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    "ANANDA" - CHEF & OWNER SANJIV DHAR'S BLOG OF HIS JOURNEY SO FAR

    Last updated 1 year ago

    RESTAURANT BRIEF

    I recently got back from a trip to India. As expected, I had a great time meeting everyone and creating new bonds while also rekindling some old friendships. It has been a while since I entertained the idea of writing a blog about the life of a restaurant owner and its workforce. Honestly, I don’t know how you will come to perceive it since I don’t consider myself to be much of a writer. Speaking has always come easier, but my mantra for this exercise is to be straightforward and deliver from the heart.

    I grew up in New Delhi and went to a school that was founded by a disciple of the mother (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mirra_Alfassa)and Indian nationalist turned spiritual reformer, Sri Aurobindo (http://savitrithepoem.com/the-poem/authors-biography.html). On myrecent trip back to India earlier this year, I decided to visit Pondicherry (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Puducherry ), where this so-mentioned Sri Aurobindo and the mother had established something known as“Aurovile”, a unique experimental township dedicated towards establishing a new way of life and thinking. After 30 years (time truly does fly) I was also reacquainted with a classmate of mine from high school there, who is a true devotee of the Mother. She and her husband decided to settle down in this small French-inspired coastal town, where the old part of the city runs along the boardwalk. It’s filled with small hotels, Ayurvedic centers and spas that attract a lot of tourists. The French architecture is predominant, but the locals referto it as the western area as if it does not truly belong.These same people we met however were so loving, simple and eager to please. I wondered if it is because each one of them is truly content from the inside and able to transcend that feeling into everyone who comes in their contact.

    During my weekly and monthly meetings with the staff of my restaurants, we always talk about “parking our egos at the door”. I’ve always thought that first and foremost we need to be comfortable with who we are and realize our own strengths or weaknesses. Then don’t try to cover up your weaknesses and refrain from showing off your strengths too much. Simple as it sounds, it becomes very difficult to implement in any person’s day to day workings. What the successful entrepreneurs realize early on is that you learn most by talking to people, but even more by listening to them carefully. Pay attention to what they are saying instead of alreadythinking about a response in your own mind. As a small-business owner, it is your job to create an environment where both your guests and your colleagues are comfortable sharing their opinions and ideas. This allows us to lift each other from mediocrity however you may define it.  We are all intelligent creatures, to me that is a given. However, are we smart enough to take our egos and park them to ask for help?

    I have been in the hospitality industry for almost thirty years now and it’s been quite a journey. I had the good fortune of studying in Europe at the age of seventeen as a wide-eyed teenager from the delirium of Delhi. My initial days and weeks in Austria were very tough,as I struggled to adapt to the new German language, food and people in the Salzburg area. Many times I wanted to quit my education there and go back to India, where I would not feel so out of place. Nevertheless, I learned to keep pushing myself every day and able to make friends who welcomed me with open arms. As I picked up the native language from my Austrian and German friends, they in turn wanted to learn English from meand we all started helping each other in mysterious ways.  To this date I still have friends who stay in touch with me and in 2010 when I went back to my college in Salzburg for my 25th reunion, it was a nostalgic experience to say the least. It made me proud that I had stuck with it and that much more appreciative of having the opportunity to say so.

    The single biggest influence on my life growing up as a kid though was my grandfather.He always preached “Never run after money, let the money run after you”, which to date is my favorite lesson learned from anyone. My father on the other hand taught me the value of hard work and compassion for your team. It is not about your individual success, but about the wellbeing of those who are working for you. Their intellectual growth and happiness will in turn make you feel and perform better. Although my father rarely spoke about such matters to me, I observed him closely and learntsuch principles from him. From my mother I alsolearned the ability to tolerate. She would stay with my father in the worst possible conditions on constructionsites both in India and abroad,but never complain once. If she did…I never heard it and never will. Like every parental unit, mine shaped my intellect over the years and they continue to do so till this date. That is the power we have over oneanother. We are constantly learning from others without even realizing it, especially the ones we are in close contact with.

    I have now been in the Indian restaurant business for 23 years. It has been nothing, but a phenomenal experience to own a small business I can call my own. Whenever I doubt myself now, I turn to my wife and wish I had developed this habit a little earlier on in my life. My principle of management is very simple and can be summarized in two words:“Intellectual Honesty”. I don’t like to put on a face and show everyone that I understand something when I don’t. I ask for help from everyone around me when it is beyond my grasp. I really love what I do and never miss an opportunity to learn more while doing it. Most importantly though I leave my ego at the house where it is safest…in the custody of my dear wife!

     

    We are honored to be nominated again in Providence Phoenix's "Best Of 2013"!

