You know the death row meal chat? What would your death row meal be? Well, my main course would be curry – an Indian curry. Don’t ask me specifically what kind because it’s been hard enough to whittle it down to just one cuisine and I can’t deal with that kind of pressure, but curry it is. I would also have mashed potato served with my curry, because mash potato is the ultimate comfort food and it’s my last meal, I’ll have whatever I damn want – please and thank you. After a recent meal at Ganapati South Indian Kitchen, I’m now thinking I should add something from this Peckham restaurant into my fantasy death row meal – specifically, their paratha.
I don’t think I’m overstating this: the paratha is out of this world. My friend who lives within Deliveroo distance of Ganapati said she sometimes orders just their paratha because it’s that good. Buttery, flaky, almost bouncy in its nature it’s so light – it’s certainly the best I’ve tried. Whatever else you order here, the paratha must accompany it.
But let’s go back to the beginning. Luckily there were four of us at dinner, meaning we got to try most of the starters on the small menu, and the vegetarian among us was catered for well throughout the meal – not a hard stretch in a South Indian restaurant, but worth noting all the same. Highlights to start included the duck olathu cooked in ginger, garlic, garam masala and coconut with rice flour pancakes; the kadala cutlet – fried patties of spiced chickpeas and potato covered in breadcrumbs, and the vegetarian street snacks which featured more potato and more chickpeas, fried. The chemeen idiappam – steamed noodle cakes which were filled with shrimp masala – were also good, but I favour all things fried it would seem, so for me I would skip next time and leave more room for the main event.
Whilst we didn’t order it on this occasion, I’ve had the masala dosa in the past and it’s as exemplary as you would expect for a restaurant specialising in South Indian food, and a must order if you’ve never had a dosa before. It’s easy to share a few dishes at Ganapati as you would in most Indians yet we were all set on completely different choices this time around, leading us to order a variety: a couple of fish dishes, one chicken and I myself went for the andhra lamb. Noted to be one of the hotter dishes on the menu, it certainly had a good kick to it but thankfully nothing that left me unable to stomach it, if you’re worried about spice. The meat was tender and beautifully flavoured with onions, tomatoes, black pepper, chilli and garam masala; the sauce thick without being oily, the coconut rice fluffy and light. Ganapati switches up their menu every two months or so, which is good news if you want to keep going back without getting remotely bored with what’s on offer. I just need Deliveroo to extend out a little further to my abode now…
I’d had a terrible day before meeting my friends that evening. Turns out all you need to turn a particularly bad day around are some good friends full of positivity and wisdom, some good wine and a curry at this tiny Indian called Ganapati. Oh, and their paratha.
38 Holly Grove, Peckham, London, SE15 5DF
+44 20 7277 2928