A two-decade-old Toronto Indian restaurant has seen some of its most difficult years recently, including terrible fire damage in 2019 that required it to close for almost a year.
Now open again and better than ever, Curry Twist is a popular neighborhood restaurant specializing in North Indian and ancient Moghlai traditions, with a solid foundation in Ayurvedic philosophies.
“We were the first Indian restaurant in the West End and despite opening more over the years we have been fortunate to have a very loyal following,” Anant Singh, owner of Curry Twist, told blogTO.
“Some regulars come in every week. Instead of saying ‘we’re getting Indians tonight’ when people say ‘we’re getting Curry Twist tonight’, you know you’ve made your mark.”
Singh has always had a passion for cooking and trained in culinary school in India.
After graduating, he worked at the Intercontinental in New Delhi, honing his skills with various chefs and eventually decided to immigrate to Canada.
“Less than a week after landing in Toronto. In 2000, I was able to find a job at the Westin Harbor Castle Hotel before I was made redundant after the 2001 World Trade Center attacks which affected the entire hospitality industry, ”Singh said.
“Fortunately, a friend opened Curry Twist in October 2001 and I decided to partner with him, eventually buying him back in 2006.”
Curry Twist successfully distributed butter chicken, lamb, seafood, and vegetarian options for 13 years before facing some of their biggest challenges.
“2019 has been a difficult year for us due to a fire in the restaurant next door which caused a lot of damage to the exterior and the building,” Singh said.
“We reopened in October 2019 to close again due to COVID in March 2020. We reopened again in August 2020 when the number of cases declined. We have been making take out since.”
And that’s a good thing they did, as it’s one of the only take-out dishes in the region to embrace centuries-old traditions and philosophies.
“The advent of Moghlai cuisine began in the 6th or 7th century AD, when the Mughals invaded India from the north and brought with them recipes from northeastern Asia,” Singh explains.
The elite of this period attached great importance to food, recipes and dishes preserved in ancient culinary books.
An emperor who ruled northern India at this time was a culinary connoisseur and had over 400 cooks who experimented with Indian cuisine and helped it reach new heights.
Moghlai cuisine is known for its aromatic marinades of ginger, onion, nutmeg, mace, cloves and cinnamon, and its rich sauces combining spices, yogurt, cream, almonds and pistachios cradling cooked pieces of meat. in ghee, as well as vegetable dishes flavored with poppy seeds. and honey.
The cuisine is also known to be as pleasing to the eye as it is to the palate, with desserts in the Moghlai courtyards garnished with rose petals and fine gold or silver leaves.
“These cooking techniques combined with the spices used in India gave birth to Moghlai cuisine,” Singh explains.
“These spices have medicinal qualities in addition to flavoring the food.”
These medicinal qualities are part of Ayurveda, a philosophy which is at the heart of Curry Twist food, which Singh describes as “the ancient science of life” and aims not only for the well-being of the body, but also of mind and soul.
Fresh ingredients and spices are a big priority in Ayurveda, and Curry Twist grinds their fresh spices and makes their sauces from scratch.
Understanding the properties of various ingredients of Ayurveda as having certain effects on the mind and body, all aimed at balance, has resulted in Indian cuisine and restaurants that embrace its philosophies like Curry Twist, which make one of the healthiest but also well balanced. food available.
We could all use a little more balance and improve our sanity these days, and after a rough patch this local restaurant could definitely use all the support it can get.