The Weekly Dish: Southern Indian Lamb in Bellevue

Southern Indian Lamb in Bellevue

This was an epic weekend, but not because of the gorgeous weather or the Fremont Solstice Parade. Rather, I discovered the best Indian restaurant in Seattle (well, Bellevue, actually)—and southern Indian no less. Driving back from a hike at Rattlesnake Lake, I remembered a South Indian acquaintance’s recommendation of a Chettinad-style (from Chennai, India) restaurant. Located in Overlake Village Square, Anjappar shares a weird one-floor mall-like space with another Indian restaurant, a Turkish one, and a halal butcher (where you can buy things like goat’s feet and lamb tongue). The menu was full of the region’s famous dosas and other fiery specialties. But the dish that stole my heart was the mutton sukka varuval: “fresh tender lamb marinated in crushed pepper corn fried with chopped onions and curry leaves.” The marinade was a dark paste with great depth and heat that still allowed the wonderful flavor of the small bites of lamb to resonate. The curry leaves (which are not related in any way to curry powder) made it distinctively southern Indian. They taste like a lemon that’s been buried in the earth (a good thing). Our neighboring table was feasting traditional-style, with their right hands—and by the end, so were we.

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