Currylina revisited

Currylina also provides the obligatory dessert although imported from elsewhere. A divine chocolate mousse and lemon pie provided the sweet ending to this great meal.

August 28, 2019 13:36
2 minute read.
Currylina revisited

Currylina. (photo credit: ZARA BROOKS)

Avi Kahalani is a relative of the famous Avigdor Kahalani, a hero of the Yom Kippur War who achieved a miraculous victory on the Golan Heights and won Israel’s highest medal. His other claim to fame is that he is the husband of Karolina, a blonde and beautiful Finnish lawyer who is the brains behind Currylina, an Indian glatt kosher restaurant which has just relocated to Ramat Hahayal in Tel Aviv after being based in Bnei Brak for several years.

They met in London, where Kahalani was born to Yemenite parents who had moved there from Israel. When they made aliyah in 2013, they recognized the dearth of kosher Indian food in the center of the country and decided to do something about it. The cuisine is neither South Indian nor North Indian, but Anglo-Indian and they have tried to recreate it with much ingenuity and creativity, finding substitutes for the dairy additives used in this type of cooking.

As great aficionados of Indian food, we visited Currylina two years ago and were delighted to receive an invitation to her new restaurant. It is much bigger than the old place, and clearly the owners have invested much thought in the décor which includes a corner with richly flocked pink wallpaper, matching and very comfortable leather chairs, a lacy masharabiya on one wall and glass chandeliers which cast a welcoming glow.

We began our meal with poppadums accompanied by three dips, mango, tamarind and minted soya. We found them a little too liquid to eat with the thin crispy poppadums, but when the onion bhajis arrived, they were perfect for mopping up the delicious dips (NIS 25). Another starter we enjoyed were okra fries (NIS 24), fresh lady’s fingers that had been dipped in a sesame and garlic coating and deep fried.

For mains, my companion chose lamb vindaloo (NIS 61) while I plumped for chicken Tandoori (NIS 59). The lamb came in the form of lamb chops in what the menu describes as the king of all curries, a red-hot tomato-based sauce. The distinctive lamb flavor was not overwhelmed by the curry sauce but enhanced by it.

My dish consisted of chunks of chicken breast in an alarming orange color which had somehow managed to stay juicy and succulent after baking in a Tandoori oven. The two dishes were accompanied by plain white Basmati rice, (NIS 12).

The best drink to have with curry is ice-cold water or beer so that was what we chose.

Currylina also provides the obligatory dessert although imported from elsewhere. A divine chocolate mousse and lemon pie provided the sweet ending to this great meal.

Before leaving, a visit to the toilets is a must. Decked out in walls of shiny black, red and white tiles, with a black and white tiled floor, the bathrooms are a joy to behold, each complete with a map of the London Underground, a subtle reminder that Currylina owes its existence to two young people meeting and falling in love, in England’s capital.

Currylina, HaBarzel 32,
Ramat Hahayal.
03 6722709
Sun. – Thursday:11 – 23h.
Friday, Shabbat – Closed.
The writer was a guest of the restaurant.

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