Nimai’s Bliss Kitchen

December 4, 2014
Español

When I was in college, I was a vegetarian – sort of. On the weekdays, I stuck to a strict vegan diet. Then Friday night came, and the whole vegan thing flew out the window. After a full night of partying and carrying on like college students do, I caved into my cravings for protein, and off I went to get a double cheeseburger from Jack-in-the-Box or a greasy patty melt from Denny’s. Afterward, I felt guilty as sin and promised myself that I wouldn’t eat meat again. Well, that didn’t work.

_MG_2930-2

A meal from the Nimai’s Bliss Kitchen buffet. Starting from the top clockwise: lentil soup, chappati bread, lemon rice, kofta (chickpea flour and zucchini in a tomato base sauce), khaman (steamed chickpea flour bread) and warm cole slaw.

I like the idea of being a vegetarian. The health aspects are, without doubt, beneficial, but I realized long ago that I also like meat.  So, I have adapted a “moderation” approach to eating: Occasionally I will eat meat (mostly chicken); occasionally, I will eat purely vegan meals.  For me, this works.  It is my way of balance.

_MG_3149-4

A sample of the many spices used at Bliss Kitchen.

Nimai’s Bliss Kitchen is also about balance, but it’s strictly a vegetarian restaurant – Newburgh’s first.  Its concept is based on Ayurveda, an ancient Hindu way of healing (Ayu=life, Veda=knowledge). As explained to me by Dr. Ashik Raval, one of the owners of Bliss Kitchen, the Ayurvedic diet is – in very, very simplistic terms – based on three principles called Doshas. They are Vata (Wind), Pitta (Fire), and Kapha (Earth). When these elements are out of balance in your body, usually because of diet, that is when disease prevails. Ayurvedic practitioners believe that most illnesses or diseases can be corrected by what you eat.  It is about finding the balance within.

_MG_3233-2

Sambhar Nu Shaak (stuffed eggplant and potatoes in a chickpea flour sauce) and tamarind rice.

_MG_3089-3

The owner’s of Bliss Kitchen. From left to right: Dr. Manish Raval, Dr. Ashik Raval and Dr. Mehul Raval. The mark on Dr. Ashik Raval’s forehead is called a Tilaka. It is made from clay obtained from a sacred lake near Dvaraka near Krishna’s ancient city in India. It is a reminder to Dr. Raval and to anyone who sees it of his devotion to Krishna.

layout3

Hari Raval, manager of Bliss Kitchen (left).  Kenneth Ketchum, in house nutritionist (right).

Bliss Kitchen started out as a place to “set an example” for the doctor’s patients and family for how to eat. The food that is served is fresh (no frozen or “old” food) and is seasonal.  The ingredients used are as local as they can get, except for some of the spices. For now, Bliss Kitchen has a buffet with a variety of vegetarian dishes.  The meals are served with house-made breads: Naan, Chappati, or Bhaturas (my favorite).  There is a limited menu to choose from instead of the buffet.  In the middle of December, Bliss Kitchen will have a grand opening and start serving from a regular expanded menu.  There will be a juice bar and an area for take-out orders.  This past week, pizza was added to the menu. The meals are also reasonably priced.

3

2_images

Making chappati bread.

_MG_3071-2

Veggie Burger: House made ciabatta bun, cilantro sauce, tomato, spiced potato patty, cucumber, date and tamarind chutney sprinkled with pomegranate seeds.

The dishes are filled with aromatic East Indian spices that range from the familiar to the not-sure-what-it-is.  Cumin, cardamom, fenugreek, allspice, garam masala and cinnamon are just a few of the spices used. Some of the dishes have a little “kick,” and the spicy ones are my favorites, but for the most part, the dishes are mild but enhanced with exotic wonderful flavors. All are delicious and filling and are also colorful in a way that western cuisine tends not to be.  A perfect example of this is the veggie burger above.

_MG_3175-2

An assortment of desserts offered at Bliss Kitchen. Top clockwise: Sugar cookie, boondi ladoo (pearl dessert), gajar halvah (carrot squares) and gulab jamun (donut hole in rose syrup).

Some folks stay away from vegetarian food because they think it is uninteresting, bland or lacking in the protein needed for a balanced diet. Bliss Kitchen counters these ideas. There is something for everyone and they are adding to the menu daily taking into consideration the desires of their customers.  You don’t have to be a vegetarian to enjoy the food.   Good food is good food.

 

Nimai’s Bliss Kitchen
94 South Robinson Avenue
Newburgh, NY
845-245-6048
Hours:  Mon-Sat 7:00am-9:00pm
Sun 7:00-3:00pm
Deliveries available
http://blisskitchennewburgh.com/

FYI:  On December 24th, Bliss Kitchen is having an open house where they will be serving free food to the community.  Check out their website for details.

 

 

 

4 Comments

  • Reply Mignyetta January 30, 2015 at 3:30 am

    I can’t wait to come in and try the delicious food. I love Indian food and have many cookbooks on Indian cuisine, which I have delved into. See you soon and I will bring some friends with me.

  • Reply Carly Erskine March 13, 2015 at 12:03 pm

    Wow! I’m so happy I stumbled across your website this morning! I’m an avid foodie and registered dietitian in training. I’ve lived in Newburgh for a while, but never really embraced what it had to offer. Coming back from college, I decided to enjoy it for what it is and figured food was the best place to start. Thanks for sharing food’s beauty through pictures. Can’t wait to see what else you have in store 🙂

  • Reply Eating Our Way Down Newburgh's Broadway - Upstater Upstater April 16, 2015 at 7:34 pm

    […] of food and the people that made it, and some of us have our mouths watering, like the photos from Nimai’s Bliss Kitchen, the place we posted about yesterday. We’re looking forward to following Stratton’s […]

  • Reply Eating Our Way Down Newburgh's Broadway - Experience the Hudson Valley Experience the Hudson Valley April 24, 2015 at 7:51 pm

    […] food and the people that make it, and some of them have our mouths watering, like the photos from Nimai’s Bliss Kitchen, the place we posted about yesterday. We’re looking forward to following Stratton’s […]

  • Leave a Reply