In the vibrant neighborhood of Fort Greene, Brooklyn, a culinary sensation has taken root, captivating the taste buds and forging connections among locals. At the heart of this gastronomic affair is The Brooklyn Curry Project, a modest yet mighty South Indian food stand that has become a cherished eatery. With its mouthwatering dosas, heartfelt hospitality, and a dash of wild fermentation magic, this hidden gem has earned its rightful place in the hearts and bellies of food enthusiasts throughout New York City.
As Peter Senge once said, “ All great things have small beginnings” and this quote thoroughly rings true for the Brooklyn Curry Project. It all began with a simple lemonade stand and the yearning for a taste of home. Swetha and Venkat Raju, a husband-wife duo from Bangalore, India, embarked on their flavorful adventure upon arriving in Brooklyn in 2016. They found solace in the act of cooking and inviting neighbors over to their City Point abode, eager to share a piece of their cultural heritage and forge new connections. The response was overwhelming — their food was a major hit, leaving everyone yearning for more.
One fine day, inspired by their daughter's lemonade stand, which brought joy and conversation to the community, Swetha and Venkat decided to take their culinary prowess to the next level. It was a natural progression, an opportunity to share the wholesome and nutrient-rich delights of South Indian cuisine with the good folks of New York City. Thus, The Brooklyn Curry Project was born, a weekly gathering that would soon evolve into a pilgrimage for food enthusiasts seeking authentic flavors and a warm sense of belonging.
Every Saturday, like clockwork, the culinary master duo set up their makeshift food stand on Willoughby Avenue, just across from Fort Greene Park. The aroma of dosas, golden and crisp, wafts through the air, beckoning a long line of dedicated regulars and curious newcomers alike. It's a testament to the Rajus' dedication and meticulous preparation—batter made from scratch, simmered with wild fermentation for hours on end, resulting in dosas that are nothing short of sublime. It starts at 10:30 am and runs until everything is sold out.
The menu at The Brooklyn Curry Project is a testament to tradition and generations of family recipes. Dosas reign supreme, each one generously seasoned and brimming with mashed potato filling. For the complete experience, indulge in the lunch combo, an ensemble of pickled vegetables, a ladleful of daal-based khichdi, and a refreshing moong sprout salad. The idlis, whether pancake-sized with a dollop of green chutney or served as delightful bite-sized morsels immersed in a vibrant sambar, are equally enticing. And don't miss the uttapam, an open-faced crepe bursting with flavors of onion, coconut, and coriander.
As customers patiently await their orders, the communal atmosphere envelops them. Conversations flow, laughter fills the air, and bonds are forged between strangers turned friends. The Brooklyn Curry Project has become more than just a food stand—it is a hub of connection, where individuals from all walks of life gather to share stories, savor delectable bites, and create lasting memories.
Among the devoted regulars are a couple Neha Dharkar and Varshaya Visvanathan, who in an interview with Eatery NY, shared that satiating their taste buds at the Brooklyn Curry Project transports them back to their mother's kitchens. The Raju family's warmth and genuine sweetness add an extra layer of delight to the dining experience. From Clinton Hill resident Rohun Iyer, who finds comfort in the authentic flavors reminiscent of his childhood, to the countless others who return religiously, The Brooklyn Curry Project has become a treasured tradition, a culinary sanctuary where tensions of the workweek dissipate, leaving only pure satisfaction and nourishment in their wake.
For Swetha and Venkat Raju, this culinary endeavor transcends mere sustenance. It is a passion project fueled by the joy of connecting with people, a labor of love that warms their hearts and rejuvenates their spirits. The Brooklyn Curry Project is more than the sum of its delectable dishes—it is a testament to the power of food in building communities and fostering a sense of belonging. It is also a social commentary on how diasporic identities and their relationship with food are intertwined.
So, if you find yourself craving the enchanting flavors of South India and the embrace of a vibrant community, venture to Fort Greene and immerse yourself in the captivating world of The Brooklyn Curry Project. Allow yourself to be whisked away on a culinary journey, where each bite is a symphony of flavors and every encounter a celebration of unity that may teleport you to a home away from home.
Find out more about The Brooklyn Curry Project here.
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