Restaurant Review: Maruti Indian Restaurant in Portland, Oregon
Indian cuisine and vegetarian cuisine often go hand-in-hand. Delicious biryani, naan, and a variety of vegetables can provide a hearty and delightful meal. But vegan and gluten-free diners can still find it hard to navigate an Indian menu. Well, not at Maruti Indian Restaurant.
At Maruti Indian Restaurant, they serve contemporary Indian cuisine with a menu chock full of vegetarian, vegan, and gluten-free options. Located on SE Hawthorne Ave and at the east end of Ladd’s Addition, it’s in a prime location for many Portland locals, but also tucked away on a quieter street for those looking for a calmer date night.
We started with the pakoras. The onion-potato version is vegan. At first bite, it was reminiscent of a latke but packed with more herbs and spices, such as cilantro, curry leaves, and ginger. Dipped in a light brown sauce, it was a beautiful way to start the meal.
The Watermelon Mung Sprout Salad was a delightful surprise. It consisted of mung beans, diced watermelon, shredded coconut, and organic cucumber and cilantro. What could have been a forgettable salad was instantly made memorable with its tasty dressing. Notes of black pepper and jalapeno made this salad exemplary.
Next was the Mushroom Biryani. Rice with mushrooms, chickpeas, greens beans, peas, and more. This dish is great for those who are looking for a heartier option on the menu. It can be made gluten-free, vegan, or vegetarian.
The highlight of the meal was the Vegan Tikka Masala. While many chefs are still struggling to integrate vegan dairy options into meals, the sweet coconut milk was balanced out beautifully with the tomato sauce and spices. Vegans will be thrilled and should be coming to eat this on a regular basis.
To end the meal, we enjoyed a vegan Chocolate Chai Cheesecake. It was creamy, velvety, and one of the most enjoyable cheesecakes we’ve ever had. Many cheesecakes leave you with a feeling that you’ve overindulged on sugar and dairy. But this one was light and, even with a respectable portion, left you wanting more.
Maruti Indian Restaurant is owned by a husband and wife team, Rudra Parmar and Falguni Khanna. You will often find Falguni walking around the restaurant with their sweet baby strapped to her chest as she’s checking in on the diners. Dining at Maruti is an overall enjoyable experience and it’s one not to be missed while visiting Portland.
Brianne Nemiroff-Hagerty is a freelance writer and editor originally from Los Angeles, California. She has had her work published in multiple magazines including VIVA GLAM Magazine, One Green Planet, and CraftBeer.com. She is currently traveling around the U.S. and Canada discovering the best vegan and vegetarian restaurants, products, and festivals that each city has to offer!
Brianne and her husband, Benjamin, will soon be launching a website. Follow them on Instagram at @itsbreeandben!