Desi Galli’s Garden Fresh Culinary Experience

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Indian cuisine is one of my absolute favorite foods and so I jumped at the chance to dine at Desi Galli, a spot known for their Indian street food. Just steps away from Tompkins Park in downtown Manhattan, Desi Galli offers a menu full of fresh Indian dishes and the guarantee of a 10% student discount with the presentation of a student ID. 

The restaurant offers indoor and outdoor dining with vibrantly colored seating areas, countless pots of green growing things, current and classic Indian music, and charmingly rustic metallic elements common to South Asian interior design. Walking through the space I was met with warm lighting, charming exposed brick, and a wall of traditional South Asian spices. As I moved through the location I was greeted by the incredibly enticing smells of food preparation emanating from the open kitchen just a few feet away from the indoor seating. “It smells amazing!” I remarked. “It tastes even better,” chef Pria answered with a smile.

During my unforgettable visit I tasted all of the new Desi Garden Menu, an Indian and Mexican culinary fusion curated by chef and owner PriaVanda. This prefixed menu features seven courses and a complimentary spicy margarita from Brix Wines at $49 per person. Despite being prefixed the tasting menu is flexible and offers both a vegetarian and non-vegetarian option. 

Pico de Gallo

The first course was the Pico de Gallo, a vegetarian dish with a creative presentation. This bread basket, filled with smartly spiced potatoes is complemented by a spicy liquid sauce meant to be poured within the bread. It was as much fun to eat as it was delicious. It was a beautiful entrance into this creative menu. 

Guac Papri Chaat

The second course was the Guac Papri Chaat, a vegetarian avocado dish served on a cracker with a perfect crunch. It was pleasantly spicy and had an amazing aftertaste. These bites, much like the rest of the menu, were served in reasonable portions. I was satisfied and enthusiastic for more. 

Lamb Bhuna Fautas

The next course was the Lamb Bhuna Fautas. It was without a doubt my favorite part of the menu. When I bit down into the crispy pastry wrapped around the meat, I was transported. The lamb is seasoned so spectacularly with familiar spices yet the package and the presentation transform the dish into something altogether unique. Lastly the lamb is drizzled with a sweetly spiced green sauce that compliments the dish perfectly. 

Beyond Quesadillas

The next course was the Beyond Quesadillas featuring a meat substitution. The Beyond™ meat was well seasoned and served with peppers and onions. These also were drizzled in a special sauce that added even more flavor to the tasty quesadilla slices. 

Chicken Empanadas

The next course was the Chicken Empanadas; which can be substituted for a vegetarian option: the Paneer Empanadas. Like all of the dishes before it, this course produced expertly seasoned meat. The chicken tasted as though it were prepared with a special curry.  

Chicken Tikka Tacos

The sixth course was the  Chicken Tikka Tacos. It was a close second to the lamb in my personal opinion. Furthermore I feel that this dish is emblematic of the magic that makes this Indian-Mexican fusion menu work. To put it simply, the course presented Indian flavors in a Mexican style. I thoroughly enjoyed this remix of the classic chicken tikka masala meal that I love so much.

DG Churros

Finally, for dessert the DG Churros were served. The crunchy pastries were dipped in chocolate and decorated in festive sprinkles. They were a joyful end to a fabulous and flavorful journey. 

Desi Galli combines expert flavors, innovative culinary techniques, affordable prices, and great customer service with a lovely, relaxed atmosphere. I ended the meal full and inspired by the one-of-a-kind culinary experience I’d just had. The restaurant is perfect for a classic night-in order of Indian takeout or a special night-out fusion menu experience. You can reserve the Garden Menu today on the restaurant’s website:  

By: Taylor Custis

Taylor Custis is a recent graduate of NYU where she made her own major because it sounded like a cool thing to do. She enjoys stories of all kinds, ethnic foods, and spiritually charged candles. She is currently in Queens embarking on a career in written and visual storytelling.

For over 20 years, the Campus Clipper has been offering awesome student discounts in NYC,  from the East Side to Greenwich Village. Along with inspiration, the company offers students a special coupon booklet and the Official Student Guide, which encourages them to discover new places in the city and save money on food, clothing, and services.  At the Campus Clipper, not only do we help our interns learn new skills, make money, and create wonderful e-books, we give them a platform to teach others. Check our website for more student savings and watch our YouTube video showing off some of New York City’s finest students during the Welcome Week of 2015.


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