[Manchester, Withington] Sanskruti

India has such a wealth of vegetarian dishes and it’s good to see another restaurant in the metro area that devotes its menu to entirely vegetarian and vegan offerings. I can only think of one other place – Lily’s in Ashton and that doesn’t open in the evening, or serve alcohol. Having had lunch at Lily’s only a few days before, we were interested to see how the food at Sanskruti would compare.

Amongst the starters are three sharing platters for two people. We chose the chaat platter. There’s three each of sev puri, papdi chaat and dahi puri. That meant for each of them, there had to be negotiation as to who would get the third. These are all pretty good. There’s also a mound of bhel puri – a decent enough version, although one that lacked sufficient zing from tamarind that we’ve enjoyed in several other versions.

Kathal (jackfruit) was a new one on us. Although it is a fruit, it is quite savoury in flavour and has a texture and mouthfeel almost of chicken. It came with a tomato based sauce that carried something of a hit from chilli but was otherwise well rounded in flavour. Sanskruti calls the dish “lazeez” – a word Google tells me means delicious in Urdu. Yep, accurate description.

Navratana korma wasn’t the best of choices. Not that there was anything specifically wrong with the mixed vegetables or the sweet creamy sauce. It was just a bit too gloopy in texture and a bit overly sweet for our tastes.

Rice was excellent. As was the methi thepla – a thin Gujarati bread, which incorporates fenugreek into the dough.

Well, we wanted to see how the food compares with Lily’s. And it compares favourably although it’s not quite as good. None of the starters had quite the zing that you get in the Lily versions. Still, it’s good enough that we’ll definitely be back.