Bringing authentic South Indian flavor to Vienna
“Eighty percent of all Indian restaurants in Vienna are North Indian,” chef Mamta Mahto of the Prosi Indian Restaurant explained to us. A spinoff of the popular Prosi Exotic Supermarket next door, the restaurant’s authentic South Indian taste is a rare treasure to stumble across in Vienna.
Mamta Mahto, who has called Austria home for 17 years, has a love for cooking that began in India when she was a teenager, she recalled. At first, it was simply helping her family out in the kitchen, cleaning and quietly observing the action. After learning all the tricks of the trade, cooking with her family and friends became a favorite pastime.
Besides being head chef at Prosi, she also regularly hosts cooking courses that are attended mostly by Austrians. Most people she encounters are unaware of the distinct differences between North and South Indian cuisine. The North cooks with much more meat, whereas the South prefers fish. Another key difference lies in the spices used: The North favors cumin, saffron and nuts while the South prefers coconut, curry and tamarind.
The concept is clear: Mahto wishes to bring the culinary delight of southern India to Vienna. To get a taste of Mahto’s finger-licking good cuisine (a practice which, Mahto assures us, is socially acceptable in India), head over to Kandlgasse to obtain a little slice of genuine South Indian nirvana.
Prosi Indian Restaurant
7., Kandlgasse 44
Mon–Sat; Self-service 11:00-17:00; Table service 17:00-22:00
(01) 522 44 44
Soak urad lentils, rice and finely chopped garlic in enough water so the rice and lentils are covered for 6 hours. After soaking, add salt as required and puree everything.
Roast chopped onions in oil. Add the carrot-pea mix. Dice cooked potatoes and add to the pan. Add the rest of the spices and stir well. Cover the pan and let simmer.
Spread the lentil-rice mixture thinly in a large pan and roast until golden brown. Spread the filling evenly at the middle of the roasted golden-brown dosa. Fold both sides of the dosa over the filling. Remove from pan and serve warm.
Cook yellow lentils until firm. Chop potatoes, eggplant, moringa and okra and add to lentils; simmer in water. Fry okra and asafoetida in oil; add salt and tamarind. Chop and fry shallots in oil; add mustard seed, curry and coriander leaves, sambar and coriander powder and continue to fry. Now mix all 3 components together in a pan. Serve as a sauce with the Masala Dosa.
Ingredients (serves 4)
600ml basmati rice
300ml urad lentils
small piece of garlic
300ml parboiled rice
For the filling:
100g carrots and peas
½ teaspoon ground coriander seed
½ teaspoon turmeric (Kurkuma)
100g yellow lentils
50g moringa oleifera (Drumstick tree pods)
small piece of horseradish
15g asafoetida (a.k.a. hing powder)
4 teaspoons sambar powder
1 teaspoon coriander powder
coriander leaves (a.k.a. cilantro)
salt to taste