1021

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