For the uninitiated, Indian food can be daunting – a maze of unfamiliar terms and exotic ingredients. But at Ruchi Vegetarian South Indian Cuisine, owner Nagappan Chettiar will happily explain every dish on his extensive meat-free menu, including the masala dosai ($9): crêpes fashioned from white lentils and rice filled with potatoes and onions. Brightened with turmeric and laced with onion strings and black mustard seeds, a filling of lightly mashed potato is tucked deep inside the crêpe, leaving the crunchy outer edges free for tearing off and dipping in a trio of interesting condiments: cold coconut chutney fired up with chile and Indian spices; zesty tomato sauce with Indian red chiles; and sambar, a bold lentil and vegetable soup flooded with cumin, coriander and chiles and bits of carrots and green beans.
If you want to get a full taste of Chettiar’s handiwork, visit Ruchi for lunch and belly up to the all-you-can-eat buffet, which features a medley of South and North Indian vegetable dishes, rice, desserts and unlimited dosai ($10 Tues-Fri; $13 Sat-Sun). The buffet menu changes daily. “And we make everything from scratch.”
Ruchi Vegetarian South Indian Cuisine
2051 W. Warner Rd., Chandler