I found this place because it won an award on a Chicago food chat site.  And the first time I went there I met a colleague from the Econ Dept who  must have seen the same blog.  Small world.

Anyway, when you go to most Indian restaurants, the stuff they serve – the radioactively orange chicken tikka etc – is North Indian.  And for some reason it’s usually cooked by Nepalese chefs. ( There’s got to a story there about some Maoist chef exodus but I don’t know it.)  It can be good but you miss the other regional cuisine your mother makes…at least, my mother.

Uru-Swati serves South Indian food (as well as some other generic things).  So you get good dosas and idlis, things Indians normally have for breakfast but could easily be a nice light lunch. (Well, maybe it’s not light because the dosa will be cooked in ghee!  Idlis, a kind of steamed dumpling,  are good for you.)

But better than all of this – they serve Indian street snacks.  Bhel Puri, Sev Puri, Chole Bhatura…  If you’re tempted by these on an Indian street, you’ll soon regret it as your system gets cleaned out if you know what I mean!  You can eat them safely at this restaurant and imagine Goa outside the window rather than the  ten degree Chicago weather.  The parathas are also excellent.  Try the muli paratha which come stuffed with a kind of shredded radish, served with dal and pickle.

UPDATE:  Check out this NYT story about just this kind of food