Local Eats: Vimala's Curry Blossom - Chapel Hill, NC

Avi loves Mango Lassi I wish I could remember my first experience with Indian cuisine. I can't even recall how old I was or where I was, and this saddens me. So many people find the flavors to be overwhelming or offensive, maybe because the balance of spices was off, or because there is just too much ghee (Indian clarified butter). Whatever the case, I'm pretty sure I fell in love with it instantly, because I could eat it daily if my health wouldn't suffer. At least that's what I thought. Usually the heavy flavors and cooking techniques of most indian restaurants I'd been to would leave me feeling lethargic or heavy. This was all about to change with one meal from Vimala's Curryblossom.

Naan The setting is in a small corner in Chapel Hill, tucked behind some buildings, and occupying a space that used to be a coffee shop, turned cupcake shop, turned sandwich shop, turned creperie. Not much has changed in terms of the decor inside, but that's not the kind of thing you'd come looking for in a place like this. You walk in and you already know that Vimala's is a little different.

Dal - First off, there is a line leading out the door already at 545pm, you also notice that there is no table service. You order your food at a counter at the front of the restaurant. The food comes out to you when it's ready.

Bhel Puri There is beer for sale by the bottle, a menu overhead, and a group of young capable people behind the counter taking your order and prepping food. Vimala herself is back in the kitchen too.

Tandoori Chicken I got to try this restaurant out because my sister and my brother in law took my Em and me out for dinner (unexpectedly. . .oops, where's my wallet?) and they decided to get a bunch of side dishes and one main course instead of doing the whole dinner thing.

Vegetarian Curry Thali with Pappadum I love this idea, it gets me a better sampling of what Vimala's has to offer and boy does she have SO much to offer. I will say that this is now my favorite restaurant in Chapel Hill. Yes. It's that good.

Uttappam We ordered some 9-10 dishes and shared everything and ate like maniacs as it came out of the kitchen. Even my nephew Avi loves Vimala's! That's him with the mango lassi. There is something so different about the food here.

Idli puffs I think it's the fact that it tastes so made to order. It seems as though care is given to each and every chick pea. That careful attention is paid to how much ghee is being used and how much spice is going into a dish. It's thoughtful.

Bhatura I don't even recall how on earth we got through all the food but, I do recall loving every bite and wishing I had a couple more stomachs to go back for seconds and thirds.

Vimala I highly recommend you check this place out if you're even close to the area, and you even sorta, kinda, like Indian food. You'll leave feeling full, but not heavy, still light on your feet and not greasy at all. Thank you Vimala for an amazing meal and for all you do.

--Joe Kwon

Definitely read more about Vimala's story it's quite amazing!