2005 Fall Dining Guide By Tom Sietsema Washington Post Magazine Sunday, October 16, 2005
If your idea of Indian food is limited to samosas and a curry or two, the family-run Nirvana will open your eyes to a richer world: slender banana peppers stuffed with a paste of coconut, coriander, mint and nuts (the divine mara mari), and what looks like a toy top but is actually an edible flour shell with cloves, red pepper and cumin waiting inside to tease your tongue (the zippy khasta kachori). More familiar but no less satisfying are the crepe-like dosas filled with vegetables, and the beds of fragrant basmati rice, the best of which is flavored with tamarind, nuts and raisins. Nirvana also sets out a lunch buffet, which changes to reflect a different region of India each day; for less than $10 a person, it adds up to a lusty little tour. Watching over the pretty -- and sometimes chaotic -- dining room is Doler Shah, elegant in a sari and eager to introduce you to her personal take on meatless cooking.
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