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Restaurants & Bars 1

Athithi - new Indian in Berkeley

Alexandra | Dec 2, 200202:31 PM

Athithi (Dwight at Telegraph, Berkeley), a new Indian vegetarian place, was mentioned on the board a week or two ago, so we rushed over and tried it last night. It surpassed our expectations!

Sunday night is special thali night. For $7, we got a selection of hearty, delicious food - one vegetable curry (green beans and carrots in a thin and slightly sweet curry sauce), one lentil or bean dish (last night was kidney beans in a rich brown curry sauce), and one potato dish (with curry and fenugreek seeds, I think?). In addition, the thali includes very respectable basmati rice (it didn't seem like it was an afterthought like at some Indian restaurants) and two poori - deep-fried puffy bread - and a sweet. Last night's sweet was carrot halwa, which the owners described as carrots cooked in milk and then mixed with raisins and honey. But I'm sure I detected rosewater in there, too. Delicious!

We also ordered the paneer paratha - a flatbread (fried, I think) which is on the menu with several different fillings. Really really good, and not fried tasting at all.

The aloo tikki are dumpling-like potato things that come with the cilantro/mint/date chutney Montrose described so lovingly. We liked the chutney but felt the aloo tikki had an odd flavor for our palates. It's a flavor I've tasted in Indian food before and I'm not sure what it is but it's hard for me to swallow (pun intended).

Mango lassi was delicious and fresh-tasting, too. They're planning on having a different special every night of the week. That should start soon. Uthappam one night, and a bunch of other delicious-sounding things I've never tried before every night of the week! I'll have to go every night.

In sum, Athithi is a nice, homey place. The food has south and western Indian influences, according to the owners, who are very friendly and love chowhounds! It's like home cooking, something that's hard to find in Indian restaurants.


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