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Lots of folks picture New Delhi or Mumbai, Bangalore or Goa when they think of India. But you might be less familiar with the city of Ludhiana.
Tucked up into the northwestern corner of the country, less than 100 miles from the Pakistan border, Ludhiana is the largest city north of Delhi with 1.7 million residents. Rickshaw tricycles weave in between cars on its busy streets, bustling with people who stop on their way to work for a bite at one of the many roadside food stalls. It’s home to abundant eucalyptus trees – transplanted by Australians in the 1950s – and colonial architecture leftover from its days of British rule.
It’s this city – in the heart of the India’s Punjab region – where Preeti Grewal learned to cook as a young girl. Even while she pursued a career as a dentist and moving to the U.S., her love for this vibrant, flavorful cuisine could not be dampened. Now, she’s inviting you to taste her best recipes at a one-night-only popup dinner at Hamtramck’s Yemans Street.
On Saturday, December 3, Preeti will be whipping up six courses of exotic treats: an all-vegetarian Indian meal that is anything but boring. If you don’t normally eat vegetarian because it conjures images of sad, flavorless plates of veggies, this is a good opportunity to see that it can be so much more. Preeti’s hearty, colorful dishes reveal the dynamic, exciting side of vegetarian cuisine, bursting with flavor and craveworthy aromas.
Dinner will start out with Bhelpuri, an addictively tasty Mumbai road snack loaded up with papadi, puffed rice, onions, potatoes and chutney. Papadi are small, flat, crispy chips made from flour which add a nice crunch to the dish.
Next up is rasam with coconut chutney and rava ildi, a spicy south Indian soup chock full of tomatoes, lentils and tamarind juice. The lovely aromatic broth is seasoned with mustard seeds and curry leaves. It’s served with a steamed semolina cake, ildi.
And there is still more deliciousness to come. As dinner continues, you’ll be treated to dishes like cheese and veggie dumplings with a creamy, spiced tomato gravy; samosas with a sweet yogurt dip; and a lovely green tea made with spices and saffron.
Preeti Grewal’s popup dinner starts promptly at 7 p.m. on Saturday, December 3. Tickets for this dinner cost $42.40 per person and are available online. Guests aged 21 and older are welcome to bring their own libations to accompany dinner. For more information, visit the Yemans Street website.