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Apr 2, 2005 09:47 PM

indian dinner buffet in seattle?

  • m

Anyone know of an Indian restaurant in Seattle that serves a dinner buffet?

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  1. I don't think you're going to find any Indian buffets for dinner...they always seem to be offered for lunch only in Indian restaurants. It's too bad as I for one would really enjoy the opportunity to sample different Indian dishes for dinner as well.

    9 Replies
    1. re: bbqer

      Many restaurants offer a sampler plate, called a thali. Often there are 2 versions, vegetarian and non.

      1. re: paulj

        I"ve tried making thalis at home, with six or seven dishes. I've come to the conclusion that while that can be easily done in a restaurant setting or some kind of situation where many people are being served, it's hard to do at home with just a few people!
        To make a nice thali takes anywhere from six dishes to twelve, with just a little bit of each. They're nice to do, and pretty well balanced. (The Indians do vegetarian so much better than Political Vegetarians do!)
        But having done some thalis at home, when I cook Indian food, which is often and becoming more frequent, I still seem to have at least three or four dishes.
        I would HIGHLY recommend learning to make chapatis! They take a special flour, available in different qualities, in 5lb bags, 10lb bags, up to railroad cars full. Some of the flour, (called ATTA) is from India, some from Canada. Americans don't seem to do specialty flours as well as Canadians do. I wonder why that is?
        I've tried recipes for chapatis that are written in books. They all indicate the flour is mixed with oil and water.
        I don't like that. So I make my chapatis with water and Atta alone. They just seem to taste better to me, and they come out more like what I'm looking for.
        So here's my recipe for chapatis:
        Take two cups of ATTA flour
        Take about 1/2 cup of WARM water.
        Mix, and knead until smooth and elastic. (Can do all this in a single bowl)
        Wrap dough ball in Saran wrap and leave on countertop (in bowl) for half an hour.
        Divide dough into 8 to 10 little balls.
        Take your chapati board. (a round board about 10: in diameter on litttle feet) and put a little atta on it, and put a little atta on your roling pin and roll out each ball into a nice round circle.
        The chapati board is wonderful because with the round edges to aim for, it assists in making nice round chapatis. They don't have to all be perfect, this isn't a factory after all, but they do come out nicer with the board than without.
        Then heat an ungreased griddle, and heat it QUITE HOT.
        Put a chapati onto grill, and after 15-30 seconds flip it, with fingers (if you're cool) or a spatula (if you're not) grill other side.
        Chapati will start to puff up when it's thinking about becoming delicious.
        Store chapatis in a tortilla warmer.
        These have the look and feel like whole-wheat flour tortillas, but without the lard or fat or oil that store-bought flour tortillas have.
        I make them all the time, and they're popular items to bring to a pot-luck

        1. re: PeteSeattle

          One bag of atta suggested adding a bit of oil to make handling easier. Recently I made a Spanish torta de aceite, 'oil cake', that calls for quite a bit of oil. Otherwise the dough is similar, though baked till crisp. The oil dough was quite a bit easier to work than chapatti or flour tortillas.

          1. re: paulj

            Yes, dough can be rather stiff when made without any oil, but I like the texture of the finished product better with no oil in it. It's a little "bubbly" and "crepe-y" with the oil. And last night I was wondering: Why do I prefer my atta chapatis to French crepes? I can and have made both! Suddenly, I want some crepes! (Eggs, Milk, Butter and just a little bit of flour, making a limp, light product)
            To go a different way, in my neighborhood packets of Ethiopean sour millet bread called injera are readily available. But that stuff tastes so strong, and gets more sour as it ages in the bag, that it's difficult to use it in other cuisines.

            1. re: PeteSeattle

              Isn't there an Indian crepe like item? I've had it at the home of neighbors from south India. I think the batter was rice and lentil based, somewhat like idlli

              1. re: paulj

                Ah yes. The DOSA. Made of fermented rice flour. You can get nice ones stuffed with potato curry at the Dosa stand inside of Crossroads Mall in Bellevue at 154th and 8th Ave N. (I hope! I'm guessing on the exact address, since it's been years since I've needed to do more than "Just go to crossroads" )

              2. re: PeteSeattle

                Not all millet is teff, but all teff is millet. Teff is the basis of injera.

                1. re: tsquare

                  An Israeli/Ethiopean friend of mine told me of his father's attempts to grow teff in Southern Israel, near Be'er Sheva, Ashkelon, and Gaza. (Other Ethiopean Israelis have tried the same thing) They've had no success growing teff in that climate. I don't know if it would grow here or not. It could be like the coca tree, the source of cocaine. That requires a tropical latitude, a limited temperature range, and a specific altitude. Think Peruvian cloud forest and you get the idea. The only way to grow coca outside of its native range is to have a depressurized greenhouse! If Teff is that picky about where it grows, it might be hard to find places to grow it.

        2. re: bbqer

          I agree that in the Seattle city limits, most likely your best bet is to get a thali. But fortunately, more and more restaurants are beginning to offer it . I just had a fantastic one at Chili's Deli & Mart the other day. Best pappadums I've ever had, but a great paratha, rice, 3 soups, several curries, pickles and a kheer. All for $11. If you want to make it a meat dish, it bumps it up to $15. But that delivers you enough food for at least 2 people.

        3. There is a new Indian restuarant in Bellevue called 'O India' which has a sumptuous buffet for dinner. Try it out.

          1. Pablas in Renton in the parking lot of Fred Meyer has a dinner buffet.

            6 Replies
            1. re: PeteSeattle

              Please note though....Pabla is strictly vegetarian.

              1. re: grangie angie

                Not totally vegetarian at their downtown Seattle location though. Seattle store only has the (best) buffet at lunch.

                1. re: bjones9942

                  Renton store serves no meat whatsoever, but does serve milk products, and has Rabbinical approval as a strictly Kosher restaurant and grocery by the American Va'ad association. It was a little startling to see announcements for upcoming Bar-Mitzvah's in an Indian Restaurant, but once you get over the stereotype shock, it's completely appropriate!

                  1. re: bjones9942

                    Meat or no meat - the Renton location has vastly superior ingredients overall.

                    1. re: HungWeiLo

                      Totally agree,HWL,And they have a little store also with some fantastic
                      frozen veg. items.

                      1. re: grangie angie

                        For years they had a recirculating tape with a Sikh puja being chanted, over and over. They've finally stopped that. Or the tape broke, thanks be to Vahi Guru! hearing that one melody over and over, and it was a short one at that, was like listening to "Twinkle Twinkle, Little Star" played without stopping for seven years.

                        I'm glad that they're not doing that anymore!