A blimp of fried bread known popularly as a Punjabi street snack measures about 15 inches wide and 8 inches tall. A chickpea curry is served alongside it—that’s the channa (or chole) part. One can barely see it on the left, trying to breathe under the batura. The dish is available at Saravanaas, a vegetarian South Indian restaurant, only on the weekends.

Another option that one might try is the “Mini Tiffin,” which is a bento box of rava kichadi (pictured top), mini idlis in a pool of sambar (pictured bottom). Rava kichadi is a dish that takes sooji, a wheat semolina similar to couscous and sautes it here with onion, carrot, tomatoes, carrots, green chilies and spices for a very rich and delicious dish. The idlis, swimming around and acting as a flavor sponge for the fragrant sambar, is a taste of perfection as well.

Saravannas 81 Lexington Avenue

At 26th St 212-679-0204

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