Tops of the Morning

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Kamana Kitchen

When I was growing up on Hawai‘i Island, a big pot of chicken or beef curry stew simmered on the stove at least once a week in our kitchen. To this day, I crave the heady mix of coriander, turmeric and ginger-spiked curries bubbling long and gently and eaten over white rice in the morning.

Luckily for me, a hidden treasure has opened in Kīhei, and is quickly being discovered by locals and tourists. Kamana Kitchen’s lunch buffet offers fourteen choices, from savory dals and curries to sweet rice pudding. Tempered with the richness of ghee, cream, coconut milk or yogurt, the food will transport you to Nepal or Tibet. À la carte dishes such as chicken tikka masala, madrashi, and lamb korma can be adjusted to your desire: mild, medium, or over-the-top hot. Tirtha Luitel, Kamana’s owner, imports ingredients for his three restaurants (two on Hawai‘i Island) for recipes made from old family recipes. Tender samosas, savory pastries filled with potato and peas or house-made cheese are also a must. 1881 S. Kīhei Rd., Kīhei, 879-7888, KamanaKitchen.com

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