Whether conscious or unconscious, men and women use a variety of tactics to impress and/or seduce a potential mate. My husband and I love to reminisce about one strategy in particular that I used very early on in our relationship: impressing him by eating the spiciest curries possible (without a blink of the eye or a pitcher of water). I’m sure my subconscious was trying to communicate that if I could so easily consume chili peppers high on the Scoville scale (measurement of the spicy heat of the chili pepper), surely I would be badass enough to eventually squeeze out two 8+lb. babies (or something like that).
Fast forward a bit, I am now on a mission to train My Little Foodies’ taste buds to relish the flavor (and spice) intrinsic to Indian food. Bhojanic’s website cleverly warns that “food contains flavor,” which for this restaurant, is an understatement. Just like any new flavors that your children are not accustomed to (my Indian cooking at home is limited to adding a spice packet to chickpeas or okra), it may take some time for them to learn to appreciate complex and perhaps foreign flavors. It certainly didn’t happen overnight for Big A. Her first Indian meal as a toddler included swatting at her tongue the entire dinner. Over time, however, she found favorites that were more mildly spiced. Little A, who we now affectionately refer to as our “manimal,” dove right into the cuisine head on (just as he does with everything else – even the post-dinner crumb pile on the floor).
What we love about Decatur’s Bhojanic is the fantastic menu specifically designed for children. The potato stuffed paratha – whole wheat flatbread with raita or cucumber yogurt sauce and fresh, sweet mango chutney -serves as a tasty appetizer. Another great option is the chat papri off the regular menu. These crispy flour chips topped with potatoes, garbanzo beans, raita, and tamarind and mint chutney are like India’s answer to nachos (without all the grease and guilt). My Little Foodies also love mango lassi. This rich, tangy, and sweet mango yogurt drink is perfection for quelling the heat. Be careful, because it can be rather filling, as the kids usually suck it down in one shot. Consider ordering this for dessert instead of for a beverage.
The canai or Maylasian flatbread (Bhojanic features a number of fusion dishes) with the chicken tikka (tender and flavorful pieces of chicken) is a fantastic intro-to-Indian dish for little ones not accustomed to a lot of spice. The kid’s thali, reminiscent of a meat-and-three (except here you can order vegetarian combos) is where the more adventurous foodies have room to experiment. With a choice of one meat (she sticks with the chicken tikka) and one vegetable (chole or garbanzo beans with fresh roasted spices and alu gobhi or potatoes and cauliflower with ginger and tomato are two favorites), jasmine rice, raita, and chapati or flat bread, this meal is a generous and hearty choice.
Whatever your choice, you cannot go wrong. The servers are extremely helpful in ensuring that your child doesn’t burst into flames by educating you on the spice level of each dish. No guarantees, however, on how many diapers you will be changing later on.
*New Buckhead Location in the Shops Around Lenox Opening in Late Fall 2012!*
Potato Stuffed Paratha-$3.00
Canai with Chicken Tikka-$4.00