The Jasmine Curry Kitchen Advisory Committee
It is a tall order for a food service platform of less than 100 square feet to present and represent the culinary culture and tastes of India and its 1.25 billion people. That is where the Jasmine Curry Kitchen Advisory Committee comes in.
The Advisory Committee consists of Stony Brook University faculty, staff, graduate students, and undergraduate students, all of whom have extensive first-hand experience or expertise in Indian cuisine. Their role is to work with the Curry Kitchen owners and the management of Jasmine to develop the best possible ways to provide Stony Brook’s diverse campus community with education and demonstration of Indian culture through its unique cuisine.
The current members of the Committee are:
Gilmary George, Biology Pre-med Major, Stony Brook University Class of 2015
Isha Sheth, M.B.A. Candidate, College of Business
Kamal Sridhar, Associate Professor of Asian and Asian American Studies and Linguistics
Shrikant Iyer, System Support Services, Computing Center, Systems Engineer
S.N. Sridhar, SUNY Distinguished Service Professor, Professor of Linguistics and India Studies and Director, Center for India Studies
Sunita S. Mukhi, Ph.D. Lecturer, Department of Asian and Asian American Studies
The Committee meets periodically with the Curry Kitchen owners and staff, including the student staff who provide the most important daily interactions with customers.
As time goes on, the Committee and staff will recommend and implement modifications in the menu and how it is presented and marketed, so as to best serve the University community with both a culinary experience that is both educational and well received.
Initial Recommendations of the Advisory Committee
In its first meeting where they sampled menu items and met the Curry Kitchen owners at the Curry Kitchen restaurant in Manhattan, the Committee made an initial set of recommendations to help present Indian cuisine in an appropriate context that is consistent with the educational mission of Stony Brook University and the Charles B. Wang Center.
1. Multiple vegetarian dishes always on the daily menu – The predominant Hindu religion in India reveres all animals as sacred and about 40% of the population is vegetarian. Vegetarianism has had a significant influence on the region’s culture and cuisine. Law requires vegetarian products in India to be distinguished from non-vegetarian products by clear labeling. Jasmine Curry Kitchen represents this very significant aspect of Indian culture and cuisine by always having a variety of vegetarian dishes from which customers may choose.
2. Lentils always on the daily menu – Lentils are highly nutritious grains that are economical to grow. Considering that there are about a half a billion people in India who are vegetarians, is easy to understand why lentils, with a protein content of almost 30%, play an important dietary role. Understandably, many lentil recipes exist in Indian cuisine and are thus an important and consistent component of the Jasmine Curry Kitchen daily menu.
3. Beef dishes are not served – Although beef is consumed in parts of India, the predominant Hindu religion reveres cows as being sacred. This reverence dates back centuries and is prevalent in modern India. India’s most famous 20thcentury leader, Mahatma Gandhi, spoke strongly in support of good treatment of cows and against their slaughter. Slaughtering of cows is still prohibited in some Indian states. Jasmine Curry Kitchen respects this notable tradition of Indian culture and does not serve beef.
4. Maintain Consistent and Specialized Spice in Entrees – Indian Food is known for its spices and many regional cuisines of India can be distinguished by the spices used. The Advisory Committee was satisfied and impressed with the spicing demonstrated on their first visit and sampling at Curry Kitchen in Manhattan. It was recognized that different types of spices and amounts used in cooking will vary in their appeal to different palates, including among persons native to different regions of India. The Committee recommended keeping the spicing of the recipes as presented by Curry Kitchen, which includes different spicing specialized for different vegetable and meat dishes, as it represents the rich spicing diversity of authentic Indian cuisine.
5. Lower Fat and Cholesterol where possible - In addition to plentiful spices, many authentic and traditional Indian recipes call for ingredients that are high in saturated fat and cholesterol. However, all cultures evolve as human knowledge advances. The Advisory Committee felt that, given Stony Brook’s missions related to advancing knowledge and to health care, a concerted effort should be made to reduce saturated fat and cholesterol content of recipes served at Jasmine Curry Kitchen.
If you would like to become a member or to find out more information, please call Isha Sheth at 631.632.9828.
– Price & Portion Guide
For more info, contact
Sam Sallam, General Manager
Joseph Lamia, Catering Manager
at (631) 632-1858.