    Last updated 1 year ago

    Thanks to all who voted for Rasoi in Providence Phoenix's "Best of 2013" reader's poll.  We have been nominated once again for Best Indian Food Restaurant

    Voting will be taking place until March 15th! Cast your vote here for the Best Indian Restaurant.  We appreciate all our fabulous fans!

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    Why Rasoi Is a Seafood Lover's Dream

    Last updated 1 year ago

    Eating seafood is a satisfying way to make your diet healthy, and Rasoi Restaurant can help you enjoy seafood with an assortment of freshly prepared entrées inspired by the many regions of India. The next time you dine with us, try one of these dishes to treat your palate to the seafood delights you love with new and exotic twists:

    Shrimp Saag

    With a vibrant green color and fresh flavor to wake up your senses, Shrimp Saag represents Punjabi cuisine on our seafood menu. The sauce of the dish is prepared with a generous helping of spinach pureed with onions, tomatoes, garlic, and cumin seeds.

    Shrimp and Fish Jugalbandi

    This dish imports flavors from the Southern coast of India. Enjoy the tangy bite of tamarind mellowed by creamy, sweet coconut milk. These flavors envelop tender, succulent shrimp and tilapia for a wonderfully satisfying curry.

    Bengali Seafood Stew

    Are you having trouble deciding what type of seafood you want to eat? You can enjoy an assortment in this decadent spiced stew! It is cooked with shrimp, tilapia, scallops, and mussels that absorb the flavors of a five-seed blend of coriander, cumin, fenugreek, fennel, and mustard.

    Mustard Salmon Curry

    This salmon dish is the newest addition to our seafood offerings, and it showcases bold flavors that bring out the rich depth of the salmon. Onions, curry leaves, and green chilies contribute a tasty aroma to the creamy yogurt sauce of the dish.

    Savor all of these dishes and more seafood delicacies at Rasoi Restaurant in Pawtucket, Rhode Island. We serve lunch and dinner daily and hold cooking classes to help you bring the flavors of India to your own kitchen. For more information on our delicious offerings, check out our menu online or give us a call today at (401) 728-5500.

     

    Treat your Valentine to a great meal at Rasoi

    Last updated 1 year ago

    What Exactly Is a Thali Meal?

    Last updated 1 year ago

    When you dine in a traditional Indian restaurant, you might notice many of the dishes are served on plates with distinct sections for various elements of the meal. These plates show the careful design that is used in Indian cuisine to create a balance of flavor and texture. Thali meals are the ultimate showcase of the diverse ingredients and spice aromas found in Indian cooking, and they are a great option for indecisive eaters with adventurous taste buds.

    The Principles of Thali

    Thali is a cherished custom in Indian dining, and each plating is meant to be the perfect balance of spice, unique textures, and nutrition. Because of this, the meal is offered with no available substitutions, and it is not meant to be shared. Here are the two Thalis regularly featured on the Rasoi Restaurant menu for you to savor:

    ·         Satvic: This arrangement of vegetarian delights will satisfy herbivores and meat lovers alike, as it is full of hearty vegetables and bold spices. Elements of the meal include marinated crispy fried cauliflower, spinach with tofu or homemade paneer, the specially spiced lentil of the day, and vegetable mango curry. Accents such as raita yogurt sauce and roti fresh from the tandoor are also included to round out the meal.

    ·         Nirvana: If you want to enjoy the carnivorous pleasures of Indian cuisine, this Thali is a great showcase of meats from land and sea. Chicken tikka lababdar, lamb curry, and garlic shrimp will delight your taste buds alongside aromatic Basmati rice, naan bread, and lentils.

    Each of these platters is finished with a daily dessert selection to give you a complete dining experience. The Rasoi Restaurant menu also features various vegetarian Thalis as select daily specials throughout the week. Explore all the tasty dishes from our menu by visiting our website or calling us at (401) 728-5500. We offer delicacies from a variety of regions in India so you can explore an entire culture on one plate. 

Do you like Rasoi?

Rasoi Bulletin: Nightly Specials

The Rasoi Bulletin showcases our weekly specials. Come enjoy dishes such as, Vegetarian Aqurvedic Thali or Sizzling Kebab Dinner—all at a great price! Also join us on the weekends for our buffet specials! For more information or to make a reservation please call us at 401-305-2057.



  • Hours:

  • 11:30 AM to 9:30 PM Sunday
  • 11:30 AM to 10:00 PM Monday
  • 11:30 AM to 10:00 PM Tuesday
  • 11:30 AM to 10:00 PM Wednesday
  • 11:30 AM to 10:00 PM Thursday
  • 11:30 AM to 10:30 PM Friday
  • 11:30 AM to 10:30 PM Saturday


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