Janani Indian Restaurant, Homebush (Closed)

I generally don’t crave Indian food, the only things that I always want are garlic naan because I love garlic, and masala dosa. Masala dosa is a very thin big crepe or pancake made from a combination of lentil and rice flour, filled with a lightly spicy potato and served with sambal and a coconut chutney. I have seem the giant dosa served as a cone shape at Mamak – with either a curry or two scoops of vanilla icecream. When asked “soft or crispy?”, I always answer crispy!

A day at the beach required carbohydrates afterwards, so we went to Janani homebush.
This restaurant has two kitchens, one for preparing vegetarian food and the other for the carnivores. On a Monday night, the place was 1/4 full.

I first discovered this place after our friend Hugh organised a farewell party here. Nearly everyone ordered a lamb thali. This comes served on a metal plate with lamb curry, sambal, chutney, a milk dessert, a pappadam and a chilli ‘popper’.

After a conversation with an Indian colleague, it turns out you are supposed to nibble this deep-fried chilli in-between eating your main meal. Hugh of course, being male and probably under 25, ate 12 of these in a row. Did I mention he was heading to Alaska the next day in a direct flight? Yeah. That was fun for everyone on the plane.

So, this time I spotted “rava masala”($11.50), which is described as having semolina in the batter, so I ordered it. I haven’t seen this one on a menu before.

Rava masala

Wow! This is my new favourite dish.
It was served on a metal platter as a giant lacy pancake with a potato filling. There was a sambal spread over three dishes, a white sour cooling chutney, a green mint chutney and a hot orange coloured coconut chutney. Sounds pretty standard, but the dosa itself had flecks of onion, purple cabbage and carrot and this added another level of interest to the crispiness of the dosa.
The garlic naan ($3) was lacking that extra depth of fresh garlic yumminess, but was tasty all the same when dipped into the hot lamb curry. The lamb itself had a very strong flavour, I would almost say mutton-like.

I have had an Indian friend comment that the meat at Janani can lack some flavour, because it isn’t cooked with the sauce, but added after ordering.
However, I still think that the food here is a step above a lot of other Indian eateries around Sydney.

For dessert, or general cooling effect, there are three lassi flavours ($4), Ginger beers, coconut juice and kulfi, the ice-cream made from condensed milk.

Janani Indian Restaurant
32 Burlington Road Homebush 2140
(02) 9763 2306
7am – 11pm, everyday

2015 edit: Janani Indian Restaurant was taken over by Kammadhenu in February 2013. They now run only one kitchen.

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