Dine or Dash: Turmeric Indian Cuisine

The+food+at+Tumeric+%22is+delightfully+saturated+with+rich+Central+and+South+Asian+flavors.%22+%28Photo+by+Manasij+Mukherjee+%7C+Daily+Utah+Chronicle%29%0A

The food at Tumeric "is delightfully saturated with rich Central and South Asian flavors." (Photo by Manasij Mukherjee | Daily Utah Chronicle)

By Cade Anderson

 

Tucked inside the quaint Regent Street, right in between City Creek Mall and the Gallivan Center, is a local cafe thousands of tourists and residents alike have walked past, but few would recognize by name. When we arrived for dinner one weekday evening, curious and famished, my partner and I had the small restaurant to ourselves. For quiet-seeking introverts like ourselves, the vacancy only enhanced the experience. The presence of harsh white lighting and the absence of music or decoration initially struck me as oddly sterile — almost austere. That said, as soon as our smiling server swung open the back kitchen door and our booth filled with the sweet and savory aromas of authentic Indian cuisine, I wasn’t paying attention to the interior design anymore. 

 

The Ingredients

(Photo by Manasij Mukherjee | Daily Utah Chronicle)

Turmeric’s menu is extensive — so much so that it took us a fun few minutes longer than usual just to explore it all. The colorful entrees range from $6 Indian street foods (I want to come back to try some samosas or chaat) to $10-13 chicken, seafood, goat or vegetarian plates. Both vegetarians, we went with the Veg Dum Biryani, a curry-rice combination, and the Aloo Gobi, potatoes and cauliflower in a garlic-ginger sauce. We also ordered two sides of naan at only around a dollar extra apiece. In addition to the vast selection of entrees for meat-lovers and plant-based eaters, there’s also a spectrum of spiciness available to choose from. I enjoyed mine medium-hot, but more or less adventurous diners may adjust accordingly. 

Our meals were brought to the table by the chefs themselves, who clearly hold a lot of passion for what they do. True to the restaurant’s namesake, the food is delightfully saturated with rich Central and South Asian flavors. Turmeric, cloves, lime, black pepper, fresh mint leaves and — my personal favorite — plenty of cardamom coalesced to create a wonderful rice dish. Meanwhile, cauliflower and potatoes — perfectly, mesmerizingly tender — were smothered in a bright, zesty sauce. I couldn’t get enough.

As is the case with most traditional Indian fare, our meals at Turmeric were completely transformed with a side of naan. If you have problems holding back from carbs the way I do, then a hot basket of soft but crispy garlic naan might just be the highlight of your meal. But it’s not just the intoxicating array of tastes and smells that’s so much fun here — it’s also the portion sizes. As we exited Turmeric and trekked through the snow back to my car, we were happy and warm with food babies and heavy takeout boxes.

 

The Verdict

(Photo by Manasij Mukherjee | Daily Utah Chronicle)

4 / 5 Stars

My only wish is that Turmeric’s atmosphere matched the warmth and comfort of its food. It’s not quite an ambient dining experience, but vibrant flavors and above-and-beyond servers make this hole-in-the-wall cafe definitely worth your time. Plus, the fact that you’ll have another huge meal leftover at such an affordable price (not to mention the daily lunch buffet available for $12.99) makes this destination perfect for college students. And although it’s heavy comfort food, it’s by no means greasy, instead feeling clean and fresh.

I know I will be returning to Turmeric Indian Cuisine, but I think I may prefer to order take-out or delivery next time. It seems that’s what this restaurant is mostly geared for, as the only other customers we saw during our dinner were people just stopping in to pick up orders they’d already placed online. I can’t imagine a better Saturday night Grubhub.

 

Recommendation

While I loved my rice-based Veg Dum Biryani, I know I wouldn’t have enjoyed it as much without the chance to steal some of my boyfriend’s cauliflower and potatoes. For anyone as passionate about vegetables as me, I highly recommend the “Vegetarian Specialty” section of the menu. 

In addition to its Draper location, Turmeric Indian Cuisine can be found at 153 S. Regent Street, Salt Lake City, UT 84111. Check out their menu here or go ahead and order online here.

 

[email protected]

@enyafanaccount