Madurai to Kanyakumari, Saffron Valley's second annual South Indian Food Festival started yesterday and runs through July 8.

City centrists might find it a bit of a trek–it's at 1098 W. South Jordan Pkwy, in South Jordan. But Lavanya Mahate's (above) Indian restaurant is more than worth a trip. In fact, it's worth several. This is some of the best Indian food in town and most of it isn't served anyplace else. It's open 11AM-3PM and 5PM-10PM, even on Sundays. It serves beer and wine.


What else do you need to know? Maybe I should just start and stop with the menu–that's the important thing to know about this event, which focuses on delicacies from various towns and cities within Tamil country. It makes my mouth water just to read this list...
Soups:
Kozhi saaru- chicken soup from deep South $4
Mutton Soup- made with goat meat, ginger, garlic, spices $5
Rasam(tomato, pineapple, pepper)- pepper water soup with tomato, pineapple $3
Mullagitawny soup- mixed vegetable and lentil broth $3
Starters:
Sundal- Beach side lentils $4
Vazhakka bajji- fritters made with raw plantain $4
Valapoo vada- fritters made with banana floweret’s $6
Fish Pakoda/ Shrimp Pakoda- darnes of fish/shrimp coated with chickpea flour, fried $9
Biryani:
Madurai Mutton Biryani $13.99
Karaikudi Chicken Biryani $12.99
Vegetarian Birinji $10.99

Seafood: $14.99
Madras Meen Varuval- Fish marinated in fresh ground spices and fried to perfection
Ira Perratal- Yummy shrimp fry sure to please seafood lovers
Madurai Meen Kozhambu- Marinated and fried fish in a spicy concoction of tamarind and spices
Cholanad Fish Curry- a delicious gravy with darnes of fish, cholanad style
Meen poondu kozhumbu- authentic sour and tangy tamarind and garlic based preparation

Chicken/Lamb: $12.99/$13.99
Karaikudi Chicken/Lamb- a traditional chicken fry with cracked black pepper
Chicken/Lamb Chettinadu- slow cooked in fennel, black pepper and cumin seasoned with curry leaves
Niligiri Chicken/Lamb/Egg/ Korma- A creamy coconut based gravy of chicken
Pollachi Chicken Masala- delicious chicken gravy seasoned with curry leaves
Chicken 65- A spicy and crunchy chicken preparation
Kozhi Roast- Tamilnadu style chicken fry
Mutton Sukha Fry- Slow roasted lamb fry with pepper, fennel and cumin

Vegetarian: $11.99
Paruppu Soraka Kootu- chunks of white pumpkin simmered with dal, coconut and spices
Mixed vegetable korma- Coconut style vegetable curry
Katrika Poondu Kolambu- A Tamil Nadu specialty of small eggplants cooked in a tamarind sauce
Ennai kathrikkai- baby eggplants sautéed and cooked in a tamarind sauce
Kaikari chettinad- mixed vegetables cooked in chettinad masala

Vendakkai puli kozhmbu (kadai bhindhi)- okras sautéed and cooked in a tamarind sauce
Colacasia Fry- slices of colocasia marinated in spices and fried to golden perfection
Paruppu Urundai Kozhumbu- Lentil dumplings in a spicy tamarind coconut sauce
 
Sweets: $4
Pineapple Kesari Bhath- warm semolina pudding with chunks of pineapple
Aval Payasam- Puffed Rice pudding with cashews and cardamom
Sarkarapongal- rice, lentils, jaggery slow cooked in ghee, raisins, cashews
 
Snack Varieties: $7
Appam, coconut milk- Steamed rice pancake served with coconut milk (2pcs)
Parota - Puffed flat bread made of whole wheat (3pcs)
Pongal,  Vada, Sambhar- Savory rice and lentil preparation, lentil doughnuts
Kothu Parota- classic south Indian street food- (veg $9, egg/chicken $11)
 
Rice Varieties: $6
Lemon Rice
Coconut Rice
Yogurt Rice
Tomato Rice
Puliyogare
Karuveppalai and carrot sadam