The Delmar Loop has a new destination for pan-Indian cuisine. Turmeric debuted on Aug. 8, offering modern takes on traditional Indian dishes. The restaurant fills the space previously occupied by the short-lived pan-Asian concept Fox Fire, which opened in May and closed after only a few months.

Turmeric comes from first-time restaurant owner Ranjul Dayal, who brought on chef consultant Alagesan "Alex" Panneerselvam to develop the menu. Panneerselvam, who hails from the south Indian state of Tamil Nadu, cooked for Sarovar Hotels and Taj Hotels in India before relocating to Los Angeles in 2010. Since then, he has helped open restaurants in California as well as in North Carolina and Virginia.

“I came here two months ago and researched all the other Indian restaurants around,” he says. “I wanted to do something a bit different for St. Louis.”

According to Panneerselvam, the menu draws from traditions from all over India with dishes such as dosas (thin, crispy south Indian rice crêpes) alongside artfully presented small plates and entrees. A section of the dinner menu also features chef special fusion dishes such as rack of New Zealand spring lamb marinated with spices and herbs, baked with Dijon mustard crust and served with mint rogan sauce, pan-fried broccoli and spinach, and kitchari (grain mix).

“We have unique kinds of dishes on our menu, special presentations and modern creations, all made with handpicked spices,” Panneerselvam says. “We also have vegan and gluten-free options.”

Highlights from the menu include Bombay sliders with spiced potato patty fritters, soft pav bread, tamarind chutney and cilantro chutney. Cauliflower Manchurian bezule is another small plate option with crispy coated fried cauliflower florets tossed in a sweet and tangy Indo-Chinese sauce. A kabob sampler features a selection of marinated meats cooked in a tandoor oven: Kandari chicken, lamb and Tiger shrimp, served with paneer, mint and cilantro.

Dosas made from fermented rice and lentil batter come in options such as a truffle masala dosa stuffed with potato masala hash, cashews and curry leaves. Uthappam is a thick, soft pancake variant, available served four ways with shallots and chile, wild mushroom, cheese and spinach and asparagus.

Entrees include the Turmeric special chicken curry in a south Indian-style preparation; chicken tikka masala with shredded tandoori chicken, tomato and cream sauce; and paneer butter masala with housemade cottage cheese, tomato, clarified butter and fresh cream.

Lunch-exclusive selections include platters with small portions of several rotating dishes. Vegetarian and non-vegetarian options are available as well as the Turmeric classic platter. The samplers include tastes of various appetizers and entrees served with rice and dessert.

From the drink menu, choose from a selection of spiced cocktails, masala chais, wine, beer and lassis. Signature mixed drinks include Nana’s Ananas mojito with muddled pineapple, while non-alcoholic options include falooda with rose syrup, fine vermicelli, sweet basil seeds, milk and ice cream.

Turmeric is open Tuesday through Thursday from 11:30am to 2:30pm and 5 to 10pm as well as Friday through Sunday from 11:30am to 2:30pm and 5 to 11pm.

Turmeric, 6679 Delmar Blvd., Delmar Loop, University City, Missouri, 314.899.9995, turmericstl.com

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