Cabbages and kings

The vegetarian Indian restaurant Udupi Cafe (2226 Sunrise Boulevard) has been open now for more than two years. I spoke with manager Srinnivasan Rang about what makes the place still so unique.

“Udupi cuisine is based in four southern Indian states, which are mostly vegetarian. They add protein with ingredients like lentils. Most of the food is light and a little spicier. Much of it is based on ayurvedic principles.

“We also don’t use a lot of milk or cream, so the dishes are vegan by default. Probably 68 of the 90 dishes on our menu are fully vegan. We do use some ghee (clarified butter), but usually only in the desserts.

“Indian food in other restaurants is the fancy cuisine of the emperors. This is food we eat every day. It is like [the kind] you get in a cheap business-lunch restaurant back home. I tried to give the same hole-in-the-wall ambience here.