Ahimsa is a newly opened Indian Vegetarian restaurant located in Manhattan’s Greenwich Village neighborhood. The menu here is extensive and offers a variety of dishes from various parts of India.
Just to name a few, you’ll see items such as Idli, Dosa and Sambar from the southern region of India, Malai Kofta, Chana Masala, and Palak Paneer from the northern region of India, and Pav Bhaji, Bombay Sandwich, and Aloo Papdi Chaat from the western region of India.
There is something for everyone at this affordable and casual restaurant which also offers Kosher and Jain food available upon request.
Papad with Mint & Tamarind Chutneys: Delicious and crispy appetizer that paired well with both chutneys.
Aloo Papdi Chaat: A mixture of wheat crisps, potatoes and chickpeas topped with yogurt, tamarind chutney and spices. The chaat was quite good and spicy.
Gobi Manchurian: A well-known Indo-Chinese dish prepared with cauliflower that is deep fried and then coated in a spicy sauce. I was really looking forward to the Gobi Manchurian, but unfortunately the gobi (cauliflower) was overdone and chewy, and the sauce, flavorless.
Pondicherry Masala Dosa: A spicy dosa rolled with potato and onion masala. Typically, the Pondicherry Masala Dosa is quite spicy, however I requested a milder version of the dosa which was flavorful with a hint of spice, and wasn’t oily at all. The sambar, a combination of lentils and spices, to the side was decent, however the coconut and tomato chutneys were delicious.
North Indian Curries
Bhindi Masala: Okra sauteed with onion, tomato, ginger, garlic, and spices. The Bhindi Masala was floating in oil and the flavor of the okra was masked by the tomato. This dish was a disappointment.
Malai Kofta: Dumplings of cottage cheese and potatoes deep fried and sauteed in a rich gravy prepared with cream, cashew nuts, and saffron. This dish was extremely rich, creamy, and leaves you with that heavy feeling, however the kofta (dumplings) were flavored well and perfectly cooked.
Basmati Rice: Traditional aromatic Indian Rice that is served with all North Indian Curries.
Pulka (left): A fat-free flat bread that arrived hot. The pulka was light and healthy. Loved it!
Poori (right): Deep fried puffy bread. The poori was very oily… the excess oil should have been removed prior to arriving to the table.
Gajar Halwa: An Indian Carrot Pudding, if you will. Grated carrots prepared with whole milk, dried fruit and nuts. I was very impressed that the Gajar Halwa was not greasy at all and so full of flavor. This dessert was very well prepared and it wasn’t overly sweet which tends to be the case with many Indian desserts.
Masala Chai (left): Indian Chai prepared with milk, loose tea leaves and spices. Well-made, and slightly on the creamier side.
Madras Coffee (right): South Indian coffee with hot frothy milk. In my opinion, the coffee tasted better than the tea as it was more bold in flavor and not too creamy.
RESTAURANT REVIEW: Ahimsa
CUISINE: Indian, Vegetarian. Jain and Kosher available upon request.
FAVORITES: Pondicherry Masala Dosa | Pulka | Gajar Halwa | Madras Coffee
VERDICT: 3.5 / 5
Ahimsa offers affordable, vegetarian Indian cuisine that is close to New York University (NYU). The restaurant offers a 10% student discount for NYU students, in addition to an “all you can eat buffet” Lunch Special for just $11.95 (M-F, 12-3 pm). The food at Ahimsa is catered more towards the Non-Indian palette, and thus some dishes aren’t as authentic. Having said that, the food here is on the spicy side – just something to keep in mind when ordering. Additionally, I left Ahimsa feeling very full, even hours later. Contrary to popular belief, Indian food doesn’t have to be extremely heavy, creamy or oily. And thus, unsurprisingly my favorite items of the night were those that were well-made and prepared with just the right amount of oil… Pondicherry Masala Dosa, Pulka, and Gajar Halwa.
Food: Average-Good | Drinks: Excellent | Décor: Causal | Service: Helpful | Value: Excellent
Have you been to Ahimsa? Thoughts? What is your favorite Indian dish?