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Chai Pani reopens its dining room with a brand new menu, forgoing okra fries for dishes that are often cooked at home, rather than in restaurants. “It's an exploration of the more humble side of Indian street food and Indian at-home cooking," says Meherwan Irani.
As Meherwan Irani of Chai Pani's dynasty grows, so does Irani’s eagerness to explore local Indian restaurants. He frequents the small, mom-and-pop places around Decatur, near Patel Plaza. Here are four of Irani’s top spots for that Indian family vibe—and some superb vegetarian grub.
Hang out with zombies at Walker Stalker Con, dine with some of the city's best chefs at Sunday Supper South, and see a ghost at the Fox Theatre.
The James Beard Foundation's 2018 Restaurant and Chef Award semifinalists include seven Atlanta-based chefs and three elsewhere in Georgia received nominations. If you look closer at the list, you'll notice a trend: Seven of these ten chefs are people of color.
Chai Pani owner Meherwan Irani and Vishwesh Bhatt of Snackbar in Oxford, Mississippi, created the Brown in the South supper series as a way to spotlight Indian chefs living and working in the South. And the first dinner at Chai Pani in January was a sold-out success.
Heading to this year's Atlanta Food & Wine Festival? Here's what's new for 2017 and the events you won't want to miss.
Meherwan Irani, founder of Chai Pani in Decatur and Asheville, is opening a food stall in Ponce City Market called Boti, the name for a marinated, grilled, and skewered chunk of meat. “With Chai Pani, we introduced Indian street food to America, but there are subcultures of it,” he explains. “At Chai Pani, it was about chaat—bright, crispy, multi-textured snacks like samosas or pakoras. Boti is about the street grill at night when the fires start blazing. It’s a style of kebab—lamb, beef, chicken, fish. It’s meat on a stick.”
The arrival of Decatur's Chai Pani, an Indian restaurant that originated in Asheville, seems to have spurred a citywide craving for Mumbai-style street food snacks. But for those unfamiliar with the specifics of this trend, we spoke with Chai Pani owner and chef Meherwan Irani. Below, he compares traditional Indian street food dishes to common American eats: