Herald-Tribune 11/13/2011

At Gateway to India, owner Sam Kumar does

not like to rest on his laurels. The tasty Indian restaurant

– located in the heart of the downtown

Sarasota “Hillview” area – has gotten good reviews

and much fanfare since its opening about two

years ago.

Now Kumar has decided to expand the menu

to include dishes that are better known in the

Southern regions of India (the original menu was

more Northern cuisine). In particular the Goa area,

where there is a signifi cant Portuguese infl uence,

has caught Kumar’s favor. So be ready for specialties

on the menu such as lamb Kafrial (lamb marinated

and cooked with special fresh mint, cilantro,

ginger and garlic masala.), fi sh moilee (fi sh in coconut

milk infused with fresh ginger, garlic and other delicate fl avors), baby eggplant in peanut

sauce and more.

Of course, Gateway to India lunch goers may have already tasted these fl avors in the popular

and plentiful buff et that is served midday. Kumar likes to try out his new dishes there – and if

he sees them moving fast he knows they are a hit. “I put the dishes I am trying out on the buff et

and when I keep on having to refi ll them I bring them to the menu,” he explains.

More news from the restaurant is that every Saturday and Sunday Kumar will serve an extended

buff et with dishes made in a tawa. This is a specialized cast iron cook pot– similar to a

wok – that is used to stir fry vegetables and meats and to prepare fl atbreads.

It is very important to Kumar to keep up with changes in the world of Indian cuisine and

bring them to his neighborhood restaurant. “I was just in Mumbai talking to the head chef at

a new hotel and was introduced to new fl avors and ideas,” he says. “At the same time I like to

keep up with the traditions – some of these recipes are hundreds of years old.”