Udupi Caf

Udupi Café
590 E Chatham St., Cary  
(919) 465-0898 • Sriudupi.com
Average lunch entree: $9-$10

Lunch buffets are common at area Indian restaurants, and Udupi Café is no exception. Focusing on southern Indian cuisine, Udupi’s all-vegetarian buffet is flush with rice, lentils and a daily rotation of traditional savory dishes.

“Each region (of India) has their own way of cooking,” said Nagi Reddy, owner of Udupi café. “We try to incorporate every region.”

Southern Indian dishes typically use tomato or coconut milk as the base for their sauces and can be more spicy than their northern counterparts, which tend to feature cream and butter-based entrees.

Curry and chili powders, coriander, cumin and turmeric are all staples in Udupi’s spice cabinet, and the cuisine, Reddy said, does use a lot of chilies.

“The food nicely blends spicy hot chili and sweet mellow tamarind,” he said. Tamarind helps dull the spice and yogurt-based chutney, one of many in Udupi’s chutney bar, cools it down further.

Dinner at Udupi is seated and features specialties such as Chana Masala, chickpeas simmered in spiced tomato gravy, and Masala Dosai, a thin rice crepe enveloping a potato and onion filling.

The nearby Triangle Indian Market, a Cary fixture since 1995 and Reddy’s first venture in the area food scene, supplies much of the produce used to create Udupi Café’s menu fresh daily.

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